I was born in Northern Colorado and lived there until my young teen years. Growing up in a small town on the front range, the Rocky Mountains are always present in my mind, forever standing in the West, no matter where I am. Mountains often appear in my work — almost always distant and blue — because that is how they live in my memories.
In my junior high years, very much against my will, my family relocated to South East Iowa to be closer to family. Though it wasn’t my choice, Mt. Pleasant is where I formed those important life-long friendships that are still with me today, as well as beginning my journey of faith in Jesus Christ, which is still with me as a strong part of my art and family life. It is also where I discovered oil painting with the help of a very patient and open-minded art teacher, who let me start becoming who I am now, in my high school art classes.
After high school, I moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for college and my early professional and art career — working in the printing and publishing industry with graphics, and painting in my spare time. After my husband and I had our first son, the sense of urgency to paint became undeniable to me. When my oldest son was only 3 months old, my husband and I took a risk and paid a full year’s rent on a little studio outside of our home in an artist co-op. I spent the next 5 years being dedicated to going to my studio every Saturday and working on my art. This dedication made by my husband and I (and also many other family and friends that helped us along the way) lead to a deep well of passion and inspiration that is always just below the surface for me. I spent these 5 years in the little studio training myself to turn off my normal life and tune in to my art time, which was a necessity in order to be able to sustain our art schedule through many changes: raising 2 young sons and a changing professional life.
After nearly 16 years in the Milwaukee area God called me and my little family back to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Though I wasn’t dragging my heels this time, it was hard to say goodbye to Wisconsin and an area that had been so formative to my current art habits, as well as a very supportive community of artist friends and mentors. Being back in Iowa as an adult has given me fresh eyes and an open heart for opportunity, the beauty of the farmlands, and an urge to be an active part of the art community. Now with a home studio, I find it easy to tune in and make art, and do so several times a week. I am also part of community arts board and find great fulfillment in helping the local art community remain active and growing in my town and surrounding region.
With my heart in the mountains and feet firmly in the midwest, my paintings spring from a undeniable need to create and a deep well of emotions and passion. Inspired by nature and my dreams, my inner vision can only be satisfied when my thoughts are put on a canvas with oil paints.
My main line of work, Dreamlands, is in the expressionist style, focusing on dream-like landscapes created with vibrant colors, thick textures and simple forms. My goal with Dreamlands is to draw the viewer in with colors and textures, and to lead them to a familiar place that connect to their own dreams and memories, creating a unique experience for every viewer.
Dreamlands are those places in our minds, dreams and hearts that are connected to reality or based on a real place, but are filled with our own interpretations. Adding vibrancy and fantasy with thick paint and bright colors, these are the landscapes we remember when we close our eyes.