In the Studio with
How did you start making art?
- Art with a capital A was something for that special group of people who took the classes in school. It never occurred to me that I might be an artist though my best memory of elementary school was making paper mache puppets. But I didn’t pick up a pencil to actually create until maybe ten years later. I remember experiencing that first “in the moment”– sketching from memory the back of a boy I had a crush on carrying his surf board into the sea. Two children and a couple of marriages later, I picked up the pencil again and this time with earnest. Small, painstaking drawings of birds or flowers. About 20 years ago I took a pastel class and that transformed me. I have been drawing and painting ever since and on bigger canvases.
Why do you create and what need does it satisfy?
- I create because it’s fun. I just love to make things. I see something, get an idea and I can’t wait to make it. If I am not creating, I am emotionally unwell.
As an artist, what is your most important tool?
- My hands, my eyesight. I appreciate them so much. Because of my many different interests, I have many different tools from knitting needles to really fine mechanical pencils and Rosemary brushes. Collecting the toys is part of the fun of creating. I love to create tool kits, one for watercolor, one for colored pencil. It also helps me corral the potential chaos of such bounty.
What is something that you can’t live without in your studio and why?
- Light. Not just to enhance vision, but to enhance the joy and warmth of my space.
What is your least favorite part of your process?
- I call it the “ugly stage” It usually happens about 30 minutes into a new painting. I jump into a project with all my visions and ideas, and then step back to see the canvas does not remotely match my dream. It is very important at this stage to put your head down and work through it. Try to leave the studio on a good note.
What is your favorite part?
- My favorite part is when I step back from the painting and amaze myself. People talk about being in the zone – it’s true. Sometimes I feel the painting painted itself. It’s magic. A blessing. It’s so much fun.