I have been very fortunate. From the time I was a young child my family and my art teachers encouraged and guided my art making. Because of that I have always felt that it is not only my duty but a honor to give back to the community.
I arrived in Taos, New Mexico in 1974 at age twenty-one, after having grown up near the museum district in Fort Worth, Texas. Drawing, painting and the study of art formed the backbone of my early years. While still in junior high school, I began to show and sell paintings, prints and drawings at craft fairs. In high school I won a scholarship to study oil painting at the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum.
After a short stint at the University of Texas where I studied drawing and design I moved to Taos. During the seventies I designed jewelry, studied tapestry weaving, created fiber sculptures, and continued to hone my drawing skills. By the late seventies I knew I had to return to painting.
Although I now have a Bachelors of Fine Art and a Masters of Art Education from the University of New Mexico, it was by studying the Taos founders and painting in the very spots they frequented that I truly learned to paint. I started seriously painting in the early eighties. I worked with, listened to, looked at works by and read books by other artists.
When I went back to school at UNM in 1990 I took a break from the heightened color I had become known for and explored the thousands of variations of black, white and gray. Even with these abstract paintings I often laid down a colorful under painting. I feel I actually learned more in relationship to my own work when I studied color theory while working on my Masters in Art Education than I did when completing my BFA.
Over the past thirty-five years I have exhibited work both nationally and internationally, in museums, universities, galleries and juried shows. My paintings and prints are included in numerous public, corporate and private collections and can be seen locally at Weyrich Gallery and, in Tucson, AZ at Jane Hamilton Fine Art.
As an artist, the creation of images which the viewer can reflect on be rejuvenated by, has always been my top priority. I work in oils, both figuratively with a focus primarily on the landscape, and abstractly. There are an infinite number of ways to color canvas with excitement and I gave up trying to make one genre more important than the other years ago.
The graceful or wild lines created by a mountain or a river; the contrast in light and shadow; all the simple, complex, natural and man-made shapes that make up the landscape excite me. I am particularly interested in the Southwest because of its fierce beauty. In my landscapes, I first have to find the composition of the painting. I may reimagine the scene when I draw the contours of the physical structures. As Gauguin said, "I close my eyes in order to see." At this point, I surrender to the process and allow my "I" to get out of the way. This is why I paint - to reach that meditative state where the painting takes on a life of its own.
The content in my abstracts, the straight, curved and angle lines, are reminiscent of the clean edged shapes we find in architectural structures. At the same time the ovals, eggs and the leaf like or seed shapes echo forms found in nature. Natural forms reflect the vulnerable, the mortal, aspects of our humanness, while architectural forms celebrate our endurance as a race. So it is the juxtaposition of the geometric and organic shapes, along with the colors that melt from one end of the spectrum to another, that entice me.
My personal vocabulary of icons arrived out of the process of painting for forty years. Not all are present in each painting but seem to come, go, emerge, disappear and then re-emerge in new ways. Each image leads to the next and, I like to think, they are born out of the Jungian collective unconscious, the vast timeless pool of thoughts, memories and ideas, which all beings dip into and contribute to. The egg or oval shape, a metaphor for creation, has been a major element in my work for over twenty years. This form later became a seed, yet another, perhaps more obvious symbol for creation, as all of life is present in the seed.
Years ago I was excavating a small canvas - painting, sanding, layering, and reworking - until several compositions emerged. Some of the designs were enlarged. As I worked on these paintings a new element appeared, the simple curved line that, symbolically to me, were bowls. The idea of the bowl, as seen in The Edge Effect, is that of a humble offering. In a similar vein, the placement of the curved line and the circles or seeds in my abstract work, recalls the yantra, an eastern symbol used as a point for meditation.
I have now come full circle. All of my works are meant to inspire reflection and inspire a meditative state of mind for the viewer as well as myself. Hopefully I have created a feast for your eyes and that you can enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed creating them