Never one to examine the world through windows, the outdoors has been an integral part of my life since I was a child. I preferred hiking, camping, gardening, riding horses, playing with dogs and
generally getting dirty to playing indoors. Nothing has changed. As an adult, I hike with my dogs to remote places and parks throughout New England and New York, sketching and photographing
images to bring back to my studio to develop into larger paintings. I am also starting to paint directly on canvas and wood panels outdoors.
When my kindergarten teacher had students draw a horse with white chalk on black paper, I remembered being flummoxed: How do I draw an animal, or anything, with white chalk? The teacher
directed the students to draw just the shapes of highlights falling on the horses’s muscles and let the shadows take care of themselves. When I stood back at a distance from my drawing, it was
like magic – a lifelike horse seemed to emerge from the paper. I fell in love with the visual arts that day and ever after, and I now have my own students practice drawing animals with white
chalk on black paper.
The decorative arts and nature are integral to my paintings and ceramics. I view the language of decoration as a pathway to memories, cultural habits, family, friends, and community rituals. I am inspired by 18th and 19th century illustrators and 20th century modernist painters who found inspiration in the patterns, colors and lines of nature. I employ bright bold colors and dynamic designs as I strive for a modern energy and edge.
In my Earth Waves series, I interpret in paint the flowing landscape of the Berkshires in Massachusetts, the Adirondack Mountains in New York State and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Always
mindful of the gradual, destructive impact of climate change on the natural environment, I find myself documenting these changes in my paintings while my expressive style sometimes communicates
the language of loss.
In my whimsical Common Birds series, I use bird images to explore themes of struggle, friendship, relationships, leaving and returning home and forced flight.
After nearly 30 years of teaching art at the college level, I am slowly transitioning to a full-time art practice. I work mainly with acrylics, watercolor and gouache on canvas and watercolor
panels and am always experimenting with new processes like collage, oil paint over acrylics and digital art.
I currently teach art at Bridgewater State University and have exhibited my work in many one-person and group shows in galleries, print publications and art centers nationally. I am honored this
year to have my painting of an egret eating in her favorite lunch spot included in show at the Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY with the Creature Conserve of Providence, RI in an
exhibit titled: Urban Wildlife Learning to Coexist.
"I'm especially inspired by plant structures that exist just underneath the ground - roots and rhizomes - and vines, their counterparts reaching through the surface and creating a tangled profusion of lines. These structures also serve as metaphors for my life - loss, memories, temporary hierarchies and branching constants. I'm fascinated by magic realism, the jittery conflict I see between abstraction and realism, and the simplified geometries imposed on the world by humans - bridges, buildings, frames, etc. - and the complex and "wild" geometry we think nature imposes on us."
"I've never understood the conflict between abstraction and naturalism. Since all paintings are inherently abstract to begin with there doesn't seem to be an argument there."
- Milton Glaser
News and Events
Free "watery" acrylic workshop on Saturday, May 15 from noon to 4:00 during South Coast Spring Arts!
This is a walk-in workshop, you don't need to be there for the entire four hours. You can come and paint for a half-hour or stay the entire time. You will walk away with a finishing painting you did using watery acrylic paints with sponges and sticks as alternative painting tools!
I'll be set up in the hallway outside
Studio #211 Hatch Street Studios, 88 Hatch Street, New Bedford, MA 01245
We'll still be social distancing sitting around a table so please wear a mask!
Also, Studio #211 will be open to visitors during the workshop. I have a new studio mate, Amy Lund of ACL Handweavers. She has beautiful hand-woven items for sale and an amazing collection of large and small traditional looms! I'll be offering matted and framed prints from paintings in my Earth Stretched Thin and Common Birds series, in addition to several my Lasting Leaf ceramic wall pieces!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and check out SouthCoast Spring Arts.
During this year of social distancing, I've been enjoying painting in the Berkshires
and getting inspiration every day from driving to the top of Mt. Greylock. Climbing higher, the various lookouts offer ever-changing view of the clouds and distant mountains of Massachusetts, New
York State and Vermont. I'm always struck by how fragile the landscape looks; as if it is pockets of air covered with a thin veneer of glass that catches the most subtle changes in light and
reflects back endless color combinations.
These views inspired my new acrylic painting series, Earth Waves. Herman Melville looked out his Berkshire window and saw the rolling, rounded old New England mountains and they inspired his classic novel Moby Dick, as he thought they looked like the backs of whales breaching the surface of the ocean.
Of course, underneath the mountain surface is the hardest of rocks, granite, but after a summer with news of fires, floods and other ravages of climate change, the surface earth seems increasingly delicate. And, of course, the surface of the earth that contains all of life is only 3 to 46 miles deep!
My large-scale ceramic mirrors are now available year-round at Gotta Have It! in Fairhaven, MA!