How do you describe yourself as an artist?

I have been an artist all my life. Art is an extension of my personality that allows me to express ideas and feelings that otherwise I would have no way to articulate.FernSpring

I knew in fourth or fifth grade that I would be an artist regardless of whatever else I might do in my life. I describe myself as a lover of all forms of art.  However, my particular talent and interest is in drawing, painting and other related visual art.  As a young adult I developed an affinity for printmaking and later in my life, photography.

Please describe your work:  I enjoy working in a variety of media both for their intrinsic value and as a means of expressing my feelings and ideas about observations of and reactions to Nature and events in my life. I work in all media associated with drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and photography.  I work in these media singly and in any combination that suits me in order to create images that are expressive and uniquely individual.

I continually draw, paint, and make photographs. The advent of digital photography has greatly influenced my work in recent years.  The relative ease with which I can go from image capture to a finished product on paper allows me a wide range of options for personal expression.  I can choose to make a traditional straight-forward photograph captured digitally or I can manipulate that photograph in the computer, alone or in combination with other images, to create a different and one of a kind work of art.  I can also combine that digitally printed product with drawing and/or painting on paper or canvas to create yet another unique image.  In the past 7 or 8 years I have been doing just that.  I combine portions of my original photographs by cutting them up and collaging them onto paper or canvas in combination with painting and drawing to create new images of imagined landscapes.

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Describe the path you have taken to develop your art:  I discovered Printmaking at CSULB in the late 60’s. It has been an important part of my life and art making ever since.  I graduated with a BA Degree in Fine Art with a specialization in Printmaking.

An appreciation of art history and experiencing the work of other artists, past and present, provides inspiration and education that often influences or informs my work. A love of making art for its own sake drives the work I do.  Drawing lines, making marks, combining and juxtaposing colors and shapes, composition, smells, chemistry, and process, all elicit physical and emotional responses that compel me to extend my hands and eyes into another dimension that results in picture making.

My work is abstract or representational depending on where I am emotionally and intellectually with regard to the ideas I am trying to express pictorially.

Early in my life I discovered a love of travel that centered on seeing and being in Nature. Camping and hiking in the Southwestern U.S. in particular, fills me with images and ideas that compel me to translate them into works on paper or canvas.  Photography has become an extension of that means of expression.

What inspires you?  I am inspired by Mother Nature. From the tiniest rock or flower or bug to the widest, highest or deepest, most expansive panorama, seeing Nature in its endless variety inspires me to want to express my feelings and ideas about it.  We are not separate from Nature.  We are not above or apart from the rest of the living and non-living things on this planet or in the Universe.  The feelings and thoughts I have about this are difficult to put in words and to a large degree words are inadequate to express them.  Making pictures is another form of language.  Though that language is personal, I want to share it with others in hopes that they can relate.  I am also inspired by my personal relationships.  Sometimes I am inspired by political or world events but I usually run out of interest before those events get translated into pictures.  Nature always stays with me.

I am also inspired by problem solving in making art. Solving problems associated with composition, color relationships, relationships of pictorial elements, perspective, craftsmanship, and presentation contribute to making art interesting and worth doing.  This provides me with a sense of accomplishment and pride in my work.

What do you want to communicate with your art?  I don’t have a social or political message. My main goal is personal expression.  If I can generate a physical or emotional response in the viewer and share ideas about Nature, life, art so much the better.  Art is a very personal form of language that can be shared and interpreted by others.  That interpretation in turn becomes very personal for the viewer.  I hope viewers can relate to my subject choices and my pictorial decisions.

Do you teach?  No. I have often wondered how my life would have been different had I been a teacher.  I know a lot of teachers and I am married to one.  Most of the teachers I know are very proud of and fulfilled by their careers as teachers, politics notwithstanding.  I am not opposed to the idea, but I do not teach art.

Please talk about your associations with galleries and how you promote your art.  I am terrible at promoting my art. While I love it when people respond positively to my work and when they buy it, I don’t seem to be able to generate much personal interest in the business of art.  I promote my work via email, my website, and by participating in other forums like this interview.

Prior to 2003 I exhibited my prints, paintings, and photographs primarily in art competitions and invitational exhibitions. Some of the venues my work has been exhibited in include: Mills House in Garden Grove, Cypress College Art Gallery, Long Beach Arts, Santa Ana College Art Gallery, Palm Springs Art Museum, Yosemite Renaissance Annual Exhibition, and Irvine Fine Arts Gallery.   Since 2004 I have been a member of Orange County Fine Arts Association (OCFA).  For a little more than a year during 2005-2006 I was Director of Bear Street Gallery, an affiliate gallery of OCFA.  As Director I was responsible for organizing, hanging, and promoting bi-monthly exhibitions of a number of member artists.  Since about 2011, I have been exhibiting at Showcase Gallery, another OCFA affiliate, and assisting as a member of the gallery committee.

From 2007 – 2010 I was a member and exhibitor at Art-A-Fair Festival, an international festival of approximately 125 artists working in a wide range of media.   Art-A-Fair is one of three summer art festivals in Laguna Beach, California.  It draws 40,000 – 50,000 art patrons per season.  After a three year absence, I will be returning to Art-A-Fair this summer.  I will be showing new photographs along with a few of my old favorites.