I am a professional multi-disciplinary artist presently working on several different series thematically represented by imaginary environments, abstract organics, water and small creatures. Some of my most influential artists are Leon Golub, El Greco, B. Kruger, Goya, Cindy Sherman, David Park and former professor H. Røgeberg.
Growing up in a small mid-western town where art was not essential or valued at the time meant I had a late start compared to some of my colleagues. I wasn’t born with a brush in my hand nor did I start drawing when I was 3. However, I was naturally creative with what I had available to me as a kid and spent tremendous amounts of time outdoors imagining, playing and writing. I realize now looking back, a dynamic imagination is one of the footholds in a strong artistic foundation.
zero to 60 in moments
The 3rd year in college is where my choices fully opened and I suddenly learned I had a talent for painting. I’d like to be clear how fortunate I am — a lot of life events could have happened that didn’t. Some of my personality traits helped propel me through this period in my life. I went from zero to 60 in moments and did it while battling progressive severe ulcerative colitis. I was also given a lot of help for which I am grateful.
The artwork I produced at the University of Kansas triggered scholarship awards, exhibitions and later KU purchased the painting (the first time in the school’s history) “Unity”. I was then encouraged to study and the School of the Art Institute Chicago for the summer painting and sculpture programs – another major eye opener. I’d never seen a museum like the Art Institute Chicago before in my life.
Stubborn? No, Determined
I graduated with a BFA and honors in painting and was accepted into the MFA program at University of Washington, Seattle. I flourished in the studio environment, grew to treasure the freedom professors granted me and loved the diverse cultural events Seattle offered.
There was a point during this time I was becoming terribly ill and thought I would have to drop out of grad-school. I refused. I mean it – I absolutely refused. I took 3 months off, had 3 major surgeries and stubbornly insisted on returning as soon as I could. Call me Ms. Determined. After grad-school, instead of moving to NYC as expected, I relocated to Los Angeles. I was young (recovering from life-altering surgeries), wanted to experience all kinds of worlds, do the unexpected and get to know something completely different. I continued to paint, show in group exhibitions and consistently sold work in South Hollywood.
Bananas, yes bananas
To fund my studio pursuits and ultimately help support my family, I worked as an interface designer that led to a stellar long term career in web development. I wrote for Yahoo! and Microsoft, was a guest expert for Microsoft Small Business and the lead creative force behind countless companies including many big named brands such as WD-40 Company and Chiquita Bananas. Yes, bananas. During my web career I continued to make art, but there was always an element of unrest because of the constant divided attention between a demanding career and time in the studio. In 2012, I made one of the best decisions of my life — to return my entire focus to painting, drawing and photography. I have never been happier.
“I feel fortunate to have lived and worked all over the place (Washington DC being my favorite in some ways) and seen/breathed-in/felt so much. It feels great to be in my studio 100% — it’s where I am meant to be.”
Being and artistry is poetic liberty. Profound and full of discovery where I am free to indulge in the process of painting with a thoughtful purposeful hand. I find myself deliberately creating works of contradiction where the beautiful lives on one side – organized disaster on the other.
Cerebral paired with romantically obvious elements. Intent. Gentle brutality and unpredictable humor. These conflicting elements begin to reform meanings and plots in the unfolding drama of found spaces – defined through color, canvas and imprint.