Long Story Short:
I painted for a long time. Then I embroidered. Now I paint again.
Before any of that I was an advertising copywriter.
Long Story Long:
I became an artist when I became a mom. My desire to create art seemed to rival my desire to create children. I always loved textiles so I began by making quilts. Too slow. Too time consuming.
I was inspired to try my hand at pastels after discovering a fellow self-taught artist, George Colin. Colin was an untrained folk artist from downstate Illinois and his bright colored naive pastels absolutely charmed me. Not knowing how to store these delicate pastels I had created I was introduced to a wholesale framer who would change my life. Joe took a look at my 5 pastels and told me to make more. He would frame them for dirt cheap out of leftover moulding. He wanted me to start doing summer art festivals with them. I did what Joe said and that first summer, Joe would pick me up in his van, loan me a tent and display and sit with me for 2 solid days helping me sell my art. He would talk to everyone when I was too self-conscious. He taught me how to price my art. He taught me how to believe in myself. He gave me a career. Joe became a dear friend and helped me for years. He has since died but I am indebted to him forever.
I spent the next 15 years developing my skills and my brain. Trying new medium. Exhibiting in different venues. I primarily painted with acrylics and mixed media but I also dabbled in printmaking and would love to return to that craft.
After discovering Facebook I had a need to explore social media and they ways it was affecting my teenage children and their peers. I went back to my childhood love of textiles and began to embroider my drawings to act as a contrast to the cyber speed of the new photo sharing life and to drive home my presence as a mother through the domestic craft. Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago began to represent me with these works. I had two solo shows and the gallery took my work to Art Basel in Miami. I also exhibited at George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles and Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York City as well as countless museum and gallery shows throughout the country. The work is still being sought out by curators for exhibitions throughout the US.
I began making my hand embroidered necklaces recently during a period when I had limited time to work. That led to embroidered pet necklaces which led to pet portraits in hoops which led to a thriving commission based business.
As my children aged and social media sharing became old news I moved on to a new textile based series called “56” . It was a very personal, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, look at my life at a significant time.
“56” was interrupted by a sonic bomb called Trump. I found myself unable to focus on anything else after the election in 2016. After fighting it for almost a year, I gave myself permission to start developing a series that spoke to the politics of the time. But I refused to let the work be depressing and painful. I didn’t want to “live” in that space. So I looked for a way to talk about the pain while infusing it with incredible beauty and humor.