"The best laid plans of mice and men go often askew."
I never imagined myself painting large-scale wild life portraits, and now larger than life human portraits. The same as I never imagined being a single mom, living in a small town in Wisconsin. But that's how this life works, and without the drive to always be creating, I'm not sure I could survive it. But the hills and valleys are where this work comes from, and the motivation to always make it back over that hill. I create large-scale portraits of wildlife, pets and humans. I am interested in the raw emotion that is similar in all subjects. The energy that we all put out, simply through our eyes.
Painting is meditation for me and like most artists, the only way to be in the moment. I work large because I can physically get into the work. I can dance and use broad-brush marks. I can stay loose. When painting human flesh I always use my fingers, pushing the paint around. I use acrylic paint on paper. My background in printmaking (BFA 1999-Drawing & Printmaking) had a huge influence on my love of paper. I like the way the paint is absorbed and I appreciate how fast acrylic paint dries which allows me to work fast. It's always a learning process and thankfully I still have a lot to learn. I want my art to have an emotional connection with the viewer. I want the work to lend itself to personal meaning and to always remind the owner of the raw, quiet moments, whether those are moments of intense emotion or subtle nuances of our nature.
I have been making art my entire adult life and my goal is to become a full-time artist. I have always been a barista, an administrative assistant, a baker, and a gardener in addition to creating art. I find inspiration in daily life. The mundane. Emotion. A drive through the country. The quiet moments that exist in this high chaos, buzzing, electronic world. I'm deeply nostalgic and surround myself with family heirlooms and old books and paintings. I am drawn to the energy of a Jackson Pollock painting and the amazing, mundane portraits of Alice Neel.
I can't remember a time that I did not imagine myself becoming an artist. This is probably due to growing up inside an artistic family and being encouraged from the get-go. I'm still here, almost 40 years later, chugging along, always trying to make it up another hill.
Chuck Close, another artist whom I hold in great esteem, recently said to his friend Paul Simon "Well, of course you don't have any ideas. Sitting around waiting for an idea is the worst thing you can do. All ideas come out of the work itself."
Rhode Island School of Design
Master of Fine Arts, 2008
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1999