Artist Statement

As a poet, I worked forward. Through elementary school rhymes to adolescent emotional struggle and into young adulthood, with rage and minimalism. In Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde writes:

For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. . . . . Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.  . . . Poetry is not only dream or vision, it is the skeleton architecture of our lives.  . . . For within structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were meant to kneel to thought as we were meant to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets. And there are no new pains. We have felt them all already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They lie in our dreams, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom. They are made realizable through our poems that give us the strength and courage to see, to feel, to speak, and to dare.

I knew this about poetry, but I could not see my way out of the “structures of profit.” I thought teaching poetry would provide a sturdy middle ground and so I became a professional critic. I earned a Ph.D. in literature. This got me no closer to any structure of profit, and I found instead only strictures on my mind and heart. I began to paint and, as Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I found I could say things with colors that I couldn’t say in any other way – things that I had no words for.”

I started with simple drawings made from markers that had always hovered around as essential tools. My marker collection was enormous by the time I waded into paint. I started in abstraction; making marks was my only interest for several years. Eventually, I scratched together the resources to take art classes.  I have enjoyed developing my skills in a more formal setting, and learning new ways of seeing and representing the world around me. Now, I am here.

Here, I have limited studio space. I decided to challenge myself by working exclusively on 9″ x 12″ paper. So, unless otherwise noted, this is the size of the work you will find on this page. This has the added benefit of making my work more affordable to frame. I paint with a variety of acrylics, and sometimes use pastels, chalk, charcoal, ink, and other materials to make marks. I usually start simply, working with colors to match the emotional tenor of what I seek to express. Finding palette for a series of paintings  remains an ongoing process–and in that process, one painting begets another. Sometimes, a painting  emerges as a more-or-less singular expression, but that is rare.

Everything on this site, unless otherwise noted, is for sale. Everything is copyrighted by me, the artist.

Thank you for visiting.

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