Welcome to my first solo show! I confess that I have been experiencing a bit of imposter syndrome since agreeing to do this show. For the past 28 years, I have earned my living as a high school English teacher, and between my teaching career and the joyful occupation of raising my two sons, my opportunities to create art have been few and far between. Over the years I have had occasional artistic re-awakening, beginning with close and tight watercolor work and eventually learning to loosen up and allowing myself to use art as a form of play. Although I took 2D and 3D design courses in college, the bulk of my art education has come through the exploration and experimentation that arose from workshops I have taken, primarily through Shake Rag Alley School of Arts in Mineral Point. It was there that I first learned about the magic of oil pastels, and I quickly fell in love with this medium.
My process begins with laying down a swath of color; this can include any colors in any random arrangement or form. I then use Liquin, an oil painting solvent, to dissolve the oily material and I remove the excess with a cloth. The leftover pigment adheres to the paper. The vibrancy of this background is the foundation for the depth and glow of these paintings. Most of the time, I don’t create my backgrounds with any specific images or compositions in mind. I play with the colors, sit with them for a while, and let them speak to me.
Next I begin to apply the color, building the layers, pushing and pulling the pigments into the desired forms, and scraping and scratching to allow the layers to shine through. The end result is a joyful interplay of color and light. I create pieces inspired by nature and by my travels. Looking at them makes me happy. I hope they do the same for you.