I come from a folk art background
and painted in that style from 1988 through 1999. I showed and sold my works at
various art shows and shops in Minnesota during those years. I co-owned a
consignment gift and home decor boutique in Hastings, Minnesota.
I also taught community education classes and conducted seminars for artists and artisans desiring to create a career in the creative arts industry.
In 1999, I decided to take some time off from my artistic
ventures to concentrate on my personal life, which at that time was going
through great change.
Beginning a new journey and chapter into the world of art started in 2004. I was feeling more
grounded than ever and missed the process of painting and felt this was the best
time for me to re-pursue my passion in the arts. I wanted to completely change
my artistic thought process and start something fresh and mentally unfamiliar.
I had always been interested in abstract art from an early age, so instead of
continuing in my familiar folk art style, I decided that this new artistic
chapter would be one that would encompass the abstract form. Instead of jumping
in head first and reinvesting in all the necessary painting supplies I began
studying abstract art form from an academic view by reading about color, line
and artistic movement. I did sketching along with writing and thinking
about what mediums I would like to use. I also thought a lot about what type of
artist it was that I wanted to develop in to. I wanted to
have a plan on how I would pursue this new direction - both from the perspective as an artist and as a business. I knew that abstract art form was the direction I
wanted to take. Every time I looked at abstract art I would feel this
excitement and be drawn into the pieces as if I was inside looking out - a
feeling that still excites me today.
In 2005, I started developing my portfolio and establishing my style in
traditional studio art as well as the digital medium. Acrylic paint is my first
choice; I'd start there and often ended up mixing mediums or different elements
into my vision. In the fall of 2006, I curated my first solo show at a local
Dunn Bros. where I exhibited mostly drawings & paintings, some digital art
I was enjoying my experimentation with digital art so in 2007 I started to
incorporate and focus on this art form a little more. This form of creativity
allowed my internal vision to go beyond the paint brush and experience art from
the lens of a camera or the bed of a digital scanner. I found this both challenging and
rewarding to be limited to the addition of digital texture, color or purposely
placed objects via computerized technology. I also discovered that my creative
thought process was greatly enhanced with the ability to generate this type of
art because I had the pleasure to undo and redo as I wished - I found no other
form of art so forgiving. But as I continued to develop my artistic process,
digital art was replaced by painting and is now just a moment in time that
allowed me to experiment with line and color. It was, and still is, an important tool in continuing my development as an artist.
Between 2008 and 2009 I started experimenting with color more than shape and
wanted to paint texture with color. My vision was to create in such a way that
when a painting was viewed one would actually see or imagine the texture
without physically touching. I developed my process of layering color upon
color using only pallet and painting knives. This began my first organized body
of work titled "SqUaRe" (U R Square)
a series of
paintings void of line on 8" x 8" paper. This eventually led to my
body of work titled "GreY MaTTer"
, where I began working on
exposed photo (rc) paper, other papers, canvas and board. This series was as
much about the definition of grey matter as it was the color grey - I continue
to this day adding a painting here or there to my "GreY MaTTer"
series because I feel there is no end, and by its very nature and intent will
always continue to be an ongoing study of the term for me. I eventually added
line to my color process using the movement of music as my muse. My body of
work from my Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left
series reflects this shift.
This is also the point at which I started to become very interested in American
abstract art between the years of 1945-1955. I felt that this time period of
art saw a shift that really was hard to define in verbal terms; there seemed to
be a definite statement about social change. For me I have this image that this
was a time of being rebellious and that there was an extreme change or
direction that art was starting to take. I noticed that many of the artists
during this period had quite different styles that really were neither abstract
nor expressionist, which intrigued me so much that I decided to study this
period a bit more in depth.
I was painting quite a bit between 2010-2012. Along with much experimentation
and jumping from one thing to another I completed two bodies of works “2010-It’s
A New Decade”
and “Another Generation 1945-1955”
This period of time
I felt propelled me deeper into my passion of abstract art. 2010 was the
beginning of a new decade in this 21st century, a time in which so much was changing
in our world. So I continued to focus on my experimentation with the
"feeling" of color, line and movement to create a visual texture in
my work. But I couldn't stop thinking about abstract art of the past and in
particular art of the mid 1940’s to mid-1950’s. I had been so taken with this
period of art that I decided to develop a series around this topic. Titled
"Another Generation 1945-1955",
I wanted to incorporate
my "impression" of abstract art of this time frame as I remembered
seeing it when I was young, and how it affected my thoughts (as an artist) of
abstract art in present day. My goal in that series was to blend a past with a
present and to fuse a generation of art from two different decades in two
different centuries - which I feel so lucky to experience.
I continued to develop in my style of abstraction working by incorporating the structure of words. For me, words as it turned out, developed into a driving force of energy
that produced an end result of movement via color. During this time, my visual and audio awareness of certain words manifested into a structure of color and/or energy. A
conversation or particular set of words exuded a certain energy which then
became the movement of color used to create a painting. Conversations, lines in a song, a single word
displayed on a bill board, blog or book, become my inspiration. When I saw
or heard a word or phrase that summoned this energy of color I would write it
down or sketch an idea. Just like writing a story, I would piece all these words
together and build from there until I eventually had a competed painting and a title
for a painting.
2018 has brought with it a bit of a change in my artistic
process. I am constructing my paintings with more of an architectural concept.
I plan my work by constructing shapes and forms, laying them on the canvas and
building from there. My color pallet, while still important, consists only of a
few colors, as my focus it to build and layer shapes as if I were
constructing a building or designing a space to live in. I place skewed and off-center lines in an attempt to
disconnect the flow, yet these awkwardly placed lines seem to balance and
connect the space in an oddly exciting and enticing manner. I especially am
enjoying the space I am creating within the work, the void - the comma, or
period, that pause to breathe in before starting the movement again.
I am as committed as ever to this artistic life that I'm journeying on and as I
continue to grow and develop my craft I also continue to live and write my
journey and self-discovery . . .
For me, it’s not so much about the
conquest as it is about the journey that I travel to get to my destination,
whatever or wherever that may be. I believe in order to truly experience and
discover one’s self means to transform from the inside out. It is important to
take time to know and understand your limitations and truly explore yourself in
honest rawness; because no greater or rewarding journey can be made than the
one of self-discovery by breathing in every moment and living every breath!