I received a BFA degree from Rhode Island School of Design where I learned discipline and focus and to develop my own style, and it reinforced my desire to spend my life studying art. After moving to New Mexico, I found the landscape of cliffs and sky unusual from the forests and shores of the East. For the next 40 years I hiked the area, and painted watercolors inspired by the Southwest landscape. I entered competitions and worked with galleries to place my work in collections across the US. Honors include a Signature Membership in the National Watercolor Society and a feature article about my art in American Artist Magazine. I still enter juried national and international water media exhibitions because the competition pushes me to become a better artist.
When I was eight, I spent a week at Cape Cod with my parents. While they played cards with friends, I was free to roam the beach. With deep concentration, I took a small pad of paper and spent days struggling to draw the sea grasses in ways that would capture the feel of the air and space, the blowing wind, and the motion of the waves. All these years later, observing and painting the landscape still pulls me firmly back into the reality of the moment, to the beauty and structure of nature.
The first series of paintings in this exhibit are acrylic on paper paintings begun on location at Shady Lakes Waterlily Gardens in Bernalillo over a course of 7 years. I would set up my easel in the morning and watch the flowers on the lily pads open up in shades of pink and white. The location with the towering cottonwoods, so serene and calm and quiet, except for the bullfrogs, was an exceptional place to study and paint. The land has now been sold and I don’t know if it will be open to artists in the future. The second series was started at the beginning of the pandemic, knowing I would have to stay inside. I went through photographs of wildflowers I took during many hikes in the Sandias and chose them as my subject for watercolors. My intention was to place the delicate flowers firmly in the environment, the forest floor, or as vines clinging to other plants.
What is the role of traditional landscape painting in a world that is increasingly shaped by human technology? Our society is often described as becoming more and more “connected,” but in many ways it also becoming increasingly disconnected, detached, and indifferent to the larger world around us. Landscape painting has long had an important role in awakening people to the beauty and fragility of the natural environment, and I feel that its power is just as important today as it was centuries ago.