My first validation for making art was when I was 3 years old. I loved watching Romper Room with the hostess Miss Lois. At the end of the show she always looked through her “magic mirror” at her viewers and asked them to send in drawings of specific things. I loved doing this! My older sisters would help me mail the drawings and Miss Lois would send me postcards of her on the set of Romper Room. I still have these images today. This experience got me making making art and I never stopped. As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, I studied Art History – then I took a painting class. The result was a double major and subsequent graduate work at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I’ve been a professional artist for over 30 years and still find new things to learn. I live and work in Kalamazoo, MI with my husband, son, our border collie Lucky, and our cats JoJo and Yoruichi.
My work uses nature-based patterns to vividly represent human emotions and experience, and to convey not just beauty but tension. These paintings represen an intersection of information, emotion, physical limitations, and the natural world. The patterns and colors inhabit spaces that are similar, but not the same – suggesting multiple
My work uses nature-based patterns to vividly represent human emotions and experience, and to convey not just beauty but tension. These paintings represen an intersection of information, emotion, physical limitations, and the natural world. The patterns and colors inhabit spaces that are similar, but not the same – suggesting multiple realities in the same composition. Each composition is engaged in some form of conflict, framed in the context of differing perceptions of national identity, economic instability, and uncertainty.
My paintings interweave patterns painted in vibrant colors and textured surfaces. I use metal tools, along with stencils I create, to make and alter designs. The painting process is both meditative and reflective. The image created is activated through nuanced changes in form, multiple placements, or new placements and patterns. Information is hidden, built up, excavated, and scratched into the encaustic paint. Without consciously thinking about it, I place parameters and restrictions on almost every level of decision making. I limit my palette or the values and intensity of colors; color and materials are layered in a particular order to symbolize cultural sediment; I commit to the imprint of patterns, branded into wax, as part of the work’s history and sometimes don’t manipulate the paint past this point so as not to alter the authentic imprint that has been burned in time; when I fuse the paint with heat, using a heat gun or torch, I don’t try to control how the paint melts – my goal is to accept the heat’s effect on the wax, rather than try to control it. Like the human condition, my process is a dance between intention and acceptance.
My work can be see in person at Addington Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.
"Together," Encaustic on panel, 24" x 24", 2019
"Trinity – Variations;" Pigmented beeswax and mixed media; 8 – 11 3/4" x 11 3/4" panels; 2011
“The Garden”, a themed group exhibtion including Javier Tapias, Reni Gower, Sally Bowring, Ruth Bolduan,
Melissa Potter, Chris Gregson, Jorge Benitez; Ridderhof-Martin Gallery at the University of Mary Washington; Fredricksburg, Virginia. The show runs September 7 - October 8.
In Pursuit of Spring through April 28th 2023 at Addington Gallery at 704 N. Wells, Chicago IL. This is a group exhibition Including NEW work by Joan Holleb, Michael Dubina, Rebecca Stahr, Jeffrey Hirst, myself, Sandra Dawson, Kathleen Waterloo, and Molly McCracken Kumar.
THE GARDEN Exhibition, Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT May 22 - August 28, 2022 - This is a traveling group exhibition that includes my work and the work of Jorge Benitez Ruth Bolduan, Sally Bowring, Reni Gower, Chris Gregson, Melissa Potter, and
THE ELUSIVE LINE presentation at the 15th International Encaustic Conference, Provincetown MA, June 3, 2022
EXPLORATORY RESIDENCY at the Golden Foundation. for the Arts; April 24 - May 21, 2022 in New Berlin NY. Here's a video about the residency with the other fellows during my stay: Louise Mandumbwa and Mark Joshua Epstein. https://www.goldenfoundation.org/residency/current-residents/
Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award: https://wmich.edu/news/2021/10/66058?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=
Addington Gallery; 704 N. Wells St.; Chicago Illinois 60654; 312.664.3406; Open 11 - 6 Tuesday through Saturday, and by appointment. If you're in Chicago, stop in and see my latest work!
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