There are different aspects to my work. I am a visual story teller using Western Watercolor, Pastel and Asian Ink Paintings to tell tales about parenting and life in Downeast Maine. The liquidness of watercolor conveys mist seeping, sea fog rising, kids squishing through mud puddles. Pastel carves out the 3d in 2d space -layered clouds, depths in storm tossed seas. Asian Ink's immediacy captures the flowers, the cliffs, the wildlife. For this latter medium I use classic Japanese and Chinese supplies including raw suen paper, ground sea shells, vegetable colors and sumi ink.
Teaching is also a very important part of my art. Working with others, sharing my knowledge and know how, is critical to my own growth.Before I teach a lesson, I review the material by practicing those skills I will share that day. The act of teaching, questioning and helping others develop the skills necessary to depict their visions, continuously opens doors for my own work
Teaching the Japanese language and philosophies then integrating and wedding East and West aesthetics is another key aspect of how I see and therefore what I paint and teach.
As a Quaker Business woman, my business practices are rooted in life values. I am committed to keeping original art affordable and accessible. Instead of relying on reproductions for inventory, I work 8-10 hours a day painting. This continues to hone skills and vision. Using the Quaker Testimony of Simplicity to make decisions, I keep prices down by recycling, reusing and avoiding extemporaneous equipment.
My ultimate goal is to be rooted in my community by creating in my studio work spaces for folks to come explore the visual arts and having social gatherings to look at and explore art.
I am working on developing a curriculum teaching visual art. It is a two fold program. On the one hand there is the working with folks to draw out their visions. This is done by building the habit of keeping a sketchbook in which visceral and emotional reactions are recorded. This along with on going discussions about art and also having one's own art viewed by others helps in the articulation process of vision.
Hand in hand with this is the development of skills. So often when folks come to learn and I ask, what do you want to achieve, it is the lack of fundamental skills which is preventing them from expressing themselves in the way they want. Therefore, the other part of this program is building skills beginning with drawing. A good drawing class really teaches how to 'see'. It cuts away the misconceptions or the habits of seeing we have formed.
A dream is creating a community fine art center. I hope the studio will be a place for folks to come to work on drawing . Eventually I hope to have plaster casts and other equipment for pursuing the art of drawing) as well as centers supplied with materials. so folks can try different mediums before making the huge investment themselves.
Recently I have returned to watercolor. For most of the winter, pastels captured my mood as I wondered out of doors marveling at what snow does on trees and sea fog shapes evoke. But watercolor's ability to spill and run and stir create tempests and wind whipped branches on the paper. There is something about allowing watercolor do what it does best that creates a free, colorful beginning for what can become a very focused and detailed piece.
Another project is gold leafing. I returned to Pennsylvania taking kids for spring break to visit their friends. I visited several homes in which my work lives in some cases taking new pictures to clients who have staid in touch. How gratifying to hear the joy folks get from having something on their walls which brings them some joy espcially in these trying times. Many of the pieces are gold leaf works which I did far more regularly. Gold leaf, like Asian Ink Painting does not seem to speak to folks here in Maine. Yet, i am now inspired to work again on that very unusual surface. I am considering trying some of the watercolor techniques which can be used on very slick surfaced illustration board! What fun to look forward to such experiments!