Vibrant colors, texture and a variety of subject matter have a place in my work. My subject might be a traditional landscape, a snapshot of a place I've been or perhaps something from my imagination. At times, my ideas or thoughts about color and space may end up as an abstract work. I find inspiration in the making of art.
My curiosity is peaked as I immerse myself in the process of creating. I find myself feeling joy and connecting to love. I work in several media and use a variety of materials to make my art. Recently most of my pieces begin with acrylic or oil paint but may incorporate other media as well.
Much of my current work includes textures along with color. I may incorporate eggshell, sand, coffee grounds or tissue paper creating tactile work that begs one to touch the surface of the piece as the art comes forward to meet you.
I seek to bring the viewer into my world, be it real or imagined. Encouraging you to stop for a moment to partake, perhaps, in the inspiration I felt while creating the visual combinations I present.
I am largely self-taught. I began my career painting on remnants of old white bed sheets stretched across boards, I was 8 or maybe 10. I always wanted to paint, to build and make things and to create.
One of my most poignant childhood memories is of a visit to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC when I was about 12 years old. The most wonderful thing for me about this trip was that this was my first experience seeing in person, the amazing collection of art that is on display there.
It was so exciting to see brush strokes and textures and colors in those original works, close enough to touch. I couldn't get enough, I'd have stayed for days if that were possible. I was mesmerized watching painters who were there to copy those works.
My immediate family, my 2 parents and all 7 children (yes, 7) had traveled from our home in rural Texas by car. We frequently traveled this way and these family trips were always quite an adventure logistically considering the size of our party.
This trip wasn't about going to the Smithsonian, I'm sure as my Dad's business was our main reason for travel. However, since we were so close to the museum on this trip, our parents wanted to expose us to everything fun and educational along the way. For myself, this particular stop was extremely influential. While my family went to the many other exhibits available there, my parents allowed me to spend the majority of my day with the art. The experience solidified in me the desire and determination to be an artist.
While both my parents were somewhat non-traditional in their approach to life in general, they were always extremely supportive and encouraging when it came to my talent and my artistic muse. My mother, in fact, was an artist in her own right and always my most devoted fan.
My academic study began with art classes in high school. During that time I received a first place award for a painting I entered in a show put on by a local business organization. Beyond high school, I have joined workshops, art guilds and organizations and entered shows locally wherever I've lived, often winning awards for my work.
In 1994, much later in life than is usual, I had an opportunity to go to college, which I eagerly pursued. I attended Utah State Community College where I received an Associates degree in computer graphic design with special emphasis on traditional visual art. I took every art class I could fit into a full curriculum of study. I loved every minute and graduated in 1997 with honors.
Since that time, I have often found myself taken along with life's ups and downs, (things we all experience). Sometimes I was doing lots of art, sometimes moved away from my work for a period of time.
I currently focus more fully on my artistic pursuits. I live in and work from my home studio in College Grove, Tennessee. I am a member of The Chestnut Group which is a nonprofit alliance of landscape artists and friends dedicated to the conservation and preservation of vanishing landscapes in Middle Tennessee.
I also recently (in June 2019) joined a group of 86 outdoor painters for a full week of painting at Plein Air Magazine's “Paint the Adirondacks” 2019 Publishers Invitational. This was an inspiring and fun, week-long artist gathering held in the beautiful mountains and along the edges of the many lakes near Paul Smith's New York.
I work in a variety of mediums, such as acrylic, oil, pastel and others. I find that working in a single medium is restrictive to my artistic process. As I start in the studio each day, I usually have an idea that I want to develop or experiment with. Once I begin the process, thoughts or sudden inspiration might take me in a whole new direction. I enjoy the freedom that working in any of several mediums creates. Variety offers options and outcomes that can surprise and delight me as I work.