I work in a variety of sculpture materials and scales. For pieces large and small, my first consideration is 3 dimensional form--is it simple, strong and readable for my audience. I like to work with inspirational themes. Clay and metal are favorite building materials. Clay is pressed into plaster molds that I have created, then I add and subtract finishing details by hand with modeling tools, or forms assembled from wheel thrown shapes. Larger work requires scale models devised in paper, cardboard, or light metal sheet materials, which then are fabricated into large works by professional sheet metal foundries. Combining wood, found objects, etc. into pieces also intrigues me.
I love color!! With color at the top of my list, I feel energized by experimenting with new methods of combining colors, such as blending with a palette knife, spraying, pouring, layering, squirting, combining with papers and other "attractive" found materials-- all with the goal of creating a unique expression. My current interest is learning to control the flow of thick to thin paints on canvas by tilting the canvas to direct the moving liquid. These efforts tend to be somewhat abstract but hopefully allude to subject matter and real experiences. After drying, additional layers of paint, stencils, stamps, rollers, and textural elements may be used to enrich the surface and add detail.
Photography is a way to quickly capture the moments that inspire me. Reviewing multiple images of the same subject from different angles helps me decide which shot can stand alone as a "work of art" or has potential for development in another medium. For example, photographs of rock formations, with a hole framing the landscape or sky behind it, taken in Arches National Park in Utah in April of 2019 may look promising as a strong, bold clay sculpture. Delicate sunsets, in a spectrum of colors, may result in a long horizontal canvas piece created by blending and overlapping multiple shots together.
Inspiration for prints often begins with photography. A promising image may suggest layers of photographic prints, printing inks applied with a variety of roller widths, inclusion of dried plant materials, and iridescent torn papers-- my interpretation of a spectacular sunset. Drawing from memories of Kansas prairies, suggestions of grasses blown by the wind, reaching upward toward the sun are interpreted by sweeps of brayers/rollers, and paint upward with textured papers representing the rock strewn landscapes. It is a very intuitive way of working with creative responses tied to the vision before me, in a photograph or in my head in the form of memories.
I was born in New Ulm, Minnesota and spent my first seven years living on a farm. The impact of the experiences of being immersed in nature had a lasting influence on my choice of life style and profession as an artist. Inspiration for subject matter, color, techniques and materials all originate in what I see around me---be that of places near and far. An example of those influences was my first butterfly collection at the age of five or six which seemed to express my awakening interest in color, pattern and organization of elements. That may also explain my life-long interest in choosing and nurturing plants in my garden, I often say that my passions are my family, friends, art and garden, closely followed by travel, cooking, reading and many, many more ever growing interests.
I am grateful for many opportunities in my Lawrence, Kansas community for expanding creative growth—classes relating new techniques, materials and new forms of expressions, people willing to share and teach, friends to encourage exploration. My goals are to create works of art in a variety of materials to educate, appreciate, enjoy and inspire people to live in a creative atmosphere which focuses on reaching their fullest and highest potential.