I have always looked at the world as an artist. I observe, I listen, I feel things with my hands…I look beyond the surface, and read between the lines. Sometimes I come away with a deeper truth about what or who I am observing, and sometimes I come away with something completely of my own imagining.
But merely observing life does not necessarily make me an artist, rather it is the need to express, record and share the experience of these observations. It is the knitting together of elements, finding patterns and creating rhythm out of chaos that move me from audience to participant – viewer to maker.
The word I hear people use most often when they look at my work is “movement”. Whatever the subject or medium, there is usually a fluid feel to the composition that seems to happen without me trying to force it. I am interested in active subjects…but really, it’s that moment just before a powerful movement…the energy is gathered but held back for a brief space…that’s my favorite moment to capture.
I have to say that my favorite subjects are dance and horses. Dance, mainly ballet, has always been a passion of mine. I took classes for several years as an adult, and I know what it feels like to move with and be a part of the music. However, I was never able to capture the blend of technical perfection, grace, strength and freedom of movement that I experience when painting dance. My highest compliment is when real dancers are moved by my art.
I grew up riding horses and now am able to enjoy them with my daughter, who rides. What attracts me to painting and drawing horses is, I think, similar to dance. It’s that mix of power and delicacy; grace and strength; movement and balance. While I enjoy the loose gestural style with a focus on color for both dance and horse art, I also enjoy intimate studies. With horses, I love the challenge of painting a portrait that captures the horses personality and spirit in detail.
And then there is the abstract art I enjoy as well. These are usually mixed-media pieces, incorporating any combination of acrylic, pastels, papers, canvas, burlap and found objects. It’s all about textures and finding relationships between the forms and colors and objects. These are fun to do but take me much longer to do. I can work for months on a piece as it develops with each layer I add. It’s always a surprise to me how it turns out!