My paintings are inspired by the natural world—both remembered and imagined. From the simplicity of a single wildflower to the complexity of the deep sea, I aim to give fresh insights and perspectives to my subjects. I am outside, observing, as much as possible, and study field guides and natural history books to learn more about what I see. Edges interest me--from shore to sea, meadow to mountain, reality to abstraction. Tides change, the sun sets, borders blur.
Influenced by abstract gestural painters, such as Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell; color field artists, such as Mark Rothko; the Fauves, including Matisse and Derain, (and so many others!) my work meanders along the border that separates abstraction and realism. I want to give the viewer something to hold onto (a hill, a pond, a wave) but then take them beyond that object into something deeper. I am painting a visual image, but also trying to convey a sense of the scene, a feeling, to tap into the viewer's memories and longings.
I paint scenes that have been painted many times before--the sea, a rose, rolling hills, and add something new, unexpected, fresh. My paintings feel alive as I work on them, and I want the viewer to pause and feel that vitality.
As a young child we lived in a Virginia farmhouse; it was there that I discovered what Rachel Carson called “the wonder of nature”. I was what is now called a free-range child, allowed at age five to wander in the woods with my dogs. There I discovered may apples and bluebells, garter snakes (and once, a copperhead) box turtles, bird song and tree bark. When I was seven we moved to a house on the Severn River in Maryland, an estuary of the Chesapeake Bay, and I was immersed in tides and grass shrimp, sea nettles and long deep swims. At fourteen we settled among California hills that in some seasons were dry ochre and olive, others bursting orange poppies and mustard flowers. I carry all of these landscapes within, they are part of my personal geography.
I studied art at Mills College in Oakland, California under Ralph Ducasse and Ron Nagle, among others. I painted sporadically in the years to follow, and spent many hours in museums, as I raised my family and worked as a public service lawyer. Several years ago I started painting steadily, and continued my studies at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, with Christie Scheele, Joerg Dressler, Mary Giammarino and Paul Hocking. I have shown my work at the Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell, Massachusetts, the Longyear Gallery in Margaretville, New York, and the Hunting Tavern in Andes, New York, where the late, beloved artist John Hopkins and I had a two-person show: On a Dark Ground. I recently had a solo show, The Green Hour, at The Longyear Gallery. I divide my time between Brooklyn, New York, where I paint in a studio in Red Hook; and Andes, New York in the western Catskills.