My first attempt at painting on I stretched canvas, directly on the studio wall, was a more immersive experience. My favorite colors seemed to paint themselves, freely abstracting the composition.
One could characterize my journey to Abstract painting as being through the back door, but I think the screen door is more accurate. From childhood, I always knew that I wanted to be a fashion designer. So, it followed that I attended the University of Houston in my home town, majoring in Fashion Design and ultimately receiving a Bachelor of Science degree. The curriculum included not only the nuts and bolts of design construction and pattern making, but many studio courses in drawing, painting, fashion illustration, color and design. As the visual arts were not a part of my formative years, my introduction to the visual arts via studio courses was a powerful nurturing experience. Extracurricular lectures in Art History led me on an exciting pathway of discovery, including art forms from ancient times, the elegance of classical art and architecture, and the bravery of the Impressionists that gave birth to Modern Art.
My work experience following college was quite varied and included Fashion Coordination, Textile Demonstration, Secretarial and Administrative work and as a Retail Buyer at our hometown favorite, D.H. Holmes, LTD. Work took me from Houston to New York, New Orleans and Chicago. During this time, I married and started a family. Through a friend and an unexpected coincidence, I opened my own Couture business for private clients in New Orleans. For 24 years, I designed and made one-of-a-kind fashions, ranging from wedding gowns, cocktail attire, debutant wardrobes and too many Queens of Mardi Gras Balls to count.
Fast forward to the present. Several years ago, I enrolled in Abstract Painting classes at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts (NOAFA). I quickly discovered that Abstract painting is more complicated and nuanced than the casual observer may realize. Through classes with the accomplished, professional artists who teach at the Academy, I have had a very thorough experience in painting, color mixing, composition, design as well as collage. Concentrated workshops at NOAFA, furthered the in-depth experience. At the beginning of the Pandemic last year, a faculty member of the Academy volunteered her time to teach an online in-depth class in Collage, with weekly Zoom critique sessions. Needless to say, it was an extraordinary experience for all of us, as well as providing a port in the storm, so to speak. While I have grown as an artist, I realize there is so much more to observe and absorb. Student is a title that I will always wear, as I continue classes at NOAFA and look forward to each new opportunity to learn and expand my craft.
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