Where were you born?

Lansing, MI

What did you study in school?

Fine Art

Did you always want to be an artist?

Since I could hold a pencil.

How has your style changed over time?

I was a figurative painter for many years, painting realistically, and then shifting to more abstracted forms. I was also sculpting and casting in bronze in college and always intended to find my way to it again. When I finally found a studio that was conducive to sculpture, I began to venture back to clay and I just naturally gravitated towards figurative work. As my style began to emerge in clay I found that abstracting the surfaces and adding more dimension to the figures was what kept me inspired to make the work, giving me a way to offer more of a narrative with the three dimensional work.

How have the city or cities you’ve lived in affected your art?

We moved near Detroit when I was eight, right after my parents divorced. They are both artists, so naturally I gravitated to Art, I was always aware of how humanity moved through the world. I never feeling like I belonged (in a sense), so I believe I was often searching for myself in others. I am very kinesthetic, fascinated visually by people’s movements and shapes. I would observe the outlines of hands, shoulders, hips, cheekbones, etc… and how people walked and how the expressed themselves. I would sit down with a sketchbook and draw everyone, anywhere I could. I spent many classes with my sketchbook hidden by a textbook. The landscape in the center of Michigan was mundane, and so I took to my sketchbook and made as much art as I could, looking for some meaning in the bland wilderness of the suburbs. I felt that all I had were the visual images of so many diverse people, many of whom were searching just like me. I tried to connect to Michigan more by venturing to the lakes and forests, but when I had the chance to move to California at 17, off I went to Sonoma, where I felt a sense of home in the mountains, beaches, redwoods, and winding highways. Here is where more landscapes entered into my figurative work and the abstractions of both began to emerge in paint. Now that I am also sculpting, the same applies. The exquisite surroundings of the natural world in Oregon and California have adorned the clay and bronze, a clear influence from nature.

Where do you find inspiration?

I spoke on a panel of 4 artists last week on International Women’s Day, and event for the Women’s Leadership Conference in Ashland, Oregon. I was asked the same question. My answer will be the same today, which is that inspiration is everywhere. It is a passing sentence I overhear, an image of a person walking by, a poem, something a friend says and it ignites something in me, the sounds of the natural world, a song…. inspiration is on the wind, it is anywhere I turn my attention and all it takes is intention to hear when it whispers.

How will art save the world?

I think art already saves the world. What would a day be without the arts? We would not hear (or play) and be affected by music in all it’s various forms, we would not have the beauty in so many things we use every day made by artists or designers (even the chair I am sitting on)! Theater, film, dance, all forms of expression are reasons to be alive. Art is creation, the foundation of why we are here. One of the primary reasons humans strive forward is to expand by creating and dreaming, otherwise I am not certain there would be a purpose to be on earth. Art and creativity lies in all things, and it is essential for our expression and for processing emotion and thought. Whether people are aware of it or not, “the arts” in all forms are a fundamental, ingrained outline to the human experience.