Growing up in Michigan, we didn’t have much, so I found fun playing in our small backyard. There, my mother taught me to grow flowers and a few tomatoes. Mostly I learned to grow my imagination. I turned pink blooms of hollyhocks into princesses and ballerinas. I matched the colors of the garden with my Crayola 64
In Catholic elementary school we only had art class twice a year, so I begged to go to public junior high school to have art class everyday! I learned sewing mixed media and sold my first piece of art to my teacher for $50 - I was rich!
In high school I won an audition to attend a class with Larry Cross, a local artist. He challenged me to make six to ten projects per semester, show my work and describe my process to him. I tried jewelry, pot throwing, textile weaving, and painting; to use tools like die presses and bandsaws, mix clay and throw pots, operate a kiln, work with metals and make molds. This is when I learned I wanted to be an artist.
I am grateful for the really good art teachers I had in public school. They taught me to be resourceful – so I’ve recycled surgical sheets into stretched canvases and scavenged often for supplies. As a teen, I learned to present and to see art. But my lifetime love of art all started when I played in the dirt in my little backyard.
I paint with watercolors and oils both in the studio and pleinair, predominately botanical but I love landscapes too! My collections include original watercolors, digital art on canvas and mixed media watercolor with dried flowers in shadowboxes as well as fine art prints, cards and fine stationary.
My mixed media compositions are a combination of watercolor and actual dried flowers. I paint stems and leaves and blossom parts with watercolors and use real petals to complete. The images are framed in shadowbox to preserve the three dimensional quality of each piece.
My canvas collection involves watercolors painting, and digital manipulation to print on fabric. Each watercolor becomes a new piece of art as I create close ups from the original paintings.
As a gardener, working in dirt gives me the satisfaction of watching living things grow and a chance to witness how nature changes in form, brilliance and vibrancy throughout the seasons. That affection inspires my work in the studio and pleinair, using watercolors and mixed media. I paint flowers and show their elegance as they age and begin to fade. I survey each flower for subtle characteristics and create a color palette and composition that shows each petal, stem and root are objects of beauty. My paintings explore my feelings of growth and aging. In life, nothing stays the same. Watching flowers age from peak to faded, leaves turn from green to red and brown, when I see bare branches before they sprout their buds, I think of how a nose grows fat and ears grow long as people age. I am reminded that we are all still growing and necessary for the landscape. This is the theater of life.
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