At first glance, my paintings appear to be quiet little landscapes or a simple still life. They are scenes of flowers or rolling hills cut with a lazy river. Upon closer examination, these paintings are anything but still. Hydrangeas, tulips, corn fields and rock walls vibrate with bold color and repetition of pattern. My process is a combination of block printing and painting on canvas which is then collaged. My inspirations are the beauty of nature and the works of Matisse, Van Gogh and Klimt.
My “green” work is inspired by my love of color and pattern, and, my appreciation of the beautiful catalogs that arrive daily in my mailbox. I love to pour through the paper images and hate to throw them away. About a year ago it occurred to me to incorporate them in my work as additional sources of repeated patterns and levels of color that would be impossible to recreate using only paint. The addition of occasional text is a random bonus. Once in a while a word or phrase finds its way into a painting and that reinforces the message that I am trying to convey. Sometimes it will inspire a title. The use of these papers serve the purpose of adding color and texture to a painting and supports the composition being developed in a spontaneous way. The flurry of activity that results is a final piece that is active, vibrant and unexpected. I love the fact that I additionally pay homage to the designer who created the patterns of the fashions being advertised and the graphic designers who spend hours putting the images on the pages together. It’s my way of recognizing their work as well as complimenting my own. It is recycling in the best possible way.
My desire is that my paintings convey my love of life and the little river valley in which I live. Fleeting moments of a flower’s beauty, the evening sun on the trees across the river, the cardinal who lands on the crabapple branch; these moments are the subject of my paintings. My use of bold color intends to force the viewer to stop and notice the moment. Warmth and intensity, action and energy, happiness and contentment: these are the things I express. Enjoy the beauty and magnificence of nature and celebrate every day!
I grew up in a home filled with creativity. My mother was a painter and my father was a writer who also dabbled in advertising. As a child I rejected art classes and learned to speak Spanish and play tennis. While a freshman at Miami University, I discovered the Art Department was where I belonged. I received my degree in Art and Education with a heavy concentration in Art History. My career as an art teacher took me to several schools, finally finding my school home at Mariemont High School. I spent 25 years teaching art at Mariemont. During that time I earned my Master’s Degree from Xavier University. My continued art education was filled with classes at the Art Academy, Miami summer courses and classes with a local artist. I retired from teaching in 2006 to devote my energy to being a full time artist. Most recently, I returned to Xavier to teach a drawing class for the Art Department.
The best things I have learned in my studies I learned in my own classroom. Thirty three years in the classroom teaching art to high school students taught me many things. Value every ” accident” with the materials you use… it may lead to something unimagined and great. Be spontaneous with your work. You can capture that energy. Another pair of eyes can help you work your way out of a corner. A schedule is not necessarily a bad thing. It can help you develop a great work ethic. Art history is a wonderful place to start.
The main thing I learned from my parents, teachers, students and friends is: Never stop learning. Education doesn’t end when you earn a degree. It is just the beginning.