I have three beautiful sons and a husband who love me and put up with my artistic passion. My “day job” is a certified optician. We live in beautiful Bend, Oregon, but traveling is an occupation that has taken me all over the country, as well as Austria, Bermuda, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico. My family and I hike, backpack, mountain bike, and kayak our way around the country. I always have my camera with me wherever we go. I have thousands of photos, and much inspiration for my paintings. I usually take my journal and a small set of watercolors with me as well, and paint as I go. Most of my work, however, is created in my studio, using these fantastic photos as reference.
My unique style is a result of a personal artistic journey that began with a pencil. A colored pencil. At age 5, I won an award for a coloring contest, which lit a burning light within me to create, and thus began my journey. I later received my degree and worked as an interior designer, which ingrained my understanding of composition, pattern, and color theory. On weekends, I discovered a knack for painting portraits in watercolor. This resulted in focusing on very realistic, tightly detailed work. My concentration centered on evoking emotion while capturing likeness. Portraiture proved so satisfying, it became my focus for 20 years, creating many commissioned portraits and winning awards for my work.
Recently, however, I developed a technique in painting watercolors on re-purposed Plexiglas that has been scratched or otherwise unsuitable for framing. This method involves creating a textured surface on the Plexiglas, using gesso and randomly collaged items as a ground, such as flower petals, string, sheet music, wrinkled paper or other items. I then use plaster tools or the end of a paintbrush to create calligraphic marks, words or patterns into the wet gesso collage. As a result, the surface becomes an intriguing, unique base for my bright, loose, and textural watercolors.
In my studio in Bend, Oregon, I paint a wide array of subjects. Using images from meaningful moments that I’ve gathered throughout my travels, I focus on establishing a connection with my viewers. With a sense of human presence, my paintings do not focus on relaying perfection, but instead reflect flaws, mars, scribbles, and textures of life. In creating beauty from the chaos of the painting surface, I reflect on our bumpy roads, our pasts, the pain and the love we live through, and the connections with others we establish. Out of the chaos, a unique beauty emerges. The textures and the flaws make our lives and my paintings rich with meaning. We can begin to connect to each other and acknowledge that we are unique and beautiful, not in spite of our flaws, but because of them.
I hope to express our connection as humans to our surroundings and each other. How we create beauty and pattern from the monotony and chaos and how we can build hope in our lives and the lives of others around us.
Join me in my artistic journey.
Profound thoughts? Not so profound? I'd love to hear it!