What are your earliest memories of art? How did you become an artist yourself?
My grandfather and mother were both artists, so It is something that just was around me and I enjoyed. MY mother always encouraged me to observe my surroundings. One of my favorite early memories of “art” was a color illustration on the cover of a book of poetry that belonged to my not so artistic grandmother. It was always on the shelf growing up and I would just stare at this illustration—it held so much mystery for me. I still have the book. I like having a little mystery in my work.
What has been your evolution as an artist?
I have always loved drawing and took any opportunity to sketch what was around me. But not until I was a young mother, did my mother say “why don’t you try painting?” We set up easels for each of us and she helped me get started as we painted side by side. I will always treasure that valuable time together. Though I took many art classes, I would say my mother was my best teacher and critic.
Are there any artists who have inspired and influenced you in your work? If so, who are they?
I am inspired by many artists, past and present. My favorite of all, is Paul Gauguin., particularly during his Tahitian years. The use of primary color (especially the reds and golds) his flat shapes and unique composition, always grab my attention. So much with so little detailed information
Gauguin’s “character” was not necessarily to be admired, but he had the single mindedness to abandon all that was conventional for his art. He was “all in”
Can you describe your process for creating a work of art?
Most recently, to begin a painting, I refer to photo images that I have taken and make a snapshot in my mind of that time and place. I start with the simplest drawing to begin and move forward from there. Often I have an idea in my head, but that may change, and often does, mid stream in a painting. I want a certain feel and balance and I keep working until it I find that “ thing”.
I paint on canvas and paper and use different size brushes, palette knives and rollers to express.
You do both representational and more abstract work. Can you talk about your interest in both and is there one that you prefer?
Like many artists, I started with representational or reality as an approach of style to subject matter. Gradually, I have pushed the boundaries, to where my work has become more abstract. I often enjoy going back to a more representational style. I find I approach the painting differently with new information to express. I would say the reverse is true when I continue with more abstracted work.
I still like to work in a representational way on occasion. It grounds me and I like “touching base”, so to speak. Then, in turn, I love the freedom to “abstract” and truly let my mind and expression with paint take over the canvas.
Where do you see your work going from here?
I think experimenting is a must to be a working artist. I don’t want to get too comfortable or stuck with one idea. Every artist has his/her own fingerprint. My style will always be my style. However, color, approach and materials can make a difference in the outcome. At the moment I am trying a bolder color palette and look forward to where it takes me.