I am a Landscape Architect by day and an Artist by heart. I am lucky that, in my line of work, I spend a lot of time outside around natural materials – it’s where I collect a lot of inspiration for my artwork. I’m drawn to interesting patterns, textures, organic forms, color combinations, etc. I jot them down “shorthand” – sometimes in a sketchbook or whatever scrap of paper I have on hand. I think of my sketchbooks as an ‘ingredients list’ that I will later use to ‘cook’ with in a painting. I also enjoy trail running and inevitably end up picking up bits of nature such as branches, leaves, seed pods, etc. These collections are kept around my painting space to help ignite creativity and sometimes make their way into a collage.
I’m still developing – and learning what my “process” is. I suspect (and hope) that it will always be evolving. Presently, I’ve been working on painting “intuitively” to create abstract pieces that are informed by a combination of my inspiration gatherings and what happens with the paint in the moment. I find it a wonderful, sometimes frustrating, challenge to bring those two things together. I work in many layers of acrylic paint and have more than one canvas going at a time – to allow time for layers to dry and/or to move on if I’m feeling stuck. In winter months (when it’s cold in my studio) I work with Encaustics – using layers of melted wax on wood boards to create abstract collages. My long-term goal as an artist is to be able to evoke that spark I feel when I’m inspired into a painting of my own authentic style – somewhere between literal and abstract.
As a wife and mother I find time to be my biggest challenge, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I keep our kitchen table stocked with art supplies and work it in whenever I can – even if it’s just a ten minute sketch – keeping it present keeps my momentum going. It also helps to have a supportive husband who understands that being creative is a vital part of me and when my daughters see me giving time to such a personal endeavor as making art – I feel the payoff is priceless!