Born into an artistic family and the cultural environment of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I grew up exposed to the works of the great masters. My parents instilled a strong work ethic and a curiosity for learning. We spent time in the museums but also in little towns and countrysides of Pennsylvania. Both the artist and the country girl blossomed inside of me. My mother had a penchant for classic old cars, which sparked my interest in vintage trucks. I eventually progressed to the School of the Museum of Fine arts in Boston and graduated with a BFA from the University of Arizona.
My husband and I raised our two daughters as I was working as an established muralist and faux finisher in New Hampshire. In 2006, we moved to Montana. Seventeen years later, I have reinvented myself as a prolific painter of what I like to call “rural romance”: big blue skies, billowy clouds, tall grasses, barns, and the old trucks embedded in the landscapes. I also am drawn to paint the animals of the farms and ranches of the western landscape as well. The ones that I want to paint possess a particularly whimsical energy.
With grit and a lot of seventy hour work weeks, I have contributed my heart and soul to my life long goal of being a professional artist. Every morning when I wake up, I feel the need to paint as much as I need to breathe. I am happiest when I am in my studio painting, as the Montana sun shines through the windows, music is playing, and my dogs are at my feet.When you stand in front of one of my paintings, I invite you into the space that I have created on the canvas. Feel the warmth of the Montana sun and the unique light of this captivating place. I revel in the experience when a viewer connects spiritually to one of my paintings. There is some kind of magic that happens there when a painting and a person find each other. And when that person becomes a collector, the circle of my creativity is complete.
My work embodies the essence of the rural west: big blue skies, billowy clouds, fields full of tall grasses, farm and ranch animals and the old trucks embedded in these landscapes.
Upon discovering a vintage pickup or a weathered barn, I feel nostalgic. I long to recreate the textures of the crackled clapboards or the patina of the weathered metal. These ancient machines and timeworn structures are as integral to the Montana landscape, as are the trees and the mountains. They tell the story of man and his connection to the land.
The animals of the farm and of the ranch are part of the landscape as well. As calves are born and crops are planted, the rhythms of nature continue as they have for generations.
To compose a painting, I often borrow elements from different scenes to satisfy my own aesthetic. I prefer to paint scenes late in the day, when the shadows are long and create strong contrasts of light and dark.
My goal is to capture a contemporary interpretation of past and present rural Montana. I want the viewer to feel the heat of the Montana sun and the intensity of the colors and light that is unique to this climate. When I am exhilarated by an image that sparks my creativity, I seize that soul- stirring moment. Intuitively, that scene becomes absorbed into my mind and that emotionally charged reaction becomes implanted in me. When it’s time to create, I invoke that memory and it’s sensation. And by some sort of magic, it is transferred to my paintbrush and onto the canvas.