When most people think of painters, they think of someone who uses paintbrushes. But I rarely use paintbrushes! Watch the video to see how I paint.
My art process is intuitive. I don’t plan much, except my color palette. But that doesn’t mean that making art is without its challenges. I look back and see where I started when I took up a paintbrush again 2 years ago and my first attempt at abstract art, compared to where I am today. I paint obsessively, so the lessons I’ve learned in these 2 years have been many in number and difficult at times. My color choices have improved. My art has improved. My compositions have improved. My reasons WHY I make art have become clearer. I cannot afford workshops, so I’ve learned on my own, trying until I discover my own breakthroughs. Sometimes with tears. I think all true artists feel like failures at times. But out of the dark times and the difficult times beauty has been born. Resiliency emerges. My art has changed. I’ve lost some fans for whom my message no longer resonates. And I’ve gained others who want to be a part of my journey, who understand that life and art are more than pretty pictures. Sometimes it’s about grit and tenacity and change. Just as ocean waves splash over rocks, pulling away impurities and smoothing what is left. My new collection, titled “Emerging”, is also a relevant reflection on what we are currently, collectively experiencing as a world in lockdown.
I thought I’d share with you a little about my background as an artist. The words “self taught” are thrown around a lot these days, and I just want to say that regardless of an artist’s educational background, we are all self taught. Art is not concrete like math or spelling. We can be taught important fundamentals and techniques in art, but we apply them in our own ways to our own way of creating art.
While many students may leave art school with cookie cutter portfolios that look similar, once we spread our wings and find our style, our journeys can take us in so many different directions. I spent nearly 20 years in commercial art, working as a freelance illustrator and designer. Then, as I went the path as a children’s book illustrator of more than a dozen books, I began exploring fine art by drawing and painting still life in graphite and watercolor, and my style was very realistic and classical. It wasn’t until 2 years ago when I picked up a brush again after a 4 year hiatus (at a miserable job), that I began painting in an abstract style. And even now, my art is evolving and changing because I am always learning. I teach myself to observe nature — the way light affects color and value. I attempt to capture what I learn in my approach to each new painting. I couldn’t imagine still making the type of art I did back in the early 90s when I was fresh out of art school! There’s no creativity in repeating what you learned 30 years ago. I still apply fundamentals of composition, value, color theory, etc., but with the confidence to pave my path in whatever direction my heart desires.
You can sign up to receive news on my latest collections, sales and blog posts by subscribing to my newsletter here.
I'm a lifelong artist living just outside of Chicago. I love flowers, vintage finds, nature hikes and all things beautiful.