As I develop this series, I draw on childhood memories of growing up and thriving outdoors. Memories of first impressions of scenic landscapes and often overlooked details in nature. The spirit and energy of joining forces with our world and the life in it.
Each painting starts with a memory of a childhood experience, an inspired moment at play in the outdoors. I embody the memory and channel it into the piece. I work intuitively until it is time to clarify the images, letting the painting take the lead, bringing the memory into focus. When the work is complete, I write a story to record the memory that started it all.
Selected Works from the Collection
The verdant fields near my home, backdrop to endless hours of play outdoors
When I was young being outside meant endless opportunities to play familiar as well as new, made up games. There were always abundant details to notice and to use in our play. The turtle is the boundary. The red bush is second base, the fourth field row is Steven’s Store. This is about those strong summer memories, all together in one place. At last.
As we called the run off at the end of the street where we tried to fish
Down the street, at the bottom of the hill we grew up on was one of the best places in my childhood universe to play. We called it the "crick". We know it now as a runoff that rarely had much water unless we had a heavy summer rain but that didn’t interfere with all the games we played there- find the fish, cross the log without falling, hide and seek, kiss a boy. Sometimes when I went there by myself I daydreamed about the water and all the life teeming in it. The crick was our treasure and its pleasures endless.
The only place to play all summer south of the cemetery
I grew up in a big valley dotted with dairy farms, a river that seemed big to us and a daily visit from the train that my Dad called the Queen. Our neighborhood had lots of young families and bordered on a small cemetery that we sometimes played in. Meadow Pool was our home any time of day or night all summer long. When I was old enough, I was a lifeguard and instructor there. There was always laughter and childhood antics in abundance and I can still smell the chlorine as if I had just treated the pool myself. A place to play and restore and grow together.
GREENLEAF STREET NO. 2
The hill and the little brick house where I grew up
I grew up in a little brick house on a hill called Greenleaf Street. In the summer everything was green and the weather a joyous celebration of possibilities. There were so many games to play there. So many places to hide. And that hill gave a thrilling all-out bike ride, transformed in the winter to a long, heart-gripping sled run to the bottom.
Small but powerful pieces
The Petites were born when I began participating in an annual online exhibition and sale of small works each December. When I first began to paint small pieces (4x4 to 8x8) I found it a challenge to capture the energy and restorative nature that was central to my larger works.
But at some point my play with these petites became like hopscotch born of practicing the long jump. The energy to create them pulsed faster, unbridled. As I worked, the paintings became something unexpected. I began to love the spirit of small but powerful. And the Petite Series is only in its infancy, full of possibility for future expressions.