I have been making and loving art for as long as I can remember. I attribute my talent and eye for beauty to my mother, a creative artist in her own right. From grocery store coloring contests to scholastic competitions to making things for my own walls, I've always been driven to create.
I grew up in New York State in a small town near the banks of Lake Ontario. After studying art history and studio art at SUNY Fredonia, a liberal arts college in New York, I moved to Washington, D.C. to take a job with The American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC). I was introduced to the world of art conservation and preservation during my time with AIC which deepened my passion for how art is created and maintained for generations to come.
In 1999, I took a sabbatical and moved to Paris where I taught part-time at the American University of Paris. I spent mornings teaching and the rest of my time living among the Parisians and exploring the city and the surrounding regions of France. If I could walk, Métro or use LGV, I went. Van Gogh's grave site, Montmartre, Sacré-Cœur, Versailles, Rodin's sculptures, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the École des Beaux-Arts -- my time in Paris had a profound impact on my life. When I returned to DC, I transitioned careers and took a job with a DC-based firm where I still work today as a learning systems strategist/coach and designer.
After almost two decades of DC life, I was ready for a change. I felt the need to be near water and closer to nature (not unlike where I grew up.) The Eastern Shore of Maryland, if you've never been, is a magical place - and as others have said before me, "...You either get this place or you don’t." This article captures this notion far better than I can: http://chestertownspy.org/2016/08/09/broad-and-deep-by-jamie-kirkpatrick/
I'd been introduced to the town in 2012 and fell instantly in love. I found myself looking for ways to get out of the city and get back to the Eastern Shore every week. Now a reality, I travel as needed for work in DC and create art in my home studio in Historic Chestertown.
Work style, influences, and medium
I work with acrylic, oil, pen-in-ink and graphite with a bit of photography peppered in. My work is inspired by reflections of what's going on in my life, in nature, in politics – both the positive and negative. An introvert at heart, I use my art as a way of telling my story without having to use words. From chronic illness, to life on Lake Ontario, to my time in Paris, to finding and losing (and finding again) love, I believe art can be found everywhere and so I seek it out in the often overlooked, "negative space" of life.
One theme you'll see recurring in my work throughout the years is trees, specifically birch (or aspen) trees. I am addicted to drawing and painting them.
Inspiration (the fun stuff)
Artists who inspire me: Helen Frakenthaler, Chuck Close, Matt Sesow, Frida Khalo, Mark Cameron Boyd, Leah Frankel, Amy Tavern, Greg Gillis, Ashleigh Deskins, Alexander Calder, Louis Kahn, I.M. Pei, Georgia O'Keeffe.