My earliest memory of creating art was sitting in the church pew beside my mother as a child drawing. I loved the blank pages of the backs of the inserts – they were my blank canvases – rife with possibility. And the times when there were no inserts in the bulletin, I would study the picture on the front, taking my time to block in shapes and shades and outlines with my borrowed ball-point pen.
Art was what made me special, and because of that, I grew to love and appreciate it. At Hillsdale College in the mid-nineties I turned my attention away from church bulletins to real blank canvases as I learned to paint in oils and learned how to translate what I saw in the world around me. After college, I married my high school sweetheart and we had two sons. I wandered away from any formal artwork for about 15 years as I focused on my family and have recently returned to my first love, creating. I feel that in some ways that I have finally come full circle – paying homage to the little girl bent over the hymnal tracing the beauty I found on the front of the bulletin. Now I capture those images myself and bring them home to study them in depth. Working with my photographs to block in shades of color with my pen and ink gives me not only a broader appreciation of the wonder of the world around me, but also a deeper amazement for the intricacies of that world. On the flip side of that coin is my painting and drawing. I am always searching for new mediums to try and my curiosity has lead me from oils and acrylics to markers, colored pencils, and once again back to the ball-point pen that I favored in my youth.
In my studio I have a quote scribbled on a scrap of paper near my easel; it says, “I walk in the world to love it.” by Mary Oliver from her book of essays, "Long Life." Whether it is something I have read, the sight of a weed poking up from the cracks of the sidewalk, the discovery of an old lump of rotting vegetation in my backyard, or a myriad of other wonders I find, my creativity fires nonstop as I acknowledge all of the lovely things that surround me. When I create it is like sitting down to have a conversation with these objects, finding their secrets and uncovering their value. I am a wonder seeker. I am a knowledge craver. I am a lover of the world.