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Artist's Interview

How long have you been creating
My first painting was around the age of 10. I was fascinated with rocks and collected them by the pocketfuls, and one day my Mom introduced the idea of painting them...I was instantly hooked. I enjoyed art all through school and it became a big part of my identity. I dreamed of being able to support myself through my art...not to be rich, but just earning a living by doing the thing I loved most. I toyed with pencil drawings, pen & ink, watercolor, acrylics, pastels, mixed media, etc., but painting on 3 dimensional surfaces continues to be my favorite. There's just something magical about working with natural sculptures, using paints to bring out the illusions I see in them so that everyone else can see them too.
How would you describe your work?
Oh that's a tough one...My art is very much like me, in that it doesn't completely fit under any label or category. I describe my 3D pieces as collaborations with nature because I work with natural sculptures created by water and use paint to express my own interpretations, building on what is already there. I guess my other art is sort of a medley of everything else that makes, and it's always evolving.
What are your motivations for creating?
As a child, creativity and imagination were such a huge part of who I was, which didn't always work in my favor. I was so artistically wired that I could barely pay attention in school...Always the day dreamer. In my twenties, after starting my own family, I struggled with clinical depression, which caused me to be outrageously insecure - a complete social phobic and virtually incapable of being truly happy. I began to loath myself, and stopped creating all together. After nearly 10 years of this, I was finally diagnosed with a chemical imbalance brought on by pregnancy and childbirth, and was put on medication. That helped, but not completely...Instead of feeling worthless, I just felt I didn't know who I was anymore, my heart felt numb and my mind was in a fog. Then after moving to Whidbey, I began to paint again (thanks to the beaches FULL of inspiring stones), and it was like I finally found 'me' again after nearly 13 years. Now I'm completely medication (and fog) free. Emotions are very much associated with colors for me...maybe because I rediscovered them at the same time. My motivation is this...Creating allows me to stay in touch with the dreamer I was as a child, and to finally know AND be at peace with who I am.
How, if at all, have the events of 9-11 impacted your art making?
At first my paintings took on a more serious theme because I was grieving through my art. Eventually, I returned to my animal paintings, I had to...because I needed to concentrate on the positive things in life that still existed...things the terrorists couldn't destroy. And my belief in the basic NEED for so called 'fluff art' was reinforced. Many people need to surround themselves with beauty and humor, not just to get through the hard times, but often life in general...pretty/happy/fluff art fills that need perfectly, both for the artist and the collector. All in all, I don't think my art really had a permanent change as a result of Sept. 11th, though the 'PAINT It Forward' paintings were the first artist collaborations I've worked on. And I don't think I would have had enough confidence to participate on, (let alone organize), collabs that featured the work of so many talented artists, if they weren't for the benefit of 9-11 charities. I'd also like to add that I'm so proud of the EBSQ community as a whole, for the way we pulled together and raised so much for the 9-11 victims and their families.
What do you find stimulating right now? How does this influence your creative process?
I'm a very visual person. My thoughts and ideas are almost always in the form of images, and I see potential paintings in everything...but I'd have to say music has been the most stimulating as of late. I've been listening to some old favorites lately, and I've found them extremely inspirational because they not only bring up deep emotions (which, after not being able to 'feel' for 13 years, is very important to me), but also very vivid images as well.
You are exploring several different styles right now--do you see them influencing each other?
Other than the fact that they often share the same theme, I don't think they really influence each other, although certain aspects of my 3D creations will occasionally find their way into my other paintings. Animals, women, and landscapes are a common theme in much of my paintings because I find them all beautiful, and fascinating, but I paint them all in various styles, I think because the surprises life has thrown at me have taught me that there are many different ways of looking at, or interpreting, the world around me.
You are an EBSQ veteran--how do you feel about the changes that have taken place in the past 6 months?
I'm very excited about the path EBSQ is on! I'm both pleased and amazed at everything the elected board has been able to accomplish in this short time, and I'm looking forward to the new services and events to come. When I first joined EBSQ, it felt mostly like a great place to hang out, meet fellow artists, and sell my art along side those artists. But EBSQ is so much more now and has the potential to become a real source of empowerment for it's artists. I'm truly enjoying the ride, and am more proud than ever before, to be a member!
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
Whether I'm staring at a beach rock, waiting to see the illusion hidden within...or staring at a blank canvas, mentally weaving together all the abstract emotions and images in my head, in the end...the one thing my paintings all have in common is that they're a reflection of what I love, or how I see the world. Passionate, whimsical, serious, humorous...they are all an extension of me. I'd also like to add that being a full time artist is, by no means easy...Selling painted pieces of your heart can make an artist feel extremely vulnerable. Yet even with the ups and downs, my life is so much better....thanks to painting, the support of EBSQ, and my collectors whose purchases make it possible for me to pursue my dream.

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