My inspiration and process
I am inspired by the little details in life. I'm drawn to the negative space of the images I paint and I like to carve a space for the form to appear. This process allows for a more intuitive brushstroke. It seems to enhance the object even if its just a small bud on a tree. To me, everything around that little bud helps make it magical! Bright colors are truly my friends. Using intense combinations is what makes me feel alive and energized. Sometimes I like to calm down with a quiet palette. I occasionally paint on large canvases, but I prefer to paint on smaller pieces of unique shapes and sizes of wood. I enjoy collecting, cutting, sanding and adding color to it. The texture, smell, and weight are always unpredictable. I like that the wood is a little dinged on the edges and shows some wear. Just like me!
My story: the SHORT version
I have been painting and selling my work for several years. I paint with acrylic most often on unique shapes and sizes of wood. When I began making prints I decided to apply them to wood to keep the same "feel" as the originals. You can find my originals, greeting cards and prints on baltic birch in several galleries, gift shops, art fairs, in my studio and on this website. Thanks for being here!
My story: the LONG version
I always new I wanted to be an artist. Mrs. Isle, my third grade teacher, planted the seed when she handed back my painting assignment and said "you are an artist". I still have that painting on my studio wall as a reminder of what one person can do to inspire another. This desire carried me through many chapters of my life. A Graphic design degree sealed the deal. Raising my two daughters was the most incredible art project ever! They are Blessed with the ability to see and honor the little things that life and nature have to offer. What a gift!
I began painting murals in homes and businesses when the girls were small. A LOT of murals. This became a part time profession while doing other graphic design related jobs and it was incredible! But eventually there was a shift. On a morning walk down our country road I noticed a new house being built. I saw all the scraps being tossed so I asked the builder if I could have some of them. I painted on the wood scraps, added some very quirky little thoughts to them with a marker and when they sold at a local craft fair I was delighted. I loved painting on those little blocks so much that I painted and painted and painted. Hundreds of little blocks. Thousands of little blocks. Kinda like Forest Gump running and not stopping. Thats how much I painted on little blocks!
Phewf dah that's a lot of painting. On really small squares.
One fall day (way back in the beginning of this "block painting phase") I was was strolling through Northfield MN, the charming college town where we lived, and was suddenly struck with the impulse to rent a building and have a public studio where I could paint, sell my work and sell other artists work as well. This is when my life as an artist changed forever. Fortunately I expanded into other shapes and sizes of wood and large canvas to paint on. My daughters, Samara and Jorja, helped and encouraged and worked at art fairs. They still do! I met so many incredible artists and new friends. My family, friends and the community supported my journey and I will never be able to thank them enough.
Yep, the story continues. Grab a cup of coffee!
Several studios, art fairs, gallery shows, murals, teaching block painting and life events later, I found myself in a new marriage and in another college town! The rolling hills, farms, rivers, lakes, trails and wonderful people in Menomonie WI have welcomed me and wrapped their arms around my heart.
One afternoon, I mentioned to Neil (my sweet husband) that I love to paint but the hundreds of blocks and tiny paintings are getting exhausting. I didn't want to give up on them. Those little paintings each told a small story and allowed me to express so much of my sense of humor and appreciation for the "little things" in life that I hold so close to my heart. I also really liked having items that were at a lower price point. So we came up with a plan to make prints. But I would only do it if the prints were on wood so they would feel like the originals. It was trickier than we thought. After SEVERAL months of splinters, saw blades, tools, ideas, giant printers, sawdust, sawdust, sawdust, glue, new wood shop! laughter, sweat and tears we have beautiful prints on baltic birch. Its been challenging but so much fun! Our daughter Jorja spent 6 months living with us and she was a big part in the birth of these little guys. This was a team effort.
Sheesh this story is still going? Fast forward to right now
I still enjoy painting. It's my passion and I absolutely love it! My painting style has evolved and I look forward to where this next chapter will take me. And my prints have allowed a new form of creativity and marketing. You can find my originals, greeting cards and prints on baltic birch in several galleries, gift shops, art fairs, in my studio and on this website.
Do you have one of the hundreds of little blocks I painted? Or any other originals? Or a print that you want to share? Send a photo or a story. I would love to hear from you! EMAIL ME
Thanks for being here and for supporting handmade! This story would be really boring without YOU.
Today is a gift.