For me art making is about learning to follow my own intuition and to trust the process. Shapes and colors found in nature, fashion, the human form, ancient architecture, and negative spaces inform my painting and color choices.
In art and art history classes in high school and college, I was especially taken with works from the ancient world and the 20th century - both eras feature deconstructed shapes and abstraction, which is still what I am most interested in seeing in art and creating in my own. One of my earliest art experiences was making blind contour sketches, and that practice has stayed with me.
After teaching school in the Bay Area and New York, I moved to New Orleans in 2006. Starting about 10 years ago I took several classes at the Academy of Fine Art, reminding me of my interest in art-making, and it has been a part of my life and practice ever since.
I live in New Orleans with my husband Matt, our three teenagers, a dog and two cats.
Photo: Harlin Miller @harlinmillerjr
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Layered, saturated, moody
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
I value my art community so much! The support and encouragement is always there.
During daily walks in my neighborhood I encounter so much natural beauty, I am always taking photos of cracks in the sidewalk or resurrection ferns.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
A new piece often begins with a specific color or shape that I have noticed in art, fashion, nature, or architecture. As I get into the painting, color mixing become instinctive and the forms become more abstracted. Abstract/non-representational paintings often begin with a greater focus on shape and composition formed in blind contour drawings of something out my window, in my studio, or from an earlier sketch or photo of nature or ancient architecture.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Ancient architecture, nature, fashion, human form, negative spaces, unique color combinations
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
Amy Smilovic (Tibi), Steve McCarthy (Song of the Sea), Wes Anderson (Isle of Dogs), Roald Dahl, Ezra Jack Keats, Shel Silverstein, Mary Oliver, Rohtko, Jennifer Packer, Aimee Farnet Siegel, Jordan Casteel
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
My studio soundtrack is as varied as my moods: Shovels and Rope, Childish Gambino, Indigo Girls, Macklemore, Band of Horses, The Who, Rihanna, R.E.M., First Aid Kit, Lizzo, Bon Iver, Queen, Jay Z, Lorde, The Eagles, Haim, Sufjan Stevens, Brandi Carlile, Tracey Chapman, Avett Brothers
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
Walking my dog Amy, hanging out with my family, watching Schitt’s Creek
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
Golden hour, Friday, October
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
My favorite food is French fries with mayo.