As a new member to the Camano Art Association and a new member to the CAA Studio Tour, I was featured in September of 2016 in the CAA Newletter. At that time I was busy working on pieces for the upcoming Studio Tour Mother's Day Weekend and the weekend after. I'm #27 on the tour. Tour map to be posted when available.
See the Article below. Full link with photos here: http://conta.cc/2dr50IW
In a quiet town in the snow belt, a bit south of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, I grew up playing baseball, building forts in the woods, playing Atari, and riding my bike to the community pool. When I was fourteen, I bought a Terry Gambit road bike and spent the summer riding miles into the countryside where I hid my bike between corn rows and hiked through fields with a back pack filled with paints and an easel. I spent my days painting landscapes, then strapped the wet oil painting to my backpack to ride home for dinner. I read Dear Theo that summer, the letters of Vincent Van Gogh to his brother; the descriptions of his paintings filled most every page and influenced my vision of the natural world and the ways I painted it. I began to focus on using color to depict how I felt about the world around me rather than just what I saw.
My love of reading, writing, and painting has always been fused. I graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Creative Writing and a minor in Painting in 1995. My oil painting are of the natural world and are often created plein air as they were when I was younger. I most enjoy taking old canvases of my “failed” paintings and painting over them while leaving pieces of the original work in view. A lake might become a cup of tea resting on a picnic blanket, a red clay desert floor flipped might become a new sky.
After college, I worked as a house painter for Ehler’s Construction in Eugene, OR, putting my skills with paint and brush to work to pay the rent after moving cross country. I worked alongside and learned painting techniques from their head painter who was also an accomplished artist painter. I found a housemate from an ad in the Eugene library who just so happened by chance to be a student painter at the University and we covered our living room in brown butcher paper to protect the carpet and spent our evenings easel-to-easel painting together. We have been lifelong friends made through art.
I also worked as a cook in Montana, Utah, and in remote sport-fishing camps in Alaska to experience new adventures to write about and to find new landscapes. It was in Alaska, flying low in bush planes over iridescent landscapes that I often sketched out the world for later paintings. I kept copious journals filled with writings and sketches of fish and water. It was also there that I gained an affinity for flying. I obtained a scholarship from Women in Aviation and Cessna and earned my Private Pilot Fixed Wing Rating in 2000. At the time, I was paying the bills by performing Anti-Piracy Work for Microsoft and decided I was tired of a desk job. After being accepted into the Army Warrant Officer Flight Program in 2002, I became a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot. I flew air assault and V.I.P. missions in South Korea and served as a Medevac pilot in Fairbanks, AK where we also supported emergency agencies flying missions to so save civilians. I gained an Asian influence in my art, living in Korea for two years and often painted both the Seoul city scape as well as their patchwork farm fields. In Alaska, I loved to fly low and gaze at the vibrant mixture of colors of the world and never grew tired of the tangled rivers that unfolded below me.
My partner Steve, who was a fellow pilot in Korea, and I had our rambunctious daughter Margo while I served out my last year stationed at Ft. Lewis in WA. Margo and I are now painting comrades and often work alongside one another. When my Army commitment was complete, I took employment with Boeing in a project management role on the Tanker program and later, the 777X. We currently live on Juniper Beach high bank and are finishing up an exhaustive hands-on five year full-gutting renovation of our home which is flanked by ever-changing tidelands and nesting Eagles. I’m leaving Boeing in June of 2016 with plans to attend Graduate school to earn an MFA in Creative Writing and to devote my fulltime employment efforts to my writing and painting. My experiences flying and living and working outdoors in the natural world have been great influences in my both my writing and painting. I seek to bring those perspectives to my art.