For almost two decades, my artistic practice has discussed light and space; it has discussed art and its making. It has addressed the issue of how to portray interior and exterior human connections through painting and drawing. In contemporary society, we often are disconnected from our intellect and our bodies, from each other and our environment, so much so that we are unaware of the power and importance of these connections to our very survival. Consequently, the emotional and psychological challenge in my work is to visually describe these connections through the compositional elements of form, line, color, surface, and gesture. Just as these concepts are abstract, my work is also non-objective, usually consisting of abstract forms on various grounds.
Often using a square format support, whether it is paper, canvas or board, I work with a variety of mediums, including alkyd and oil paint, graphite, conte crayon, encaustic (bees wax), charcoal, inks and/or thread to build a layered surface. Even when the image is a simple line or mark, the surface is tactile, one of markings and forms that can emerge into and disappear from focus, a visual parallel to the way we are attuned to and unaware of our senses. Color is critical to the resonance of my work. Sometimes the paintings and drawings are ensconced in dark, empty grounds. In other works they are vivid and saturated. The colors are symbolic of the inner and outer worlds I seek to portray.
Since graduate school, sixteenth century painter, Carravaggio and his use of the picture plane has influenced my art. Other influences include the still life genre as practiced by Cezanne and Morandi, who investigated the essence of objects through spatial constructs and shifting perspective; the landscape genre as painted by Turner, who painted the light and atmosphere from personal experience; and artists such as Julia Mehretu, Landon Mackenzie, and Richard Long, who probe human movements through mapping. I must also note the influences of artists whose works delve into nature and walking through it, and writers who do the same: notably Robert McFarlane, Robert Moor, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The use of space and line by contemporary artists, whose work I encounter during travels, further informs my art.
I received an M.F.A. in visual arts from The Vermont College, Montpelier, Vermont, and a B.A. from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. The year following graduation, I spent as an art apprentice at St. Olaf. From 1998 through 2013, I served as director of the Flaten Art Museum at St. Olaf College, where I also taught visual art classes. I have served on the artist panel of the Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and have received awards from shows and grants from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council and the State Arts Board. My work is exhibited frequently in various venues in the Midwest. It has also been included in exhibits across the country. My work can be found in several public and private collections in the Midwest as well as in Chicago, New Jersey, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, Oregon; and in Oslo, Norway.
I live with my husband Ken in Northfield, Minnesota.