Hello and welcome to my gallery! Here’s a little background about me and how I came to be talking to you today.
I first realized that I wanted to be an artist when I was about 6. Our family had gone to see the movie “A Dog of Flanders” which was about a boy who had a dream of becoming an artist. Something about the boy’s determination and purpose spoke to me, and I wanted to be an artist too. So I asked my father to draw me a picture of a face so I could start practicing. He drew a round circle, two big eyes a set of lips and a spiral of curly hair across the top of the circle. I happily went off to draw rendition after rendition of that face. Different hair, eyes, collars, shirts, eyelashes, glasses, boys, girls, young old, you name it -- I was off and running as an artist!
My Dad was in the Air Force and I lived all over the world as a child. We started off in California where I was born, and since then I’ve lived in Washington DC, England, Greece, Florida, Maryland, Illinois, Libya, Texas, Oregon, and Japan. This gave me a wide perspective of life and my parents were great about taking us to museums and experiencing the culture of wherever we traveled. Even as a little kid, I was particularly interested in art museums.
When I was 7-8 years old I camped out in the National Gallery in D.C. and when we went to the Louvre when I was 13, we only had one day so I concentrated on studying all the eyes in the paintings (and drawing them all in our hotel room at night!) I was fascinated by the Old Masters and other painters and today some of my favorite artists and influences are Vermeer, Fra Angelico, Carl Larsson, John Singer Sargent, Monet, Matisse, Diego Rivera, Edward Hopper, Raoul Dufy, and Paul Klee.
I think all this travel also instilled in me a sense of compassion and love of all different peoples, contributing to what has become my personal mission in life through my art and other endeavors – to bring a measure of peace to an often troubled world. This quote from Matisse (which I saw when visiting the Norton Simon Museum) really articulates for me what I am trying to accomplish as an artist: “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.”— Henri MatisseI still love to travel and find a lot of inspiration for my paintings this way. But really, I find just as much inspiration right here at home, looking at and experiencing the marvel that is our beautiful world, focusing on that and letting the disability go. I think that is really the role of an artist – to dream the beauty and future of the world, share those dreams with the world, and create a new reality.
A little about my painting and style: I paint in both watercolor and oil, and my oil paintings often have a bit of a “watercolor style” to them. I love to do what is called glazing, which means using a lot of transparent layers which create a glow where the light travels through the layers. But I also will combine this with “alla prima” style painting, which essentially means “direct painting”, putting the paint directly on the canvas and moving on.
As you'll see when looking at my work, I tend to paint differently in each painting, always exploring new ideas and subject matter. I've been told (by marketers!) this is a problem and my paintings should be more similar to show "continuity of style", but my collectors tell me this is one of things they love about my work!
I’ve been painting professionally a long time (had my first show in Hollywood in 1988) and have been growing and evolving ever since. The art world has changed, and changed again, and the opportunity to learn and grow is pretty unlimited! I majored in art in college, I’ve taken many classes, and yet being self-taught is a big part of that as well. Study, learn, do, over and over, and now with the internet, you can learn just about any style you can envision. For example, I recently completed a commission where I was asked to create a special painting of a location that was dear to the collector. But they wanted it in an impressionistic style. Now my style is generally pretty realistic, so I had to do some study on how to create this, and still be true to my own style.
After many hours of researching and practicing I came up with a smaller oil “study” for the client. I wanted her to approve it and let me know I was on the right track before I painted her very large piece! She loved it, I carried on, and she was really happy with the final painting.
For me, painting has never been about me. It’s about you. It’s about who gets to see my work and what kind of emotional impact is created in that person. Yes, I do enjoy the process of painting. But, it is often hard work; it is sometimes “get in that chair” and keep painting! But in the end, it’s about getting that art into the hands of someone who loves it, someone it makes happy, someone it gives joy to. It can be a big original piece that graces a large home, or it can be a greeting card that someone props up by their computer which helps them get through their work day.
So that brings me to my purpose statement, which I wrote in 1988 and it still holds true today: “My purpose as an artist is to create beauty and bring a measure of peace to an often troubled world. I want my images to bring out the happiness and goodness which I believe exist in each and every person, no matter the circumstances. I like the idea of reminding a person of pleasurable moments of the past, or inspiring the creation of new ones now or in the future. If we, the viewer and I, can accomplish this together, I feel there is hope for our world.” So I guess, it really IS about me – LOL! You happy – me happy! Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, ideas etc. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my gallery!
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