|I love the arts and have been involved with many facets of them, from the visual arts to the literary, language, and performing arts. Painting and drawing have been the focus of my time in the visual arts, though informally I pursue photography. My favorite subjects are nature, people, and anything else that inspires wonder or interest.
Although I trained as an oil painter, I currently work in acrylics, and sometimes in pen & ink, pencil, and pastels. There is a kind of eager impatience that urges me through the painting process; although any given painting may take several hours or several days to bring to completion. The acrylics’ speedy drying time has proven a happy surprise to that impatient streak.
I chase after impressions in art more than documentation. My pursuit is the energy infused in the world around us—and I attempt to dive visually into the feelings that come from such encounters.
My style might be classified as a contemporary expressionism or bold impressionism. But sometimes I’ll choose to use restraint on my vehemently dancing wrist in order to communicate a sensitivity of expression in a portrait or a detail in another subject.
Many of my artworks undergo a scrupulous, multi-hour design process, where I make choices about the exact colors, the degree of light and shadow, the texture of the paint application, the mood of the painting and the composition. After all, once my impatient wrist gets to moving the brush, any planning not already done simply won’t happen! But lately I have been opening up to the sheer fun of seizing a brush with only a vague subject or color notion in my mind. Happily, what’s usually been coming out of that is a lighthearted blast of sensory expression.
Currently I live in Lexington. I grew up in the Kansas City area, but one of life's many interesting journeys has brought me out this way. I have been in love with color my entire life. My second memory from life was of color--a rainbow-colored wrapping paper on a gift that I received well before I had completed my first year on the planet.
For a long time I did not believe I truly had a 'style'. I felt more like a chameleon in the art sphere, altering my approach with every new piece. There's something to be said for this sort of malleability. Admittedly I cannot sympathize with those who like to keep artists (whether visual, performance, or literary) in a 'box', dismissing with their messages as soon as their style transforms or evolves. Yet increasingly I find myself gravitating toward expression in the representative but gestural mode you'll see in most of my collection displayed here. It might be accurate to say that my style manifests along a continuum, depending on the subject (or upon my mood!) from impressionism to expressionism to a bit of abstraction and touches of straightforward illustration. I've done (and enjoyed doing) works without a great variety of color in them. But, as you can see, color is one of my great loves.
A thrilling opportunity came my way to paint a mural for the Niles Home for Children in Kansas City a few years ago. There were four peeling, white walls in the activity room, and the school's rep just said, “Do something with animals and sports, a bit of nature and, of course, some school stuff. Bring your designs at the end of the week.” It was bliss! Nine foot high walls, 154 feet of linear wall space. The project took about nine weeks to finish.
I've had an energetic relationship with art during my adult life---a relationship which sometimes had to be put on a tautly waiting 'hold' while other adventures demanded my attention. In one of those, I progressively lost the use of one of my eyes in 2003, and it looked like the other might be 'checking out' during three strange months of legal blindness in 2006. But that eye regained vision, and the vision that was always a delight to me has now become very nearly my most closely valued treasure. My business name, The Artful Eye, began just as a concept to convey an aesthetic sensibility. But after this vision event, the name most aptly includes a wink of appreciation at my healthy and resilient eye.
Currently, I paint almost entirely in acrylics. While attending both William Jewell College in Liberty and the Kansas City Art Institute, I was trained in oil painting. I felt no reason to want to move away from oils until I resumed painting again in Fall 2009 (after another rather sensational life distraction). My prime concern at this time was both to create and to do so with virtually non-toxic, non-chemical materials. The sensational distraction I've mentioned was an up-close, personal encounter with breast cancer. Now that I am joyfully free of it, employing all things of low toxicity is my only sane option. Someone recently delighted me with the comment that my acrylics look like oils. There are many things I have come to love about acrylics but, since I first fell in love with painting through oils, this evaluation brings me joy.
If you would be curious to see how I might approach painting a certain subject of interest to you, you’re welcome to contact me through Yessy.com. If I know that one of my artist friends can do the project better for you than I can, I’ll tell you who that is. And since I’m no fan of high-pressure situations, I can assure you that you’ll never be obligated to complete a transaction until what I offer you is just what you wanted.