My latest work is a set of canyon, forest, river, and valley dreamscapes in oil on Ampersand Claybord panels.
My childhood camping trips and more recent motor home travels landed me in spectacular scenery, which I am compelled to paint either from memory or from my extensive library of photos taken on location. The technique for these latest works use layered transparent brush strokes and simple compositions to result in a watercolor-like image, but with oils. The clay surface makes this possible, as the drying time is less than it would be on a gesso panel; the paint soaks into the clay surface much like a fresco. The images are rendered quickly with as few brush strokes as possible and the alizarin crimson underpainting shows through to brighten up the palette; keeping colors vibrant. Twenty of these works hang in a furniture gallery in Corvallis, Oregon.
I’ve been an artist since I was 12 years old. I remember during a visit to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, I watched a women paint perfect but random circles on a large sheet of paper. She used a sumi brush and black India ink. “Oh! “I thought, “what a feat; how can she be so perfect?” My sister-in-law must have overheard me say how enthralled I was; she bought me a sketch book that week with the idea that I, too, could make perfect circles with practice. I’ve been filling sketch books and canvases ever since.
I prefer to paint than draw, working in oils and acrylics after spending too much money on glass and frames during my watercolor stage. I really began to paint during a sketching excursion in Provence with Marie le Glatin Kies, a French artist and author. Her magical approach reminded me that I need not force anything; just observe. En plein air and studio landscapes are my most common subject but often paint flower and people portraits. The occasional non-objective series of paintings helps expand my technique options.
I studied art and photography in high school, college, and graduate school. Art Education and Computer Science Education courses comprised most of my graduate work for a Master’s of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree at Western Oregon University, completed in 1988. For the past 18 years, I’ve provided marketing consulting, graphic design, web development, illustration, and photography services to small and medium business. For 3 years, I built online courses for the Oregon State University’s distance education program. In 2005, I traveled the USA by motor coach, earning a living by teaching an online course entitled Gender and Technology and painting landscapes, portraits and murals. I prefer to paint outdoors, so decided a trip South and just part-time work would allow me to devote more time to painting. I find that to paint for 3- to 4-hours each day makes me feel healthy.
I paint –
The visual patterns and dance of light found in everyday or spectacular scenery provides inspiration for paintings created en plain air. At other times, it is juxtaposed memories that create a composition worth recording. In these instances, thought-provoking emotions are laid down with inventive colors, acute angles, obvious brush strokes, impasto textures, and feminine lines.