My artistic medium is mixed media on canvas. I like the way words mix with images, and often add Chinese take-out containers, chocolate wrappers and torn pages of books to my paintings that can be serendipitous to the viewer. If you look closely, you’ll find all kinds of surprises.
I am an experiential artist, meaning, I typically develop a relationship with my subject before painting it. To paint snow-covered mountains, I hike to the top and ski down. To paint aspen trees, I run through their shimmering leaves on mountain trails. To paint ravens, I watch them fly overhead in a desert canyon, and listen to the sound of their wings. When these images start simmering in my brain, this is the seed of my work.
I hope that my work will bring joy to you. Or inspiration, or sweetness or something meaningful as you look around my site … Thanks for stopping by.
What is peanut butter without jelly, what are cookies without milk? Or the right Red without the savoriest of meats? Most things we do are better with someone else, and being an artist is no exception. This is the case with my relationship with the super yummy, organic La Cocina de Luz restaurant, on the main street of Telluride, Colorado. Thanks to Lucas Price and Judy Haas, I have had many shows on big open walls, with high [more]
I have been staring at an older painting of mine and having urges to rework it. Since I'm trying to get better at following my intuition, I went ahead and started painting over it. Risk ruining a painting? Yes, because RISK is what it takes to make good art great. Whether or not you think this painting is great, it feels like a true expression of my voice, and I love that. For a long time I've been working towards finding my voice [more]
“This sky where we live is no place to lose your wings so love, love, love.” – Hafiz I grew up knowing my mother's side was the Bird family. But it was my cousin Kathleen, who reminded me after I finished this mixed media bird painting, that her middle name was Bird. I have been thinking a lot about the Birds ever since. When we remember our ancestors, and look into the faces of those with traces of our own selves, we [more]
In playing with my new white paint markers, I got down on the floor and doodled away, with no regard to the feelings of the orange. When all was said and done, I had this cheerful piece that now lights up my whole kitchen with happy vibes. My poor kitchen wall has so many holes in it from switching out paintings, trying them on, selling them, replacing them, and dropping them and denting my heater below, and so on. Sometimes you [more]
I overheard a comment a student of mine made at SQUAM last fall, and have been thinking about it ever since. "Inspiration is for amateurs", she said, quoting another artist. I talk a lot about inspiration when I teach – was I missing something – is it just fluff? I think inspiration is a gift, and the result of feeling fully alive, in the moment – some say, to be "in spirit" – a gift that brings with it a whirl of ideas [more]
Part of why I live in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado is that I'm close to the desert. I have a deep need to be near both. I need to get up high on a mountain every bit as much as I need to immerse myself in the red rock desert – to pad my feet along its sandy trails, to scout for ancient dwellings, to see the miracle of water flowing through its canyons when the snow melts in spring, and makes its long, generous journey to lower [more]
Here are a few sweet little Valentine's ideas, if you're already thinking of that special someone... or yourself! "Today", one of my favorite bird prints. A sweet little Valentine's gift, with collaged details of hand-made papers, butterflies and poetry, this purple bird print will warm up any wall with unspoken comfort. Canvas is approx. 1.5" deep, and is stretched on wood bars and ready to hang - no frame needed. 20" x [more]
A wee bit of painting and india ink, and my first attempt at video blogging Happy New Year! Little Bird, this Japanese-style songbird painting, was a fun exploration of letting india ink drip all over the place. My grandparents traveled the world many times, and I always remember these prints around their home. I am lucky enough to have one in my own home now that they are gone. This painting is a commission. If you're [more]
There is really only one person who knows most everything about me –Mollie. My sister lives in New Orleans and has a long and complex history there. One of living in many neighborhoods, and once proud homes with marble fireplaces and 15 ft doorways. The house on St. Charles St, for example, was the most grand, with its long, creaky stairway, tiny kitchens, immense living room, and ceiling-high windows. It was long past its [more]
Maybe some artists can pour their sorrows out on canvas, but not me. I need to be in the mood. Some kind of mood that is not too funky at least. So I typically start a studio day with a run or some form of exercise to get me out of my environment. Then I can really settle in to what I'm doing. Next: make tea, snacks, turn the heat up and get in my favorite painting shirt. Before turning on the music du jour, I'll often sit and [more]
"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery" - Francis Bacon There is nothing like working hard on a body of art then seeing it well lit on big, beautiful walls. (Or as I accidentally said to a guest,"well hung and well lit.") Thanks to John Metcalf, we did so at the Independence Building in Ridgway this weekend. So much fun to then throw the party, and show up in hopes of handing our guests a little of the beauty [more]