Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in Savannah, but I’ve lived in Atlanta since I was 9 years old.
Q: When did you start to paint?
A: Some of my favorite pieces are my childhood drawings! I won my first art award at 6 years old.
Q: How has your work evolved?
A: I’ve always had an organic style, using living things as subject matter and fluid lines in my work. After a good bit of experimental art in college, I became known in Atlanta as “the pear lady” in the 1990’s, painting more pears than I care to remember. I went on to create some of my favorite work, large scale mixed media drawings of people, a subject and style of my work that still resurfaces from time to time. Being that I’ve grown to prefer animals to people in more ways than one, domestic animals have been my primary subject for several years now, still in an organic, mixed media style.
Q: Please describe your technique or medium.
A: I prefer to make art in layers, usually on wood panels. I’ll combine drawings and vintage paper, acrylic paint and thick gloss or resin, Plexiglas panels, nails, wood scraps- anything that seems appropriate for the piece. My commissioned pet portraits tend to be more straightforward works of acrylic on canvas, although I also enjoy getting to add more to the portrait with old maps and other details related to the pet and/or family.
Q: Who or what was your inspirational role model?
A: Having always been an artist, and growing up in a time when being an artist was considered nothing more than a hobby (even as a studio art major in college), that’s hard to say. The only artists I knew that could do it “for a living” or were artists living off their parents or trust funds, neither of which was an option for me.
I had a fantastic mentor in college, Nancy Dahlstrom, who is an excellent artist and teacher, but I was never taught the business of art. I’ve been influenced by countless artists and designers for the work they make, but it’s people like Jen Senciro, who wrote “You Are A Badass” and Simon Sinek of “Find the Why” fame that inspire me the most. To make art that you are proud of, you have to hang on to the desire to make it, to know that you’re good at it, and to want to do the work to make a living from it. Being inspired to be an all around better person makes for better art.
Q: Do you have one goal to accomplish in 2016?
A: Yes! To loosen up. As I work on more and more commissions, I see my art getting more and more rigid. I need to make at least one big piece this year that is NOT completely influenced by what other people want.
Q: What is most precious to you?
A: My children.
Q: If you could change one thing about yourself as an artist what would it be?
A: To be unafraid of all that comes with being only an artist, a full time artist making a good living from it... rather than a part time artist depending on my other job.
What is your favorite…
Book: I literally have nearly 1,000 books in my home, so I can’t narrow it down to one! I love historical fiction that leads me to reading biographies. I also really love beautiful coffee table books on art, cabins, and gardens.
Artist: Cy Twombly, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg, Christo, Todd Murphy.
Painting: The one in my living room by Cooper Sanchez.
Place to travel: Lake Burton, GA.