How does being an artist affect your life (good and/or bad)?
Overwhelmingly, it has been a positive thing. It feels good to create something. I’m often excited thinking about a new technique or inspired by a recent trip to a gallery. It’s my passion. I try to get in the studio everyday. Some weeks are just too hectic, but even if I can work for 10 minutes and move a painting along, I feel better. Of course it is stressful too, especially the business side of it. I spend a lot of time preparing boards to paint on, listing new work, packaging, creating prints, but I’m grateful for every sale because it allows me to continue on this amazing journey of being a working artist.
The most difficult thing seems to be consistency. If you have followed my work for any length of time you will see me jump around stylistically. My work is mainly figurative women with collage, but within that theme I play around with backgrounds, body types and the way the faces are rendered. I hope people aren’t put off by that, but I am too curious and too new at all this to just settle down on one way of doing things. I guess the easiest is getting inspired, hence my problem. Everything gets my creative juices flowing. The way my son draws a line, the colors in a Birthday card I just received, a dark tree silhouetted against the light blue sky, art magazines, blogs and galleries. I want to try everything I see and interpret it personally.
If you had to choose just five paint colors to use for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Blue, red, yellow, white and burnt umber. The first four because you can mix most colors from them so I wouldn’t ever be limited. I had a painting instructor who would only let us buy those colors at the beginning of the semester and we had to learn to mix everything. He wanted us to only use white sparingly, but I disagree there. I love white, and wish I had more white space in my paintings. Burnt umber is my favorite shade recently, I use it with a little blue to make a lovely black, and I’ve been using it to render faces a lot. Tell us about your family and where you live:I am married to a great guy, Mike, who is one year younger than me. We have two little kids, Paul is five and Lila is two and I stay home with them. We live in Ballwin Mo, which is right outside St. Louis. St. Louis is a great place to live. We have one of the best zoos in the country and it’s FREE. I took my family to the art museum today for a family fun event and our art museum is free too. There are amazing restaurants, especially ethnic foods, gorgeous parks and pretty good art stores. Most importantly, almost all of my family lives here, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. We’re pretty close and have huge family gatherings at least twice a year. My only complaint is we don’t have an IKEA.
Describe a typical day in your life:
We are a busy busy group of people. Mike goes to work; he is an IT guy at a big telecommunications company. The little ones go to their respective ‘preschools’ three mornings a week and I go downstairs to my studio to ‘work’. I drink coffee, watch CNN and paint. Two days a week I go to college. I am nearing completion on a BFA in art education. We are all usually home for dinner and I love cooking and try out lots of new recipes. My husband and Lila are good eaters and are game for most things I make, Paul not so much, but he’s getting a little better. Once the kids are all tucked into bed, I usually am too tired to work more, so I watch some TV like my beloved American Idol or the Daily Show.