My paintings are contemporary reflections of an evolving journey through what was once a typical life – an equal mix of beauty, joy and love, challenged by frustration, fear and loss.
I came late to my passion. I am, for the most part, self-taught, but the few people with whom I have studied have given me the path on which I tread in grace. I give thanks to Frankie Johnson (Main Street Art Gallery, Lake Zurich, IL.) for telling me ‘I could” and then showing me the way.
Then there was Charlie Lyons, printmaker/gallery owner and frequent juror for the Miller Art Museum’s annual juried show, who looked at my work (in 2004) and invited me to participate in The Paint Box Gallery’s annual invitational miniature show. For the first time in my fledgling art career, I felt I was a ‘real’ artist.
The next year, while critiquing the museum show, he commented on my painting reflecting on, “the simple quality of the brush work, lots of energy. Look down into the ‘calm’ area. You see the colors, the knife marks and know there’s a lot going on beneath the surface.”
I felt understood as an artist.
Later, Margaret Lockwood, “artiste extraordinaire” (Woodwalk Gallery, Carlsville, WI.) with her quiet and calm strength and beauty, opened up a world of artists (the Abstract Expressionists) to me. She talked about “space” and the varying ways of looking at the “blank white canvas.” She, with her generosity of spirit, took the time to listen and affirm my path in the past and continues to do so today.
Early works of mine were representational, mostly landscapes and a few portraits. As my conviction and comprehension of the internal dynamics of art came together, I began to take risks on canvas. My paintings often began as landscapes and evolved into an abstract expression of my emotions. I often paint to the accompaniment of music… jazz, pop, classical, depending upon what suits my mood at that moment in time.
I began working with palette knives early on in my career. At first, it was just to add texture to works which seemed, to me, a bit flat. This was an exciting moment for me. I found working with a knife afforded me a freedom greater than I had experienced with brushes. It seemed I could push my emotions through the knife and onto the canvas. Each stroke with the knife and thick paint had to be intentional and energetic. I believe this can be seen and felt on the canvas.
Today, my work flows toward non-objective – art without representational links to a material world. Free access to right brain conceptualization, thinking without thought, frees me of the need to create representational landscapes. What I now create originates from the spiritual, from intuition, more about process and flow, color, form, texture and energy.
Individual lives remain fragile and fleeting, and in recognition of this truth, I intend to continue my life as an artist and educator whose soul is revealed in my action.