Maine. Maine snuck up on me. I moved to Maine in 1996 as a new young mom, fresh out of graduate school. Some of my family had moved here, so Maine is where I wanted to be. At first I wasn’t sure I was built for Maine winters --or Maine springs! But Maine is now my home in the truest sense of the word. I never want to leave. My family lived in London when I was much younger, and I have visceral memories of trips to the sea in Cornwall and Wales. Maine’s moody, salty coastline is in my bones.
Inspiration. Color, and the paint itself, is my inspiration. Everything I see and experience in nature leaves a subconscious imprint that tends to come out in paint. Though my work is abstract, my palette is ever-evolving, and seems to loosely echo the seasons. But the actual process of painting and exploring color is the allure — the possibility of beauty, truth, and aliveness that awaits in every painting I begin.
Medium. I paint primarily in oils, but when I dabble in acrylics I like Flashe and gouache for their intense pigmentation. I like to vary the tools I use, and I especially like brushes and mediums that allow my hand to get closer to the work — shorter brushes, pigment sticks, oil pastels, palette knives, rags, spatulas, my hands.
Artist Hero. I am self-taught, and I’ve leaned heavily on so many artists before me and around me in my studies in an effort to understand myself, my own point of view, and the obsession that is painting. I crush pretty hard on many of the colorfield painters that emerged in the midcentury from abstract expressionism. Helen Frankenthaler is a true hero for her insane confidence in her purpose and in her work, and the boundaries she pushed by being unapologetically true to herself. She was truly a pioneer and master colorist. Also, the current painter Stanley Whitney. His work and and everything he says about painting and his practice inspire me and make me want to sprint to the studio.
Studio. I paint in a sweet studio in Portland overlooking the Fore River, to the tune of tug boat signals, tanker traffic, and a salty sea breeze.
Where in Maine. Anywhere the land meets the sea.
Fun Fact. I was writing before I started painting. I was particularly intrigued by poetry and haiku, the abstraction of language. It was such a relief to paint - the potential is infinite, not limited in the way language can be. My paintings are poems: weird and alive.
Study. Art? All day everyday. Books, the internet, art in person- I’ll take anything I can get. It’s a constant in my head and in the hours of my days. I began painting as a fun hobby with an artist friend of mine, and there hasn’t been a day since when I wasn’t thinking about paint. My actual “real” schooling went as far as a graduate degree in clinical psychology. Which is ironic. It’s all the same thing to me.
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