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Artist's Interview

How long have you been creating?
For about as long as I can remember. I was a quiet kid, and spent most of my time away from friends indoors reading, writing, drawing, and working on other creative "projects" as my mother called them, who often joked that I could amuse myself with just about anything. I learned alot from my grandmother and from library books like sewing, knitting, emroidery, tie dye, batik, and macrame among other things. Outdoors and in, I did alot of collecting and hunting and gathering for future, often less traditional projects using found objects and things from the woods and fields near my home. Some of my more extreme efforts involved digging up clay I found in the banks of a pond near my home (which I had every intention of trying to fire with a campfire,) and making red fabric dye out of onion skins on my mom's new stove. I was a weird kid.
What other artists and movements inform your work?
If I could name only one artist who has influenced me, it would have to be Julian Schnabel. I first learned of him when some commissioned children's portraits he had done were photographed in the home of a New York family featured in a decorating magazine. I still don't know what it was about his work that moved me, perhaps the connection with my still lingering proclivity for hunting, gathering, and finding uses for "junk," or his use of 3 dimensional objects on a 2 dimensional surface to create a likeness. But he was the first contemporary artist I had ever taken a real interest in, and making the effort to learn more about his work opened the door, so to speak, to other art and artists I frankly hadn't known existed before.
How would you describe your work?
Colorful, casual, fun, sometimes irreverent, and usually not too concerned with the rules of artmaking or too serious in execution or content. Life is full of rules and serious enough for me as it is.
What are your motivations for creating?
Lots of time to myself and plenty of art supplies on hand. Unfortunately, I'm easily distracted, and with so many other responsibilities of home, kids, family, and running my husband's business from home, along with the requisite financial constraints of keeping one's art supplies stocked, it's often a challenge for me to create as much as I'd like.
What do you find stimulating right now? How does this influence your creative process?
Humble, inanimate objects for the most part. I found it kind of humorous when thinking about this question that even many of my paintings that do have people in them use the person as a "prop" to some degree, and are there primarily to hold an object of some kind, display an article of clothing, etc. And color, of course. If I see a color I like, you can bet I'll mix it up and find a way to get it into a painting.
You are a breast cancer survivor--what can you tell others about art & healing?
Being diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer was a difficult, even surreal period in my life. I had my surgery the day before the twin towers came down, and recuperated and had radiation during the fallout period immediately afterward. As a result, the two will probably forever go hand in hand in my mind and memory, the reference to one inevitably calling up feelings of the other. In attempting to come to terms with and live with the reality of both, painting and creating has proven to be great therapy, if for no other reason than it is a comforting constant in the midst of personal and global uncertainty, change, and chaos.
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
Just that I am happy to be considered an "artist" at all. I think I always thought that to be a real artist, one's work had to look a certain way, following in the path of the realists perhaps. What I'm just now starting to realize and celebrate is that my art is my art, for better or worse. It looks like my art, which is why I think I never quite accepted it, something I am still working on. What I'm learning is that like a fingerprint or a snowflake, each artists work is unique, and that is how it is supposed to be! It may not fit into the current "market" of what sells and what doesn't, but rather than try to moderate, or adjust, or change it to conform to that, I'm finding a lot of happiness and personal sense of accomplishment accepting mine as it is and letting it grow in its own unique way. I think being exposed to so many great artists as a part of EBSQ, and finding so many wonderful collectors interested in supporting my work, has really helped me with this. Thank you all!

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