I am happy to be a showing my artwork and organizing this part of the NAMI Gala. I have been volunteering with NAMI as an artist on last year’s Gala and as a Peer to Peer Support Group leader.
I live with Bipolar Disorder and have been successfully treating it with 20 years of stability. I find myself in a place that I want to give back and help others journey to mental wellness. I am in training as a Life Coach with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and my specialty will be to coach women caregivers that love someone with a mental health challenge.
As an artist I invite you to join together in celebration of the beautiful natural world we have around us – the everchanging landscape that delights and nourishes our soul.
It fulfills a need in our human nature to connect with this natural world. I find a soothing space when interacting with trees, growth, light, mist, warmth, coolness, desolation, and abundance. The intrinsic design of a plant leaf so full of variety and life; light shining and creating shadows into a space; or the current of water flowing and creating ripples and reflection are all complex but simply viewed causing us to respond. The flow of pigment and ink on paper echoes a breath of cool morning mist or the caress of water against skin.
I take all of these things in and my work is my response to share. Connecting the natural world with the inner spiritual world is the essence of my work. It is the serenity of the place or a complexity of the moment which has been caught in my piece. I like to embody the fullness of all the variety I’ve experienced and delighted in. My desire is that through my work, each person can join me in a moment of peace, hope, and life.
My artwork is a reaction to the deep love I have for wild things and places. For me creating art is how I learn about and honor what I see as fragile, transient, and fleeting just as the time spent creating art is fleeting. Awareness of the natural world seems to be at risk, so I cling to it by creating art. I cling to quietness, starry skies, and birdsong.
The title of an exhibit, “Intuitive Abstractions” aptly describes the style and process of my paintings and collage pieces. I rarely create from concept. Creativity is not always a means to an end, especially when working abstractly. The actual process itself dictates where the piece will go.
I spent many years working as a photographer, capturing images of the world as it is. It was through private study with a painter in Vermont that lead me to my voice in abstract expressionism. I discovered rather quickly that working abstractly was the visual language that I resonated with most authentically.
There is no one thing in particular that inspires or motivates a piece, but rather a sense of excitement and interior response to my immediate surroundings, followed by exploring visual possibilities with a multitude of materials.
My work has been described as “lyrical, full of motion…” which is an interesting commentary given that I constantly move while creating a piece. I respond to the fluidity of the ink or the paint as it moves around the canvas or paper. It’s a spontaneous, non-rehearsed dance.
I am a painter based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I work in a variety of mediums such as acrylics, oil with cold wax, and mixed media. I am often inspired by nature and interested in the notion of the natural world around usas being strong and resilient, at times unsettling or mysterious. Imaginary landscapes will often crop up in my paintings. I am also interested in capturing people, and moments in time and place, working from memories or photographs. Sometimes when an everyday, even seemingly banal, moment is depicted apart from its context it holds an ambiguous quality that I find intriguing.
The two paintings submitted to the NAMI Gala Auction were originally part of the 2018 exhibit, Another India, and are inspired by what I imagine to be Indian colors and textures.
The contrast of light and shadow often grabs my attention, but it is the variety of textures and colors found in nature that continues to inspire me. I am most interested in capturing the moods and beauty I find in the quiet, everyday places of my life.
I work primarily in pastels which are very versatile and allow for drawing techniques and flat, brush-like strokes. I begin by loosely establishing the overall composition with large abstract shapes and then apply layers of pastel as I develop color, value and texture.
I received a B.A. in art from Eastern Michigan University. I have participated in art fairs since 2003 and continue to do three a year. I have received several awards, including having one of my pastels as the featured art for promotional items and advertising for the 2004 State Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I am a member of the Great Lakes Pastel Society, The Michigan Guild, Ann Arbor Women Artists, Chelsea Painters and Ann Arbor Pastelists.