I grew up in the West, both in Wyoming and Colorado. My father worked as a chemist for an oil company, but his heart was in the arts. He made jewelry from cut stones, fabricated small rock sculptures, and collected western paintings and sculptures. My mother was also a creative, a painter who spent late nights at the kitchen table painting landscapes and flowers. Both of my parents introduced me to the arts and to the immense satisfaction of immersing oneself in a creative project. While my main interest is in figurative work and portraiture, the expansive western landscape and my artistic upbringing has greatly influenced my work.
I'm a self-taught painter who now lives in New Orleans with my husband and dog, Taloo. And I have two kids who are off following their own creative pursuits. While I’ve been painting since my early twenties, in the last eight years I began to paint in earnest while raising kids and working. I’m interested in the complexity of the human figure, especially the female figure, and I love the challenge of painting what some artists avoid – faces and hands. I'm influenced by several contemporary painters – the breezy folksiness of Ellen Langford, the bold colors and shapes of Linda Christensen, the luscious brushstrokes of Suchitra Bhosle, and the emotive figures of Jeremy Lipking. And like just about every portrait artist, I never tire of looking at Sargent’s work.
I often move between an impressionistic and graphic style. I enjoying using bold colors while also capturing people in everyday quiet moments - drinking a morning coffee, putting on shoes, digging through a purse. I believe in the importance of recognizing the connectedness of all people, places, and objects in the universe, and feel this philosophy is a guiding force in my work as an artist. I experiment with landscapes, still lifes, and just about any subject matter, including old cars, giving these places and objects their own human-ness, their connectedness to the broader picture and to the viewer. In August 2019, I was part of my first group exhibit “Rowes and Rose” during New Orleans’ White Linen night.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Classic, personal, figurative
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in your community? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
How can you not be inspired by living in a place that values culture and creativity? New Orleans is dripping with stories and mystery, and I hope to capture some of that in my work.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
I definitely have a ritual. I fill up a glass with ice and soda (I rarely drink soda outside of this ritual) and take it into my studio where it often sits on a side table, forgotten. I usually putz around my studio for a few minutes - getting the right music going, setting the "mood," getting my supplies ready. Once I put on my painting apron, it's go time!
Where do you draw inspiration?
I mostly draw inspiration from the colors and light and creatures in nature and also from the people around me, especially my family.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
I love creating portraits, so of course, I admire and study John Singer Sargent's work. Who doesn't?
Art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
I'm a mix between a classical guitar and a banjo, if that's possible.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
I would love to be a working artist, but I'm an artist who works. So I'm usually at work. And if I'm not doing that, I'm walking with friends, walking my dog, or walking to get an ice cream.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
I love fall somewhere else that has a fall. I think my favorite month is either October of November, when it's finally starting to cool down, and I can be outside more. I also like the way the light looks at this time of year; it's diffused and a little sappy and a little melancholy.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I enjoy collecting smooth rocks that feel good in your pocket and look good in a garden or even just sitting in a bowl in my house. Pretty much every time I go somewhere out of town, I'll pick up a rock and bring it home with me. I used to know which rock came from which place, but no longer.
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Where You Can Find My Work
Works listed online may be available to be viewed at Where y’Art Works Gallery by appointment.