More of a textile artist than a fiber artist, I create my work exclusively from my own hand-dyed and printed fabrics. My current work is focused through metaphorical bifocals. In my near vision I examine the community around me; my everyday world. It is the result of what I see with my eyes. My far vision captures the impressions made upon me by the greater world. It is the result of what I see with my mind; my opinion pieces.
In my efforts to redirect my artistic viewpoint over a year ago, I took to heart the words of Mark Twain who astutely said “Write what you know.” In these works I have documented utility poles, parked cars, small starter homes, dollar stores and self-storage units. I have discovered that what I see everyday is worthy of documentation. In other works my tendency to think critically about less tangible things allows me to document not what I know, but what I question. These pieces express my concerns about current social and cultural situations and my concerns around the decaying state of our environment. I have the hope that my work in this area influences others to make their own inquiry into life’s complexities.
I was born in 1961 into a military family and when my father retired in 1974 we settled in Maryland. At Army bases all along the way I explored my artistic side. I tried my hand at embroidery, knitting, ceramics, Spirograph, and paper maché. In Maryland, influenced by the high standards of talented public school teachers, I dreamed of being a “real artist.” I studied art published in books. I drew the “You too can be an artist!” depictions I saw in the backs of magazines. I tried my hand at batik and tie-dyed tee-shirts and sewed many of my own clothes. In my 20’s, Baltimore’s big city environment focused my youthful energy into community political action. The excitement of “changing the world” was contrasted with the serenity of making traditional quilts from clothes found in local thrift stores. When I gave up the city life and moved to central West Virginia at 26 I was introduced to the State’s quilt makers. I soon discovered “art quilters” and my desire to be an artist began again to surface. In my 30’s I discovered the art of hand-dyeing and printing fabrics at the Oregon College of Art & Craft and, after a decade of dyeing, pushed my capabilities up several notches with an intensive class from dye master Carol Soderlund. I am now in my 50’s and work exclusively with textiles of my own creation. My framed and free hanging textile works have won several awards in my adopted State of West Virginia, including a 2019 Merit Award in the WV Juried Exhibition and Best of Show in the 2020 WV Emerging Artists Exhibition.
Other Creative Skills
Textile Design & Artistry