"My artistic drive is a constant hum within me. It is never completely absent from my thoughts and actions. It is the lens by which I view the world.
There is an invigorating sense of satisfaction by creating something exquisite that has never existed before. That is part of the buzz I get from creating art."
At heart, I am a Midwesterner, having lived most of my life in the middle of the US. Although, I’ve been fortunate to have lived in seven states and Italy. But my feet feel firmly grounded when I am in some of my favorite cornfields or horse pastures in Nebraska or Minnesota. There is a lovely subtlety to the landscape in the Midwest that I find calming.
I have been an artist my whole life. I can remember creating art and loving the process when I was as young as four-years old. It was at Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha when I was five when I won my first art contest. They used my art on the cover of the spring program for the museum. Every Saturday morning as a youngster I had a class that I adored at the museum. So, you can imagine that I am a huge advocate of exposing kids to museums, and to art, at a young age.
"My point of view for art is generally that of a five-year-old child with a tool in her hand for making art. I want to re-create my childlike perspective of awe and curiosity. And, then share that insight with you, the viewer.
In my art as well as a personal outlook on life, I plan to never lose that connection to my point of view as a five-year-old child."
A maker of art and a teacher of makers
My interest in art has continued throughout my life, and continues today. For the last few decades my passion has been divided between being a maker of art, and being a teacher of makers.
Having been blessed with some extraordinary teachers, I am far from a self-taught artist.
I have had dozens of classes in art and art history:
• 8 semesters of watercolor
• 8 semesters of photography
• 8 semesters art history
• 6 semesters drawing
• 5 semesters of textiles and design
• 4 semesters of typography and graphic design.
Plus, color theory, pottery, branding, package design, sculpture, weaving, computer graphics, and not nearly enough drawing. There is always room for more drawing.
Some of the artists I have studied under include: Jim Alinder, Gerald Brommer, Antonioni Catelina, Carol Carter, Cheng-Khee Chee, Joe Fettingus, Frank Francese, Lois Gruberger, Keith Jacobshagen, Paul Jackson, Margaret Keller, Nita Leland, Skip Lawrence, Zenaide Luhr, Charles Reid, Steven Quiller and Janet Walsh. I have my master’s degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University.And, in turn, I teach art to one or more students nearly every day.
And, in turn, I teach art to one or more students nearly every day.
For over 30 years, I have taught at various venues including Cleveland Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, Illinois Central College, and many community recreational centers and in youth art programs. I have presented lectures at art galleries and institutions such as Harvard University, and national conferences. I currently teach online through TakeLessons.com and in person at workshops and lectures across the US.
"As a teacher, I learn so much from my students through their questions and their work. I want my students to develop their own style; their own voice. I don't want anyone becoming a clone of me. Your art should reflect you. It should be a culmination of your creativity, your observations, and your artistic vision."
Current & Future Work
Currently, my work generally is watercolor and textile art, including collage. My goal is to tell a story—or to suggest a story. I am less interested in just a landscape or just a thing sitting there. I want to suggest that there is a narrative attached to whatever it is I am interpreting. And, how you interpret it doesn’t have to match my mental story. But I want you to get involved in thinking about the painting, or the hooked rug, or the collage. What happens next? Who is that? Why is that cell phone on the table? Who lives in those houses up on the hill?
I learned how important this is from my sister, Ann. As she and I paint or sketch or draw with each other, she wants to know what is going on in each of the drawings I create. She wants to know the “back story.” Of course! We all want a story. So, now more than ever, woven into my work, I try to have elements that nudge you to think about what is going on.As I look to the future and new work, I am exploring how to combine the components of painting (paint, brush strokes, and pressed cotton as the paper substrate) with the components of textiles (woven threads created of natural materials, sometimes cotton, with stitching, dyeing, and potentially three-dimensional construction components). So far, I am just sort of swimming around the ideas. I haven’t figured it out yet. For me, that’s how art works itself out of my head and into a tangible thing.