I recall wanting to be an Artist as young as 7 or 8.
At some point in elementary school I won a coloring contest. Later, I took first place in the state of Texas for an architectural rending I did in high school. I went on to attend and graduate with a degree in Environmental Design, a 4 year pre-professional architecture program at Texas A&M University. Somewhere during my 3rd year of college I realized that even though I loved architecture, I found that I didn’t care about structures, HVAC, plumbing, etc. Plus, it was doctor’s hours and teacher’s pay. I didn’t like architecture that much.
I finished my degree, rounding out my education with classes in photography and furniture design. I left college with a degree but no plan. I had spent the last 4 years figuring out what I didn’t want to do. I was starting to come around to the idea of graphic design but couldn’t bear the thought of more schooling at that point and no one would hire me to do graphic design with a portfolio full of architectural projects.
My early 20’s were spent working in restaurants, pretty much hating every minute of it as I knew it wasn’t who I was. I wanted more. I always want more. After a few years of occupational slumming I bought myself a computer and proceeded to teach myself Photoshop and Illustrator. I took classes on HTML and Typography. I studied famous graphic designers, learned about grids, letter shapes and forms. I started off doing my own projects, then ended up doing work for others. In the end I ended up getting hired on by one of my regulars at the bar I worked at.
The next 5 years were spent doing primarily web design, some Flash animation, with an introduction to print and layout programs along the way. The dot-com world was big then and there was plenty of work for those who wanted it. I quickly tired of the long hours on the computer and longed for something more. I recall saying that, “life doesn’t exist in this tiny box!”. I wanted to make art. To the point where I even had a dream that my studio burned and the only thing I rescued were a few of my paintings.
I turned from graphic design at that point and went back to the restaurant industry. I wanted work that I didn’t have to take home at night even though I loathed waiting tables. That was the point at which I really started creating art for myself on a regular basis. I had always been creative and would make significant pieces now and again, but I grew up in an environment that wasn’t particularly supportive of the arts and it just took some time for me to understand the need I had to create and to begin to express my own emotions and experiences.
I got married and a year later found myself pregnant with triplets. No they don’t run in the family and no they weren’t in-vitro. They were a gigantic surprise, and once they were born, they consumed more time and energy than I can reasonably express. But once they turned 2 and I had them in day care a few days a week (for my sanity) I knew that I had to get back to painting. My now ex-husband was very supportive and I then spent the next 5 years working close to full-time on creating and promoting my art.
Getting to paint that intensely and consistently for that many years was like my own personalized art program. My style really evolved and matured through this period, developing into a really detailed, layered, unique form of abstract expression. I have over 150 original pieces of art in private collection, have done several pieces on commission and have art on 3 continents.
Making art is one of the most intimate, raw and real experiences I know. It really is a special thing to birth a piece of art. For me, making art is a process of arranging some of my most vulnerable places into layers of color, shape and line. It’s a need, a desire and a language – both to and from deeper, non-verbal layers of my being.
I took a break from the art, which turned into a period of divorce and doing the things that newly divorced people do to survive. I started painting again December of 2018. It was like exhaling. I recently moved my family to Pittsburgh and have a studio space in Etna. I’m thrilled to be here.