When I was a child, my mother used to call me to come outside and look at the sunset. So we'd go out the front door, step off our suburban concrete porch and stand in the grass, a tall woman in an apron and a barefoot little girl, looking up at the ever-changing Texas sunset.
I went to a seminar once in which a very young woman advised us that art isn't personal, that one should never allow feelings to interfere. I'm sure she believed that.
My work is intensely personal. Each painting is an experience, a conversation, between painter and tree or river or field. The finished piece is a reflection of that conversation, notes to an unknown future observer.
I used to paint more photorealistically. But photorealism concerns itself primarily with accurate reproduction of objects. I am more interested in capturing my experiences with nature, and a freer style and emotive color allow me to do that.
The process is simple: I walk in nature and look a lot. Then, when something moves me, I photograph and sketch, sometimes painting en plein air. Then I return to my studio to complete the piece. I usually paint on 300 pound watercolor paper, though I have taken to using smooth Claybord for its marvelous lifting and light-capturing qualities. For works more heavily pastel I use treated masonite and I have occasionally used canvas for acrylic works.
My painting materials include watercolor, gouache, acrylic, casein, pastels and charcoal, all of which are permanent. I choose the most lightfast paints available to ensure that the works, with proper care, are around for a very long time.
I have been painting and drawing since I was five though I have only been selling my work since 2007. I have studied art along the way at various colleges and with private instructors, the most influential for me being Stephen Quiller, a fine artist in Creede, Colorado. My work has won numerous awards, and I am a Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society.
The older I get the more I realize there are few things in my life which my mother hasn't touched. I spent years discovering my separateness from her. Now, when I paint, I gratefully stand hand-in-hand with her admiring the age-old wonder of the world.