"I believe I am a story-teller who uses a combination of energetic brush strokes and palette knife to reveal a plot. My work is fearless with loose intentional strokes and layers of thick paint. I love realism and impressionism and the concentrated effort to combine these in an energetic abstract approach is my goal."
Tell us about yourself and background.
Talking about myself is a constantly evolving matter. I am a poet, a writer, a teacher, an interpreter, but mostly a student of everything I see. My background begins at a small farm in a moderately sized town in North Alabama, US, where, as the youngest of three siblings, with a large gap in age, I was alone most of the time and had to find ways to entertain myself.
I had a propensity towards drawing and sketching from imagination, as well as every horse I could find.
I spent most of my days outside, riding horses, drawing, living in a make believe world. An art degree wasn’t supported, so I chose a Business degree from the local university, but could not stop being an artist. After several years in the corporate world, I turned to painting. I have mentored under some great teachers - some well-known- some not so well known. But each one, opened a new door and the evolution began. Many would say I am self-taught, I do not believe in this term, someone is teaching us, even if I am only reading a book or studying a Sargent painting. My Recent mentors were Scott Christensen, Dennis Perrin and Quang Ho.
Tell us about your work.
I believe I am a story-teller who uses a combination of energetic brush strokes and palette knife to reveal a plot. My work is fearless with loose intentional strokes and layers of thick paint. I love realism and impressionism and the concentrated effort to combine these in an energetic abstract approach is my goal. I paint mainly from life, either in my studio or on location. I do not limit myself to one subject. But for the first 30 years of my life, I think I only drew and painted horses. I am a prolific and fast painter because life changes at a monumental speed and to “capture” the moment is a like riding a bull for 8 seconds.
What makes your work and approach unique?
My art is unique, because I am constantly experimenting and pushing the extremes of realism and impressionism, by painting the changing lights, or dying flowers, exaggerating colors that may only exist as a breathe in the corner of a vase. Someone asked me once, when I was painting an alleyway (in pinkish colors) “Do you really see that color”, I replied, “ Yes, Don’t you?” I also push for accuracy, with quick purposeful shape making. It is almost like sculpting, but on a 2 D surface.
I use Michael Harding paints, with intense color and the right amount of “sticky” to it. It took me several years going through many brands of paint to find the perfect paint for me. I did this with all my supplies until the quality is where it is now.
Why is your work a good investment?
The price of my work has gone up 20% a year since 2010. I have been winning awards since I went public in 2001. My art was featured on the front cover of the nationally acclaimed magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur by the editor’s pick in March/ April, 2018. In 2017 I was chosen one of 11 Women to Watch in Southwest Art Magazine. I continue to grow and have national and international recognition.
Tell us about some of your achievements.
The front cover of the Fine Art Connoisseur would be a great achievement, it is like getting a top hit song on the radio for an artist. I was nationwide known over night. It also helped that I painted a chateau in France, the Chateau Orquevaux where the owner, Ziggy Attias, has residencies for artists. It has opened gallery doors for me and I am busier now than I have ever been in my career so far.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Horses, Flowers, anything of beauty or energy. I want to hang a beautiful piece of artwork in my home, and that is what I sell. If I do not find beauty in my own art, I sand it down and repaint it. And If a piece doesn't sell, I try to improve it, if I can’t, it goes under the sander. I also love painting items or themes of antiquity. Combining past and present.
What are you passionate about?
Making things seem timeless. I paint a lot of china, which I have been criticized for, because “Who will collect that?” I told you I lived in a story of make-believe growing up, I sometimes remember Alice in Wonderland, when painting my recent tablescapes. Giving names and character to teapots and spoons.
Tell us the back-story of some of your projects.
I am just now arriving in a position of higher demand for my art for shows and galleries. I have a solo show at a Botanical Garden in Huntsville, Alabama where they are sporting 30 of my pieces of artwork. This is my first year with galleries and I am prepping for 3 galleries this fall and winter. I probably have over 120 framed pieces of art, ready for purchase.
Share with us your upcoming projects.
I am on a “tablescape” kick right now, producing the things you might see on a table after a wedding, or after a visit with a friend. I buy flowers every week and put fresh flowers on my table, which I use in my “tablescape”, I go to antique shops and sales to get the right trinkets and items that you could find on sophisticated tables. I am not one to paint only one series though. I am also working a steeplechase series, based on the Iroquois races in Nashville, Tennessee. I get back passes to take my big camera and get some intense shots of horses jumping and running, and jockeys flying. It is going to be fantastic.
Tell us about where you are based.
I am based in Taft, Tennessee a small town of maybe 200 people. It is out in the countryside, no light pollution and I hear coyotes howling every night. I have horses, dogs, and cats (and a husband). Our children have lives of their own, we have three. My studio is at the loft on the upper floor of our home. I can look down at the farm and the valley. It is a beautiful, quiet place to explore my crazy ideas for painting.