I am thrilled that my latest Artist Spotlight Series features a local artist.
Her paper collage pieces are bold & beautiful.
Enjoy getting to know the talented
Charlotte, North Carolina
What is your training?
I grew up with artistic parents. I earned an associate’s degree in illustration, then a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a concentration in drawing, from Virginia Tech and a minor in psychology
What inspires you and your designs?
My main inspiration comes from what’s in front of me- the daily ebb and flow of life.
I also enjoy learning about art and world history and that is an influence in my work. I particularly appreciate the artists of the 60’s and 70’s- the hard edge artists, the graphic nature and color applications of the pop art movement, and the figurative painting works of Alex Katz, Helen Lundeberg, Alice Neel, David Park and Richard Diebenkorn from the Bay Area Figurative Movement.
I have a great admiration for Japanese art, specifically the narrative elements in their wood block prints.
Hannah Hock, a German Dada Artist collagist, and Romare Bearden influenced many of my earlier works. I continue to be influenced by Matisse’s free form collages and his playful use of color. There are so many artists that I adore and follow, that I could take up the entirety of this interview naming them all!
What is my favorite piece?
My favorite piece is always the current one on my drawing mat, or the next one I have planned in my head. I thrive on process and I like the challenge of what’s next.
One of my favorite recent pieces is called Human Rights. I made this collage after hearing the Supreme Court ruling that federal anti-bias law covers millions of gay, lesbian and transgender workers.
How has your area influenced your work?
Many of my influences came with me when I moved to Charlotte in 1996. I grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and was influenced by city professors and access to the museums as a young artist.
After my husband and I moved to North Carolina, we gravitated to Charlotte because it had the right life style balance we were looking for- progressive and urban with a small town connected friendliness.
Does all of this find its way into my work? I think so.
What is your favorite restaurant in the city?
I don’t eat out a lot, preferring to cook for myself, however, I love world cuisine. Some favorites over the past 25 years would be: Lang Van Vietnamese, the former Woodlands Indian Cuisine, Jyoti’s World Cuisine, Bean for the best vegan comfort food, Wild East Pan Asian Bistro, and Bojangles for their fried chicken, biscuits, and tea.
What is your favorite cocktail?
Diet coke. Can’t pass up a Shirley Temple and I’ve been known to enjoy a margarita.
How do you balance personal life and work?
I work every day. I get up at 5AM and work until 10am. Then I use the afternoon to care for my family, pets, garden, and house. Typically, I also find a few hours in the evening to work after dinner.
Sticking to a routine is helpful and then everyone in the household knows how they can help. My husband is an architect, so he’s supportive of the creative process and of my efforts to carve out the time I need to work.
I would love to go to Japan to soak up that culture and art for awhile.
I don’t have a dream commission. I just love working.
Your favorite hostess gift to give?
Bread, baked goods, and my art work.
Who is your style icon?
Stylistically, my work is modern, graphic, and experimental with color.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
I’d have to say my oldest son, Henderson Button. His work is experimental, spontaneous, and speaks to his generation. I love his curiosity and willingness to try something new. He’s been a big supporter of mine and he coordinated a group show for me in Boone, NC.
What is your most treasured possession?
My father was an engineer by profession, but painted prolifically at home throughout my childhood. I have some of his landscape paintings. My favorite piece, painted before his death in the early 90’s, is a portrait of my mother that hangs in her house.
What are you reading?
I read a lot of art books on a daily basis- love my Alex Katz books and flipping thru my Gary Hume book.
I’m always thumbing through my autographed copy of Native Plants of the Southeast by Larry Mellichamp. I’m an avid gardener and environmentalist and I support the use of native plants for the health of our pollinators and planet.
What are you listening to?
What are your favorite blogs and publications?
I’m looking for a good art podcast. I watch artists’ interviews on You Tube- I recently watched one on Kara Walker. I find it helpful to see how artists work and talk about what influences their work. Instagram is helpful to learn about new artists and is typically more current and personal than their websites.
Here are a few of her pieces to enjoy:
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