Featured artist, April 2021
What is your name (or the name you go by for your art)?
Where do you live?
What is your background?
Definitely not art! I did post-graduate studies in international development, and then worked in that area for over 20 years. However, my work took me to many regions of the world, and that led eventually to my wanting to record what I was experiencing in drawings and paintings.
Which media do you prefer to work with?
My focus is acrylic paint. Into that I like to incorporate graphite, charcoal, pastels and crayon. I’ve recently done some exploration with ceramics and I’m feeling the need to work three-dimensionally and combine that in some manner with painting. Let’s see where that leads me in the next year or two.
How did you learn your craft i.e., college, self-taught etc., and what did that entail?
I am self-taught, with many hours of trial and error. I’ve also had tremendous learning from generous artists, such as Jane Davies, and Nicholas Wilton; and from urban sketchers Liz Steel, Stephanie Bower, and Shari Blaukopf.
What does your work aim to say?
I want to paint a communication – sent in colour, line, shape and the emotion embodied in those elements. My intention is that the viewer senses my communication and responds to it. That sounds a bit abstract, perhaps. Really what I mean is that I hope someone looking at my work feels something.
How does your work comment on current social or political issues?
The majority of my work is uncomplicated. It might be exploring how a specific shape or colour creates a feeling. My choice reflects a preference for simplicity, but it is also a flinching away from conflict and feeling too much all at once.
Through work and travel I’ve been very aware of and affected by global development issues, specifically the impacts of poverty, instability and conflict on families and communities. When I feel overwhelmed, I have attempted to process what I know and feel as I paint. This kind of work takes a huge toll on my energy and it isn’t sustainable.
Who are your biggest influences?
Jane Davies, Roger Cecil and Robert Szot.
How have you developed your career?
Art is my second career, which I started in my late 50s. Career development needs to happen on two fronts, more or less simultaneously. There’s artistic growth, which happens slowly and steadily as the result of consistent practice and there’s the business side, which has involved learning how to promote my work and having it reach as many people as possible. It’s meant learning how to build a website and how to use social media effectively. I love learning, so that’s been an exciting process.
Do you know where you are heading career wise? What are your hopes for your future?
I figure I have 15 to 25 years left to paint, which sometimes feels ample, and other days feels like a huge urgency. Ultimately, I care less how much I sell. I want to get really, really good at painting. I want to tend this sense of purpose so that at the end I can say “Yes, this is what I did with my life!”