Maine. My great grandparents came to Maine in the 1890’s.  I live on property recently purchased from their estate. It is a place where my children are 5th generation and, because of the love of this place, I have many relatives who have settled or visit here as well. It is uniquely special, and there is not a day that I don’t feel immense gratitude for my circumstances.

 

Inspiration. My inspiration comes from my background in Fine Arts (Painting) for my undergraduate degree. I was interested in conceptual art which prizes ideas over the formal or visual components of art works. This is a tension I still work with today. I was particularly interested in political murals of the 1980’s in both Africa and Latin American. An example of a favorite artist is Oswaldo Guayasamín. Guayasamin was an Ecuadorian artist who posthumously received the UNESCO/Jose Marti prize for "an entire life of work for peace". The prize was established to raise awareness of equality, solidarity and human rights. It rewards outstanding contributions by organizations and individuals to the cause of Latin American and Caribbean unity and integration, based on respect for cultural traditions and humanist values. This is the kind of work that continues to fascinate me today. I then went on to get a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine. To form accurate diagnoses, Traditional Chinese Medicine takes seasons, time of day/life, location, as well as the usual diet, sleep, exercise, spiritual/emotional wellbeing, into account. Accurate diagnoses entail creating a precise framework. It is an art practiced with skillful training and becomes intuitive. I create art that considers light/dark, internal/external, excess/deficiency, balance of value/hue - these are all essential aspects to the practice of Chinese Medicine. For the past 20 years, my husband and I raised 3 children on a farm. This place became my muse, my inspiration: sheep, bees, pigs, chickens, orchards, gardens in varying seasons.

Artist Hero. Currently, I am enamored with the work of Eric Aho who paints in Vermont but I believe visits Maine. I first saw his work at DC Moore in New York City, and then again at Taylor Pickett in Jackson, Wyoming. Eric paints large landscapes with incredible motion and his work is just enough abstraction to take you visually into an experience. Art should create an experience for your senses. His work does that for me. The printmaker and painter Joan Mitchell is another artist hero for similar reasons as Eric Aho’s work. David Driskell is favorite. I regret not purchasing an Owl painting of Driskell’s at Greenhut many years ago. “If you can, buy it because you will always continue to think about it” was my lesson.

 

Studio. My husband and I just finished building a PassivHaus/Efficiency house-which felt like a giant art project! I now have a spacious studio above our garage where I can work in solitude. 

Where In Maine. My gems of Maine? My home for one. In addition, we visit a small island in Muscongus Bay, where the Wyeths paint. Beautiful! I love any quiet lakes and ponds. I adore Portland as my city! I really appreciate the diversity of my peers’ life work here. We know healthcare workers, teachers, artists, musicians, craftsmen, farmers, social workers, small business owners, developers, bankers, professional athletes-I love that.

Fun Fact. In 8th grade I traveled to Paris and London with a friend and her father, Harry Brooks, who was the head of Wildenstein Gallery at the time. We toured the Louvre with Harry who knew everything about everything on the walls! Then we had tea with Henry Moore and his wife outside of London in their small country cottage. At the time I had NO idea how profound that experience was!  What was so amazing was how humble his day-to-day life was for such a world stage artist. I loved their life.

Study. As I mentioned before, I went to Lewis and Clark College 1984 for my BA in Fine Arts. I got my Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine 1994.