Where is your studio located? What are past locations of your studio?
I paint in a studio we built in our backyard which allows me much more freedom and flexibility in making paintings. Prior to 2016, I painted at The Art Explosion Studios in San Francisco.
Where were you born? Where did you grow up? Where do you reside now?
I was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1964. I grew up in the Connecticut countryside, riding my bike along the tobacco roads with names like bread and milk road. I spent the past 30 years in San Francisco and now live in Hayward.
Describe what your childhood was like. I grew up along the Connecticut shore where my father kept his sailboat and spent my 14th summer picking tobacco for L.B. Hass. The gentle rise of the land crowded with small houses, the morning fog, and windy sunny beach days are all vivid memories of my childhood. The smoky fragrant aroma of BBQ over burning charcoal, the hazy landscape lush and green, dotted with weathered barns had an indelible effect on my artistic sensibility which is concerned with memory, impermanence, and loss.
How old were you when you realized you wanted to be an artist? Was there a particular event or moment when you suddenly knew you wanted to be an artist? I was voted “class Artist” in High School and learned about color, composition and Art History from my mother who taught art at the local High School. While she could rhapsodize about chiaroscuro, she was unable to imagine a person making a living from art. So I studied film and creative writing in College and never picked up a brush until 20 years later. In 2001 I rented a studio in an artist warehouse during a crossroads in my life. While I'd never painted before, I found it to be an intuitive natural expression and by 2002 was selling my work through open studios, local cafes, and consignment galleries.
A collector told me, “Your paintings remind me that I don't have to be perfect.” This tells me my work can inspire someone to expand their concept of what art can do for them. I believe that we can transform our lives, and it is our scars which make us complex and beautiful. This is the impetus behind every mark I make on the canvas: to “transform the mistake”, and to create paintings which are both beautiful and flawed. I believe the positive response to my work is directly related to the incorporation of this message into my medium.
What is your educational background and artistic training? much of what I take as common knowledge, I picked up from my mom. She taught me to figure things out for myself, leave parts unfinished for the eye to fill in and when in doubt, throw it out. I moved to the Bay Area after high school, studying filmmaking and creative writing at San Francisco State University. I graduated Magna cum laude with a BA in Creative Writing in 1988. I'm most concerned with the ability of a painting to impact the viewer by telling a story or conveying an emotion.
Why did you choose your subject matter? I keep Image files in paint covered 3 hole punch notebooks, pulling the subjects of my paintings from a trove of found imagery—stacks of outdated travel books, National Geographic and instruction manuals. I often borrow from snapshots of people caught in action, found in boxes at the flea market.
How did you develop your technique?. Over Christmas one year I propped a still tacky oil painting against a wall with a shelf on it. Unbeknownst to me, my jug of Murphy's oil soap tipped over and the thick liquid, which I use for cleaning the paint brushes poured down the painting. When I returned a week later the paint had eaten through 7 layers of paint. I laid the canvas on the floor and poured a jug of water over to mop up the soap, I found the effect on the tacky oil painting was striking and embraced the distressed aesthetic.I in developing an unorthodox technique of scrubbing my canvases with oil soap and dousing them with water, Int.. and Rustoleum oil based waterproof enamel.Murphy’s oil soap is poured onto the canvas which is tilted to create dripping horizontals and verticals. The soap which is used to clean brushes was an unexpected discovery. It eats away layers of paint in what I call "LIFTS"----revealing hidden colors below. The process is completely unpredictable and requires a fearless leap of faith. By giving up control, this process forces me to stay lighthearted and adaptable to the evolution of the painting,
Who are your major influences? I love the paintings of Gustav Klimt. I appreciate the delicacy of his figures and his bold aesthetic. While I find his work visually pretty, decorative art ultimately suffers its lack of soul. I am more affected by the pure emotion in the paintings of Egon Schiele, Gaugin’s naive use of form and Van Gogh’s intuitive use of color. Francesco Clemente and Dan Mccaw are two contemporary artists I admire.
What artist organizations, guilds, clubs, and/or societies do you belong to?
I am a Precita Eyes Muralist,l Center public arts advocate, a Visual Aid Grant recipient, contributing writer for The Painters Keys and a guest reviewer at Art business.com.I was awarded a grant for the Hillcrest Elementary Mural Project by Phillips 66 corporation was honored hist the painter John Neto at his request
What major shows or publications have you been featured in? I have had many successful exhibitions I was invited to exhibit my work at the International Art Fair with Sandra Lee Gallery in 2010 and with Nieto Fine Art in 2011. My work has been featured in Artweek Magazine, The SF Chronicle, and three of my paintings were featured in the July 2009 issue of ELLE Décor magazine. in I was voted fine art studio online featured artist and was the subject of an article by art critic Brian Herman.
As an artist, what is your mission? I believe that the role of the artist is to translate with conviction and clarity the inchoate longings we all feel for that which is authentic and true: to unravel the poetry of the soul.