My inspriation comes from the shapes, forms, colors, and textures of the landscape. The layered, horizontal vistas of my Kansas home show me big bright skies and the deep browns, and glorious greens and golds of the earth. I'm also in love with the rugged terrain and clear air of the New Mexico desert. The mountain silhouettes, the rich reds, purples, and blues in the rocks, as well as the pure air never fail to inspire. I go there whenever I can.
I've been drawing since childhood. When I was in the 6th grade, I drew life size horses galloping across my bedroom walls which no one in my family really appreciated and they didn't last long. My sister now tells me she really liked them (thanks Leah). While in college studying for an Art Education degree I was able to sample many techniques; printmaking, photography, painting, sculpture, fiber arts, and jewelry making. They were all interesting to me and might explain my use of collage to realize my ideas. I use oils, crayons, paper, photographs, prints, and fabric to create the image. My style tends to be abstract representational.
I look at art of all kinds, visit museums whenever I can, and read about what, why, and how other artists do what they do. Painters I have studied are van Gogh, Diebenkorn, Hartley, and countless others, including my friend and teacher, Hannah Shook. Other influences are adobe architecture and the Studio Style artwork from the Santa Fe Indian School of the 1930's. Ancient art such as cave art, petroglyphs, and pottery designs all influence how I make art. I'm also facinated by the ceramic horses and camels from the 7th and 8th Century in China. I once saw a room full of them at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and was never the same. One of my biggest influences has been the hundreds of children that have passed through my classroom during my 25 years of teaching. Their honest and direct approach to expressing themselves through their art using paint, clay, and crayons has taught me volumes about artmaking.