Artist Statement

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It all started when...

I applied finger paint to paper in kindergarten, I was hooked on creating color and form on paper. As I progressed from oils in high school, to watercolors in college, to oriental brush painting, and most recently, back to traditional watercolor my love of art has never wavered.

With few in-person art experiences available in the small Midwestern town I grew up in, I dreamed of working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Amazingly, that dream came true in the late 60’s and I worked there in the Treasurer’s Office for 10 years until a family illness took me back to the Midwest. Fortunately, I was able to get a job at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts where I spent the next 10 years. Both museums fostered my appreciation and knowledge of all art forms and the desire to pursue my own artistic endeavors grew.

Unfortunately, events happened that caused me to set aside my paint brush for several years until I realized that I needed the creativity painting brought me. I discovered oriental brush painting and soon became a charter member of the Taka Sumi-e Society, founded in 2002, and a member of Lung Hsiang, a chapter of American Artists of Chinese Brush Painting, in 2006. Both groups, led by exceptional senseis (teachers), are composed of extraordinarily talented and giving members who have taught me so much.

This style of painting is soothing and relaxing, better than any psychiatric treatment! The elegant simplicity of brush painting takes a lifetime to master and that elegant simplicity is the primary reason I chose to study/practice this art form. Ancient senseis of both Japanese and Chinese brush painting were noted for their lifelong endeavors pursuing perfection. Many of them painted only with sumi-e (black ink), but I prefer to add color which brings my paintings to life.

When we moved to the desert, I began painting in the traditional watercolor style and joined the Coachella Valley Watercolor Society in 2016. I prefer the medium of watercolor which allows the colors to flow so intricately one into another. The use of color is most satisfying to me in painting florals and landscapes, which seem to highlight these two facets so well.

I begin a painting with an idea in mind, but the idea changes shape and color by the time it is finished because color simply has a mind of its own and flows so freely. When I feel a painting is a well rounded composition of space, color, and idea, I experience a great sense of accomplishment and peace. This sense of peace and tranquility is what I hope my paintings convey to the viewer; a moment of true escapism.