When did you first realize you were an artist?
I’ve always made art. As a child, I loved getting paints and pastels for Christmas and was creating portraits of my cats by age nine; but didn’t really think of myself as an artist until starting to enroll in drawing and design classes in college. It was an epiphany. I finally had a glimmer of what I might do with my life.
Could you tell us about your work?
I think of myself as a sculptor, as even my paintings seem to take on sculptural qualities. A lot of my work evolves from my affinity with nature and animals. I am fascinated by mythology and children’s stories in which animals take on human characteristics and vice versa. Through my sculptural figures, paintings, and collages I want to hint at these archetypical stories through humor, pathos, and mystery. The sculptor in me will not allow a simple canvas to remain untouched. I must add to the edges or excavate the surface to create places for the figures to reside.
What artists have influenced your work?
I think my work is mostly influenced by pre Renaissance art. I am obsessed with religious icons from Europe and Mexico. These ancient images have a timelessness that seems fresh even today. I think I am also influenced by the work of assemblage artists such as Joseph Cornell and Kurt Schwitters as well as the beautiful Art Nouveau pattern work of Gustav Klimt.
What is your creative inspiration?
I get a lot of inspiration from traveling; seeing new landscapes, new museums, and experiencing different cultures. Seeing history through art and architecture is amazing to me. I always come home with ideas for new series or combinations of media or formats. I’m also inspired by the life around me, the colors of the tomatoes growing in the garden, finding a rock with a hole in it, watching the birds at the feeders; the simple events and images that make up my life.
What other interests do you have besides creating art?
My other interests are gardening (only flowers, my husband does the veggies), reading obsessively, riding my bike, and travel. We live on a farm and raise chickens and sheep, so I also spend some time shearing, spinning and weaving the wool from my sheep.
What advice would you give to a new artist?
Go to your room and work every day; even if it’s only for a short time. If you are serious about making art you have to discipline yourself to work even if you have no ideas. It’s like a job. To succeed, you have to be there every day.
Could you give some advice about the business side of being an artist?
I am probably not a good source for business advice. I find that part of being an artist very difficult. My personality is such that I’m more comfortable working in my studio rather than hob-knobbing with the influential. I have friends who are much better at that than I, so I enlist their help at times. So I guess my advice is to have good friends.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
My husband and I are making plans to move overseas within the next few years, so I’m hoping more travel is in the future. I will continue to create art inspired by my experiences. So I see myself working in a new studio with a very different view.
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