No formal training. I’ve always been creative and have had many creative pursuits. I was writing for a while, but in this current world of speedy and constant communication, I started feeling worn out —even my own writing was sounding just like noise to me. I wouldn’t say I replaced words with paint, because in no way do I paint to communicate. But even writing, I was attracted to the abstract, the visceral feel of language, its sounds and cadence, and poetry. I really think I just needed everything that came before painting in order to be here now. I know we never “land” anyway – life is dynamic. But I do feel more at home in my life than I’ve ever felt.
What inspires you and your designs?
I’m inspired by the process of painting itself. Aside from the occasional landscape, I rarely bring specifics from the external world into my paintings, nor are my paintings about emotions or states of mind. I am certainly influenced by my surroundings – the coastal landscape, the weather, mood. But for me painting is more of an encounter with color (and lots of white) and the tangible materials. Every blank canvas astounds me as it’s an opportunity to engage so purely with beauty and aliveness. And the bliss for me is in the actual physical process— the pursuit of the resolution of the painting. As soon as I make the first mark on a canvas, it’s like game on. I have no foresight of where a painting may go, although I often get hooked on certain forms, colors, and mediums for chunks of time. Some marks and colors show up again and again.
What is your favorite piece?
As of this moment….
Wobble. I just love the architecture and feeling of this painting. A very sweet friend of mine bought it, so now that it’s out in the world, I know it’s exactly where it belongs.
Since You’ve Been Gone. An important painting (which I will always love) that defined the direction my painting took from that point on.
Manana. It’s for sale and I’ll cry when it goes!
How has the your area influenced your work?
Via my beautiful, creative, fearless friends and their shared desire to be real and awake in the world when it’s not always easy. This is where my paintings come from — from wanting to really be alive. I wouldn’t be here without them.
What is your favorite restaurant in Portland?
Portland is such a foodie town! We have so many amazing restaurants! But if I had to pick a favorite, it’s Central Provisions.
But… my husband and I were introduced to our new favorite summer cocktail on a recent trip to Harbour Island in the Bahamas. We stayed at The Landing, and discovered their Ginger Fro, a drink made from their own Afro Head Vodka (ginger-infused). I’m drooling a little writing this.
How do you balance personal life and work?
As a full time mom, personal life and work have always been kind of the same thing!My daughters are now in high school and college, and though they’re busier than ever, they’re also more independent. I’m finding lots of time to paint, which is a good thing because I have hyper-focused (I’ll just name it: obsessive) tendencies and I let lots go in order to pursue the things I love. Between my family and painting there’s not much more time or brainspace for anything else.
But that Caribbean water just blows my mind and any quiet spot with a pink sand beach and turquoise water is really my speed.
I’ve never really thought about it. I’m dying to paint a monster canvas – so big you need a whole wall and a step ladder. I like both chaos and very straight lines, so I’d need something longer than the meter stick I use now.
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Who is your style icon?
Fashion-wise, umm whomever invented jeans and a button-down or a giant knit sweater.
Home-wise, those Scandinavians make me want to start over and paint everything white.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
She’s hardly up and coming, and I’ve only admired her work from afar, but I love Sharon Paster’s paintings.
What is your most treasured possession?
Everything I own could disappear and if my kids were ok, I’d be fine. But I do love the art in my house. We’ve slowly collected some works that we love. Like look at this painting I bought in Lambertville, NJ a few years ago while I was down there for a yoga training. It’s an oil painting of a cow named “Stacy” by Carolyn Droge— I love cows. Rarely do I fall for realism but this painting just kills me, I love it so much.
What are you reading?
Always about five books at once. I just finished “How to be Here” by Rob Bell. I’m about to read it again because it’s that good.