I grew up in Naples, Florida in the 1970’s. As a kid, on any afternoon or weekend I would be swimming hundreds of laps at the YMCA pool or body surfing and searching for shells at the beach. My work as an artist is inspired by those early days when we grew crispy in the sun and smelled of chlorine and salt into the balmy evenings. I remember I was always in the water or around the water, which served to wash away my cares and worries then, and inspires and soothes even now. The colorful images of swimmers in pools, divers, surfers and sunbathers at beaches, captured nostalgic moments, and coastal flora and fauna … these ideas have become my visual language.
Each image that I create combines layers of mixed media materials, fine art technical skills, and imagery that tells a story. My early interest in psychology, including the psychology of the art, what the artist was thinking when conceiving and making her art, has always been fascinating to me. This interest in psychology motivated me to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Art at Loyola University in New Orleans. Later, I continued my studies of art and psychology with a Master’s Degree in Art Education and Art Therapy at Florida State University. Working as an Art Therapist for 18 years after that, I helped many people tell their stories through the making of art. During this time period, my paintings began to include a combination of texture and story telling. This practice inspired me to use art to heal myself, and to express my own perceptions of the human experience in my paintings.
Over the years I have continued to educate myself and be exposed to other teaching styles, and creative perspectives. Fine art drawing and painting instruction at The New York Studio School in New York City, and workshops hosted by master artists Graham Nickson and Hollis Jeffcoat, former Studio School instructors, has also inspired new ideas. Each year I travel to new places to attend workshops to inspire a new momentum for continued work. I have developed my own semi-annual art for healing workshops using Art Therapy and Fine Art as beginning points. I find working with people and artists who attend these workshops to be inspirational as they use art to encourage themselves and grow personally. All of these experiences have impacted my growth as an artist, and are integral for my work to evolve.