I was an only child who grew up in Connecticut. I first lived in a small brick house with a cherry tree in the front and corn fields on three sides. Later, in the real country, I lived on a hill above some scrubby woods and below the forested woods, with a field of cows further down the narrow dirt road. One time there was a vegetable garden behind an old garage; later a quince tree standing alone in a swath grass. It is said that the rock walls running across the hill had been made by native people. Stone walls running along a thorny depression were likely the sides of 18th century carriage roads. At the top of a hill, a spring bubbled up from the ground and ran down to a pond, full of frogs. A child’s garden of imagination! Now, when I paint, I look for snippets of the wonder I saw around me as a child, for arrangements of old things saved from childhood, and faces that touch me like memories refreshed.
Maybe this is true because the concentration I need to see, draw, and paint is like nothing other than childhood when uninterrupted observation and imagination could carry me through from morning till night.
I studied psychology as an undergraduate at Kirkland College, industrial and labor relations at Cornell University and law at Syracuse University. I lived in upstate New York including the Adirondack mountains until I moved to Colorado in 2000. By that time, my two children were in college and my husband was in search of sun for daylighting research. It was here I began to study drawing and painting.
The art of drawing and painting is the most difficult thing I have ever attempted. It is easy to recognize beauty when looking at a flower; it is nearly impossible for me to see the subtle shifts of light and color that make a flower look beautiful. And then to reduce that observation to marks on a flat surface? How can anyone do that?
As an artist, I am a beginning student. Most of what I see, I cannot imagine making into a picture. But what I love is the concentration, and opportunity that the pencil, the paint, and the paper provide me. Like being that child again, I get to look, to see, to respond and to imagine. Like a child I can fully engage with all that is around me.