Starting at the start, I am not formally trained in art, rather I am trained as a psychotherapist. My mother, also Self-taught, showed me how to use watercolors.
When I think of what art is in it's essence for me, it is about a feeling or an expression of Self. So when I am inspired by a horse, the feeling is one of recognition; of freedom, strength or power. Conversely, when I am inspired by a fat little toad maybe the feeling is one of acknowledgement of my own ability to be a little bit toad-like.
People ask why I decided upon this style of painting, and why I choose the subjects I do. I never really chose a style or a subject, they seemed to choose me. I never consciously sat down to come up with any of these things, they just seemed to arise within me and pestered me until I let them out.
I remember being a very small child and feeling compelled to draw or form horses with whatever substance I could get my hands on. Paper, mud, sand, clay, anything would do. Today, if someone took away my watercolors I would soon find another medium with which to chase the spirit of these great animals. I look at the funny little drawings in my junior high school notebooks and I see the seeds of the art I am doing now. The spirit of the drawings hasn't changed at all, I have just had more practice.
The style of the art does reflect a lot, even if it's development was not a conscious process. I believe that in a very profound way, less is often more. As we explore the recent rush of training methods which teach using the horse's mind and her natural instincts instead of force, we see that it is true. We can also see that it is true when we play with watercolors. An over use of color or water results in a muddy mess, a fact to which I can readily attest. By focusing on the essence of a subject rather than technicalities of it I find that the paintings become art. When I stray from this idea I may make paintings, but they don't seem to have much spirit.
I work out of a home studio in a small coastal village in Maine. My time is divided between painting and travel to shows and gallery openings. My husband manages what has become a thriving art business. It is important to say I could not have enjoyed the success of this adventure without the wonderful support and hard work of "The Team". My husband Todd has been an unwavering supporter, forming a wonderful business out of the mess of creativity. Without him I would surely still create art, but would not know how to bring it to you. Barbara Richards, our gallery representative , has thrown her heart and soul into her work and we are eternally grateful. My family too has been a tremendous support. Their cheering and enthusiasm are fuel for the fire.
People often ask me about my painting habits. I find creating a "painting space" facilitates creativity. My place currently sits near a large window where I can watch my horse in her field. I watch her play and use this and other references in the work. Photos of various breeds help me with structure, but often I work with very little reference once I have a clear idea in mind. I have heard other artists and musicians say that when one really knows the basic structure of a thing, from there we can make the leap into creatively portraying it.
I love to study skeletons and with an appreciation of the natural beauty in these forms I can make my own creative gestures. When I really know the subject I can jump right into my own interpretation without struggling over the details.
I hope in my paintings to show a certain reverence for our traveling companions on this beautiful Earth. They are an attempt to touch the nature of something, but they also reflect upon some fundamental recognition in my own being.
Maybe these thoughts have been helpful in describing where I am coming from in my work. Maybe you will choose to make your own interpretations about it.
If you have a question you may try emailing me at the following address firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try to respond as best I can.