Art is fun—even when Life isn’t. I like to make things. I enjoy life and believe in art that entertains, delights the eye and engages the mind. My work involves nature, family or a sense of place that is infused with a playful spirit. I try to produce my impressions of life that I find entertaining and worthy of a closer look and appreciation. I enjoy painting in oil on canvas as well as working in mixed media using fabrics and other items I have saved or discovered.
I work to capture moments in everyday life. My work frequently shines a light on unsung heroes whose work—whether raising offspring, farming, doing chores inside or outside—has dignity and is deserving of respect. Their work may have been a meditation while creating, done to serve a purpose, practice a skill, or just something to fill time productively.
I seek to recall the memory of those who came before us while also adding my own interpretation…and remembering not to take things too seriously. Often items I use are either from my own childhood or culled from shopping flea markets, antique stores or garage sales.
I hope you enjoy viewing my art. I certainly enjoyed making it.
Enjoy this exhibition through August 21.
Introduce yourself. How long have you been a painter?
I’ve been an artist as long as I can remember. I grew up taking art classes at The Mulvane Center for Art at Washburn University in Topeka. In school I always enrolled in art classes when they were offered as electives. At The University of Kansas I earned a Bachelor of Art Education, which allowed me to take a wide variety of art classes from silversmithing to textile printing and of course, drawing and painting.
When I was unable to find a teaching job when I graduated, I submitted my portfolio to Hallmark Cards International here in Kansas City. I was lucky enough to be hired and went to work for Hallmark eventually advancing to the Book and Calendar department.
What would you like people to know about the work on display at the Leawood Library?
I enjoy painting in oils and especially like to paint animals or people with eyes looking back at me. Painting can be lonely at times and I think having your subject gazing back at you helps keep you engaged. There are so many amazing animals in the world. I continue to explore animals we here in the midwest may not see outside of a zoo. There are four animal paintings at the Leawood Library (an elephant, pigs, fish and sloths), although only the sloth painting of the mother holding her baby is in oil. The other three are archival prints of the original paintings which I
I love reading and am so grateful to have some of my work on display at the library. Naturally, I had to do a painting of children reading a book (“The New Book”) hiding out under a table. The two panel painting of the family with the piggy bank (“Saving $ = Family Fun”) was an experiment combining acrylic paint and vintage fabric from the 40’s and 50’s in keeping with this particular style of illustration. “Julia Cooks” represents Julia Child and her joyful attitude to creating in the kitchen. “Packing Nightmare” is a feeling everyone who travels has had at some time or other—either when getting ready to go somewhere and not knowing what to pack, or when having to come back from a vacation and not really wanting to!
More of my art can be seen at my studio at The Interurban Arthouse in Old Overland Park.
Describe your creative process. How long does it typically take you to complete a painting?
I think my creative process goes on even when I’m not aware of it. As an artist I think we are constantly looking and observing the world and people around us, thinking “Would that make a good painting? Should I take a quick photo for future reference?” I take photos a lot, as well as make a quick sketches just to serve as a reminder for later. I tear out of magazines for reference material and visit museums and galleries to see what others have done or are doing. When I finally start a painting I know in my mind what I want the finished work to look like. I don’t think I have a typical amount of time I spend on a painting—everyone of them is different. Some happen easily and others can take much longer than I think they should, but in the end it's always worth the time invested in it. I continue to take drawing classes, as drawing is the basic building block that everything else depends on. And it’s fun to draw!
What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?
Mary Poppins Returns is my most favorite movie I have seen recently. The combination of live action and animation, as well as the amazing color palette, were delicious to see. The colors, music and story just made me happy. Where the Crawdads Sing is the book I read most recently that I am hoping is made into a movie because of the descriptions of all the illustrations of nature the heroine created. I loved reading about her cataloging of various plant species once she learned how to read and had books available to her. Reading is the key to everything. I always am reading art magazines and new books about creativity and finding joy, because I think for me I want my art to create joy for the viewer.