When did you first realize you were an artist?
First, thank you for the opportunity to share a little about myself and my art. All my life I have been artistic and I come from a very creative family so I guess art is in my genes. My paternal grandmother was an amazing seamstress and my maternal grandmother was an incredible pianist. My mother works with, clay hand-building wonderful pots and bowls and my father works in metal and steel and built a Model T Roadster from the ground up. My parents have many drawings and paintings from my childhood and it’s interesting that I still use the same color palette today. I learned from an artist friend that our color palette choices are formed at a very early age.
Could you tell us about your work?
Primarily, I consider myself an abstract painter and I also love working with fine art collage. Frequently, I also add other materials such as India ink, oil pastel, charcoal, colored pencil and markers in my pieces and use a layering process to create texture and depth. Working intuitively, I always allow each layer to dry before applying the next coat. This process allows time for the painting to “speak” to me about what comes next. Expressionistic movement or graffiti marks are also painted intuitively and I love the impression they give of writing; almost as if it were a visual journal of my artistic process.
What artists have influenced your work?
The dynamic and energetic abstract expressionist movement has really influenced my work and Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline and Joan Mitchell are a few of my favorites. It has been incredible to see their work in person at MoMA in New York. I was also fortunate to visit Pollock’s home and studio in East Hampton, NY last September. It was very surreal to walk on the paint splattered floors where he worked.
What is your creative inspiration?
New Mexico was my birthplace and I lived in the southwestern U.S. throughout my childhood. The strong colors and dramatic scenery along with the art and architecture of this dynamic region has greatly influenced my color choices and use of abstracted symbols. The bright sunlight and deep shadows of the desert are reflected in the strong value change and the use of black and white in my paintings. Having lived in Georgia most of my adult life, the mountains and coast provide ongoing stimulation that changes with the seasons. Lifelong loves for travel and dissimilar cultures and settings are always motivating and have a powerful impact on my pieces.
What other interests do you have besides creating art?
Hiking in the North Georgia Mountains; kayaking; traveling; and spending time with my wonderful husband Mark; great family and friends. I’m also an avid reader and have been with a book club that I helped form almost 20 years ago. Spending time with other artists is very motivating and fun so I belong to several artist groups that meet regularly for critique; gallery hops and sharing of ideas and information.
What advice would you give to a new artist?
Explore, explore, explore. Making art is fun and there are so many different mediums, styles and materials from which to choose. Take the time and find your own unique voice and what motivates and inspires you. Each of us brings our own unique perspective and experience to our artwork and that is what makes it so distinctive and special.
Could you give some advice about the business side of being an artist?
Start a mailing list as soon as possible and keep in regular touch with your collectors – defined as anyone with an interest in your art. Keep good records and images of your work. There are many software programs for artists but I use a simple Excel spreadsheet. Read articles and books about the business/marketing side of art and apply what makes sense for you. Make sure you have a nicely designed website and keep it updated regularly. Hand out business cards with images of your art to anyone who expresses an interest. Network with other artists and find out what has worked for them. Chances are it may work for you too.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
In ten years I plan to be living in the North Georgia Mountains with my husband and painting fulltime from my studio there. I would love to have expanded gallery representation and a variety of other outlets to show and sell my paintings which would give me a chance to travel. Last year, I illustrated and published a motivational art book with my mother and enjoyed the project very much. I’d like to explore other creative opportunities that lie outside of my comfort zone. Most of all, I view my art as a bridge between all the ways in which we are different — yet very much the same — and hope that my paintings have a positive impact on all who see them.
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