My first memory related to art is at the age
of five in kindergarten at Oakdale Elementary School in Salina,
Kansas. Wearing a little painting smock, I remember standing before
a child's two-sided easel with the paint pots in the tray at the
bottom and being totally mesmerized by the moving blob of red
paint that I had just brushed on the paper. I watched it run all
the way down the length of the paper. I was hooked!
From then on, I have created art all of my life.
I recall only a very few times over the years when I was not doing
something involved with art. Even before attaining my Bachelor
of Fine Arts degree in Painting from The University of Kansas,
I participated in numerous art classes and professional workshops.
I lived in England for three years during my early twenties which
was an inspiring and educational experience for me in many ways.
It was there that I first became interested in ancient civilizations
-- a pursuit that continues to influence my work to this day.
The initial inspiration for my art is place, whether familiar
Kansas landscapes or new vistas from travels. I have visited many
important Native American sites in the Southwest and the Midwest
of the USA. A recent trip to Belgium, Scotland, and to the islands
of Orkney, Shetland, and the Outer Hebrides will, without a doubt,
influence my current work. In my travels, I always explore the
history and culture of each place, and then imagery and meanings
of the visit appear in my work upon returning to the studio. I
am waiting for this recent travel muse to tap me on the shoulder!
A painter for many years, I have worked in a
variety of media including pastel, acrylic and oil, as well as
the printmaking processes of lithography and monoprinting. I like
combining these techniques in the form of collage using found
objects such as wood, stones, bones, and shells that may be affixed
to a painted background or to a piece of handmade paper. Attaching
objects to the paper with linen cord serves a practical purpose,
and at the same time, the exposed hand-stitching becomes a design
element and adds a desirable texture to the piece.
I find that working in two distinct styles of
landscape -- realism and the collage technique of combining disparate
three-dimensional elements -- complements each phase of my work.
It keeps my work fresh, and opens up new ideas for experimenting
in each medium. Eyes wide open, I still look in wonder at the
red paint running along the edge, and I know I will never lose
my enthusiasm for creating!