My work focuses to capture the spirit of
timeless beauty, striving for an ethereal quality. I have a love for
painting figures that are often very silent and still,
introspective, and emotional. My backgrounds are set as stages, and
the colors are often warm and earth tones. I love patterns, and
often use them in the hair, dress and background to build beautiful
textures and colors. Another aspect of my figures are women and how
they relate to nature. Some pieces are contemporary takes on the
nude in the landscape, and some are influenced by early
photographs from the late 1800’s.
I have recently started to collage torn pages from books onto boards
and then paint over parts to create a richly textured surface.
This adds an interesting aspect to the work. My art always reflects
my current fascinations. I have fallen in love with birds and love
to incorporate them into my work. I do not like to be stagnant so my
work is constantly changing and evolving.
I was born in a back bedroom of a former
house of ill repute (which had been turned into an art studio) to a
couple of hippies trying to escape the disco music scene in 1977. I
was born in Kell, Illinois--population 231, or as I remember it, a
house on the highway. I was born to the song Suzanne, by Leonard
Cohen. A family friend placed me into a basin of water and rose
pedals and said “This is a felicitous experience” and I was named
Unlike my sister, who was saying words
before she was one, I rarely spoke. My father remembers being
surprised when I had my first conversation with him when I was 5 or
6. My early communication mostly consisted of funny noises and the
slamming of doors.
I started drawing when I was 2 years old.
My family moved to Springfield, Illinois when I was 3, and my
parents enrolled us in Montessori school, wanting to provide us with
a non-traditional education. I was able to gravitate toward art in
the open format, and drew obsessively. I have always drawn figures
of women, similar to the paintings I make now. I never had a doubt
that I would be an artist.
My favorite book when I was a
child was an old, dog-eared copy of Land or Froud. I was
drawn to fantasy art and movies like Labyrinth, The
Neverending Story, and Legend. I believe these things
have shaped who I am as an artist today. The images I love and love
to make have an element of the fantastical and whimsical.
received an Associates in Arts from Benedictine University, and a
BFA in painting from Illinois State University. When I graduated in
1999, my husband and I moved back to Springfield, where we grew up.
I had a need to continue making art and sharing it with people, so I
started making artistic envelopes and postcards. I made hundreds of
them for 5 years. I mailed them all over the world… to pen pals, as
trade, just to keep making art, and in the process, give mailmen
across the world something interesting to look at.
years of mail art, I wanted to start making larger paintings again.
It took a long while to re-learn and re-teach myself how to do it. I
made a lot of bad pieces and eventually found inspiration in 2004
and painted “The Queen of Hearts” and in that, I found myself as a
painter. Since that one piece, I have made over 500 paintings. I’ve
always been met with love and appreciation for what I do. It makes
me truly content to fill the world with images I find beautiful, and
to find an audience who shares that vision.
I currently live
on a little brick street not too far from where Abraham Lincoln
lived, with my husband, Jim, who makes his own art in steel, our dog
Sugar Bear, and 2 cats, Belladonna and Baby. When I’m not painting…
well, I’m probably thinking about painting. or sushi… or panda