I arrived in Taos, New Mexico in 1973 at age twenty, after having grown up near the museum district in Fort Worth, Texas. Drawing, painting and the study of art formed the backbone of my early years. While still in junior high school, I began to show and sell paintings, prints and drawings at craft fairs. In high school I won a scholarship to study oil painting at the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum.
After a short stint at the University of Texas where I studied drawing and design I moved to Taos. During the seventies I designed jewelry, studied tapestry weaving, created fiber sculptures, and continued to hone my drawing skills. By the late seventies I knew I had to return to painting.
Although I now have a Bachelors of Fine Art and a Masters of Art Education from the University of New Mexico, it was by studying the Taos founders and painting in the very spots they frequented that I truly learned to paint.
I am basically self-taught. I started seriously painting in the early eighties during the seventeen years I lived in Taos. Then I worked with, listened to, looked at works by and read books by other artists. My main goal in getting a BFA was to fill in the gaps in my knowledge of art history. When I went back to school in 1990 I took a break from color and explored the thousands of variations of black, white and gray. Even with these paintings I often laid down a colorful under painting. I feel I actually learned more in relationship to my own work when I studied color theory while working on my Masters in Art Education than I did when completing my BFA. Before I used color intuitively, which I believe is best, but now if I am stymied with what to do with a painting, I can use color in a more conscious way. Right now I am starting to work more with glazes.
With the landscape I find the graceful or wild lines that create a mountain or a river; the contrast in light and shadow; all the simple, complex, natural and man-made shapes that make up the landscape, excite me. I am particularly interested in the Southwest because of its fierce beauty. Occasionally I yield to abstract influences but there always remains a reference to the landscape or natural world. In my landscapes, I first have to find the composition of the painting. I may re imagine the scene when I draw the contours of the physical structures. As Gauguin said, "I close my eyes in order to see." At this point, I surrender to the process and allow my "I" to get out of the way. This is why I paint - to reach that meditative state where the painting takes on a life of its own.
Over the past thirty-five years I have exhibited work nationally. My paintings and prints are included in numerous public and private collections. I still live in Albuquerque, New Mexico where I teach part time at the University of New Mexico and continue to explore the infinite number of ways to color canvas with excitement.