I have loved making art for as long as I can remember, and have always felt the need to express my experience of the world as I see it. I am constantly thrilled by moments of discovery, of light and color, rhythm and texture, and the little details of life around me.
I grew up in a small town in Southwestern Idaho. My parents were avid rockhounds and many of my early childhood memories are of traveling dusty two-wheel Jeep tracks to places so remote only the coyotes knew we were there. As my parents spent the day digging to uncover the latest rock treasure, I would entertain myself getting down close to the Earth to inspect and investigate the plants, rocks, or animals inhabiting my tiny world. I learned to tell Time’s passage by seeing the changing colors and textures of light on distant buttes and hillsides.
When I was eleven years old I got my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, and it gave me a way to capture the times and places I wanted to remember. I dreamed of someday expressing what I saw in paint, so photography was a way to record what I saw to use for future paintings. Somehow, I never quite mastered painting, but now over forty years and thousands of photos later, I’m still taking pictures and my camera is part of me! Over time, I have developed a digital manipulation style that, to me, changes my photos into something looking more like paintings. I strive to add my personal artistic vision by creating highly saturated images highlighting unexpected colors that bring out the unseen beauty hidden within. These are photographs, but they’re not, and that is incredibly exciting to the artist-in-me who has dreamed so long of being able to paint what I see.
More recently, I felt compelled to do more with my images than simply manipulating them in a computer. There is magic to be made with a computer in the digital realm, but I am a tactile person and I needed to touch the art to make it truly my own. I needed to add my personal mark to the images. One evening, taking a cautious deep breath, I took one of my computer-manipulated images printed on fine art paper and started hand coloring selected parts with pastels. This mixed media technique gave me the tactile experience I craved yet still allowed me the fun of playing with photos digitally to bring out their hidden surprises.
My art is about finding the essence of the image and making it into something that expresses the emotion of the moment, to share discovery of things we sometimes forget to notice. It is to draw your breath in awe, and to experience the joy that can come from loving life in all its forms, in all its simplicity, and in all its complexity.