Artist Statement | My interest in art is life long. As a child I constantly drew and doodled. This interest in art persisted throughout my career as a nurse educator. While I raised my children and practiced nursing, I took my first real art class. I learned how to use the mediums of oil and acrylic paint. The principles learned in decorative painting led me to design my own patterns for the painting of birds, flowers, and other subjects. Art remained my hobby until my retirement.
In 2005 I realized my dream of moving, with my husband, to Michigan's beautiful Leelanau county. In the fall of 2006 I took my first pastel painting class at the Old Art Building in Leland, Michigan and fell in love with pastel. I have been painting almost exclusively with pastels since then. Since my first class with Jerry Power, I have studied under Susan Quinlan, Mary Fuscaldo, Ron Monsma, Bob Rohm, William Hosner, and Jim Markle. I have submitted art to juried shows and been accepted into a number of them. I has also participated in several art fairs was asked to show my paintings at the Good Harbor Gallery. I am also currently exhibiting my art at Gallery 22 in Suttons Bay where I am a founding member.
As an active member of the Leelanau Artists at the Old Art Building, the Glen Arbor Art Association and the Art Center of Traverse City, I frequently take classes and participate in shows in the local community. I am also a member of the Great Lakes Pastel Society and will be attending the International Association of Pastel Societies convention in June 2011. This year I am also looking forward to painting at a nine day workshop/retreat with Richard McKinley, an internationally known pastel painter, in the Lot Valley of France. I am living my dream.
Painting is my passion and my priority.
Artist Interview |
Q:What was your first memorable experience with art?
A: I recall my mother teaching me to draw a face when I was 3 or 4 years old. It was the profile of a face and I don't think, as a child, I had ever really looked at a face in profile before. It took me a while to figure out what she was doing. When I finally was able to draw it, I was thrilled.
Q: Can you explain when you first knew you wanted to become an artist? Who/What turned you on to Art?
A: Although I always loved art and enjoyed art class in elementary school, I never thought that I was good at it. My friend and I both liked to draw and I recall drawing horses together when we were in the 3rd grade. I thought that hers were better. I had a favorite comic book, "Mary Jane and Sniffles". Sniffles was a mouse and taught Mary Jane how to become as small as he. Then they would walk into a picture. That was my wish. I wanted to become a part of a painting.
Then, when I was twelve, I started to design clothes for my paper dolls. I learned how to make the paper dress look like satin or velvet or lace and loved to make new dress designs. I had a very well dressed paper doll. At that time I wanted to be a dress designer.
Q: Is there any single piece of artwork that has impacted you as a child? An adolescent? An adult?
A: As a child I was not exposed to much art. I did go to an art museum when I was in fifth grade and enjoyed looking at the Renaissance art there. As an adolescent, I saw a photo of the Mona Lisa and wondered how the textures and skin could be rendered in such a way. I had never had the opportunity to use oil paint or any other artistic medium other than crayons and pencil. As an adult, I remember being enthralled when I saw an exhibit of post-impressionistic art. One of the paintings by Franz Mark , The Yellow Cow, I believe, really captured my attention and I bought a print of it. In recent years I have been able to go to Italy and to France. The art there was wonderful. In Italy I was able to view Michaelangelo's David close up. In France I saw the Monet exhibit of the waterlilies and other impressionistic art at the D'Orsay and the Orangerie. What a fabulous experience! Of course the Louvre was very exciting and I was especially taken with the statue Winged Victory.
Q: What artists influenced you the most? Current Influences?
A: I think that the wonderful artists of the 19th America influenced me the most. Although, I must say I do not paint like any of them. I love the Hudson River Valley painters such as Frederick Church and Bierstandt. I also love the work of the American Regionalists and the Canadian Seven. I am recently very attracted to more abstract art and am learning more about that.
Q: What do you like most about the medium and surface you use?
A:I fell in love with pastel about seven years ago and have not wanted to paint with anything else since then. I was fortunate to have a wonderful teacher and artist introduce me to pastel and I am still using much of what he taught me. I love the immediacy of the pastel stick. I love that you can draw and paint with it. I love the intense beautiful colors available. They can be put on dry and then wetted with water or mineral spirits or alcohol to create an underpainting. More pastel can then be layered on top of the underpainting. Recently I have taken several workshops with a master pastelist, Richard McKinley and have enjoyed learning from him. I use sanded paper, usually Wallace or U-Art of 400-500 grit. The sandpaper is archival and holds the pastel well. I do not spray my paintings after I am finished. I usually double mat my paintings and use glass when framing.
Q: What ideas are behind you current work?
A: My ideas which I attempt to convey through my paintings are that everything is connected, that nature is very lovely in all seasons, that beauty may be found in the mundane, and that art is from the heart and the spirit. My main focus is to share through my paintings the beauty that I see.
Q: What do you want people to respond to in your work?
A: I would like to convey a sense of pattern and design to viewers. I also enjoy working with color and want the mood of my paintings to be conveyed by my use of color and value. Movement is an inherent part of all living creation and I try to convey a sense of life and movement. Since I am in love with nature, the landscape and waterscape are my favorite subject matter. I want viewers to feel as if they could place themselves in the picture and travel through it.
Q: Do you have a predetermined idea of what your finished work will be like, or do the ideas emerge in process?
A: Usually I have a scene in mind. I do not attempt to paint it photographically. I try to "be the tree" or the lake or the dune. I love to paint en plein air where I can feel the breath of the wind, the warmth of the sun, etc. I think intuition plays a significant role in my paintings and is something I am deleloping.
Q: How would you describe your work to a visually disabled person?
A: I would say yellow is used to convey the sunshine as it floods over the landscape. Green turns to yellow-green in the brightest sun. In the shadows where the sunshine does not reach, the coolness of the shade is conveyed by colors like purple or violet. I would try to involve the tactile senses, describing temperature, texture, etc.
Q: What are your goals for your work in the next few years?
A: My goal is to have fun painting. Having fun involves giving up a certain amount of control and trying to connect with nature and let her guide me in my process. I am a late bloomer, and in the time I have left, I want to become a better artist every day. I want to paint every day and I want to continue to learn more every day.