Artist Statement and bio
As a trauma survivor, my art provides me with peace and grounding. Exploration, discovery and challenge are integral parts of my creative process. I enjoy indirect painting methods such as decalcomania, reductive painting and grisaille, but recently began to use direct methods. My current work delves into the deeper meaning of abstract works, having defined purpose for each color stroke and design choice. It is influenced from my perspective as a childless female, and the unique creative role I play in the complex mechanisms of Life.
I grew up in the agricultural community of Shannon, Georgia among a family of musicians. Piano and voice were my introduction to music, but I eventually gravitated towards the foundation of rhythm, learning bass and drums. I found visual art independently when I entered high school, and my family supported my wish to hone those talents.
I was accepted into the newly developed honors art course offered by my high school and received Honorable Mention for a graphite portrait I entered at the urging of my art instructor in the 1993 7AA District Georgia Congressional Art Competition. I continued to produce some pieces of work on my own after graduation and earned sporadic commissioned work.
In 1998, I moved from The South and started a band with friends in Tucson, AZ. The band dissolved, and I sought out a new career course in Machine Tool Technology, inspired by my grandfather who was a skilled carpenter, church deacon, and violinist. My time with my grandfather left a lasting love for the natural world, as we spent summer days gardening and observing the evening skies after our work was finished. My career choice was not understood or supported by the women in my family or many of my peers, but it felt like the ideal choice for me since it was a marriage of mathematical precision and resourceful creativity. After earning credit toward an Associate of Applied Science degree, I enjoyed a 19 year career in metalworking, and became a skilled milling machine operator and welder in a variety of applications.
During the span of my metalworking career, I turned back to Fine Arts, completing an Associate of Fine Art. I gravitated toward Art History and a specially designed course applying media and materials through the ages on select projects, beginning with art of the Middle Ages. I was particularly fascinated with the creation of illuminated manuscripts from start to finish and how the colors of our modern palette were discovered. In the process of earning my Associate's I was nearly forced to discontinue my studies in the fall of 2012 when I was rushed to the hospital for a severe uterine hemorrhage that almost cost my life. After an emergency hysterectomy, I still tried to study and attempted to submit course work online from my hospital room as much as my energy would allow. I resumed normal attendance after two weeks recovery and graduated with honors in the Spring of 2013.
After a period of regrouping, I returned to my work as a welder. In 2018, I experienced a severe crush trauma that resulted in damage to tendons in my hand and a left me with a permanent contracture of my fingers. I was forced to reassess my career and chose to focus more earnestly on my talent as a visual, 2D artist.
Movement is the central theme in my current work. It explores the microcosm and macrocosm of existence. Using palette knives and large, painterly brush strokes, I strive to depict the movement on micro and quantum levels which sustains all of life in the Universe. Expressive landscapes are represented with contrasting colors and brush stroke techniques, using an impressionistic fat over lean method for earth and rocks and more precise, fine detail to represent foliage. I choose vibrant colors to express how even static objects are alive and contrasts acknowledge the different, important functions that each element, plant and animal serves in moving our macrocosm.