Q: What started it all for you? How did you get into the arts?
A: Like most artists, I’ve been drawing since I was a child. I never went to art school but around 15 years ago, I started taking art classes locally with Jane Joyner, Vis Arts Center and VMFA. In 2016, I began to paint full time. Now, my goal Is to get into my studio every day.
Q: Tell me about your creative process / How do you approach new projects?
A: I paint plein air and also in my studio. When I’m outside trying to determine what to paint, I’m attracted to scenes that have a strong light and shadow pattern. I look at the subject first and distill down from there. In the studio, I will crop a photograph to achieve a pleasing composition. As an artist I can edit the subject, like removing a tree if it doesn’t work or add a building in the distance, etc.
If I’m working on an abstract painting, I will start with a color scheme and see where the painting takes me. I think it’s important for all artists to work from life if they can.
Q: Who and/or what are your biggest inspirations and how do they influence your work?
A: Joaquin Sorolla and John Singer Sargent are two of my favorite artists. I am so inspired by Sorolla’s use of color and by Sargent’s energy and brushwork. I am amazed at the color Sorolla uses in his water/beach scenes and the colors in his figures. Same with Sargent. I refer to both often for inspiration.
Q: What is your favorite subject matter to focus on and why?
A: I’m always looking at something and thinking, can I paint that? Can I paint that sunset? Or those rocks? Or whatever. Whether a still-life, seascape, landscape, or portrait, it really gets down to the sum of the whole that I am observing. It’s those challenges that make art so fun.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m finishing up some plein air pieces from earlier this summer and some studio paintings based on old family photographs. I’m also working on a series of abstract work.
Q: If you had a motto, for your art and life, what would it be?
A: Be grateful for today, slow down and notice the beauty in every little thing. Painting has taught me to appreciate the beauty in nature, and not take myself too seriously. The more you look, and the more you paint, the more you will see.