The How and the Why
I confess to being one of those artists who was making before she could talk. My parents filled my hands with crayons, finger-paints, needles and thread, and at a frighteningly young age, a jigsaw - and today all ten fingers still remain. However, while I was creative as a child, it was not until my early 20s that I truly recognized ART as a lifelong career choice. I tried every medium available in college, finding small bits and pieces of myself every place I looked. And after, ehem, a rather long university experience, I came to know that as long as I was making, as long as I was translating experience, emotion, belief and message into something tangible, that I was fulfilling something deep within me.
For me, so much of the process of art making is in the seeing and intaking of the earth, and the bounty that she provides. I crave constant communion with nature. As someone with workaholic tendencies (I love my studio more than food), I know I must make the daily conscious decision to emerse myself in nature, be it hiking the alpine lakes of the Pacific Northwest with my dogs or simply laying under the apple tree in my backyard watching clouds and hearing the minutia of life churning in the soil. That daily practice gives me meditative pause, a chance to quite the mind and look objectively at my surroundings, and open my heart to the messages of the earth and sky.
I find that the distilled elements of nature are the absolute foundation stones to all my work; both in paint and silver. For years now I've attempted to record the lines of tree branches, the curve of a particular stretch of beach, the arc of wind-sweep over a mountain, the outlines of every single found gift I pick up while walking in the woods. Those years of drawing, recording, studying have filled sketchbooks with shapes that I reference constantly. In paint I move between very literal interpretations of blooms and leaves to very abstract budding shapes that reference the venation patterns of dragonfly wings or dripping surfaces that reference the eternal rain soaked lichen here. In silver I often ask what is the simplest shape that will convey experience or meaning - letting a single hand-carved sterling antler speak of the wild backwoods or a deeply reticulated twig signify the bareness of winter. Through it all, I must give credit where credit is due; this marvelous earth we inhabit offers endless inspiration and I am one of the lucky ones to wander her hillsides with open eyes.