What inspires me?
What inspires me is an encounter with a plant, flower petal or landscape that is intertwined and meticulously unfolding in layered perfection. Inspiration is found in how the leaves are entwined and branches grow toward the sun. I am amazed by stems and leaves grow weary or how the dew drops fall on the petal. The plants sing when they are happy and cry when they are spent. I am drawn to the richness of color in the shadows and the light bending around the objects.
I enjoy working in plein air because I can capture the light, colors and mood while the fresh outdoors fill my senses. I enjoy the stillness and the visitors like birds, squirrels and bugs. The colors are very different in a painting in which I work in plein air than with photographs. The way the pallet changes in the natural light. The details that are seen and captured in plein air are magnified and make for a different image than what a photo can capture. I find that I need to edit and simplify my image because I tend want to capture too much detail. When working from my own photos, I have taken many different photos of the same subject to combine to make my composition and to capture the light in the shadows. I give myself more freedom to change placement or to delete information.
In the studio, I work with watercolor on a flat surface and prefer to paint in puddles. I find that I get richer, deeper colors and clean lines. I can control the hard edges and capture the intentional bleeding and blending of colors. When I paint in plein air, my setup is usually not typical upright. I plan on the drips and water moving downward on the page so you have to adjust your methods. I typically do not go over my paintings with layers of glazes unless I intentionally intend to make a subject fall back or to deepen the color.
My art students inspire me and bring me great joy! There are so many examples of times my students have taken me down a road of a project and find myself in the midst of an example and expanding my own creative exploration. Although I have not shown my classroom art examples, they influence another side of my artistic style, mediums and subject matter. Teaching students the elements of art and principles of design only reinforces these concepts in my own art. Helping students to problem solve their own art makes me a stronger teacher and a better artist. I have to balance sensitivities and remind myself of my own vulnerability as an artist and want to celebrate the beauty of which they create. Showing their art is an honor!
I have the best of both worlds! I love to teach art and I have the opportunity to show my own art professionally and feed my own creative soul! I hope that you enjoy my art as much as I enjoy the process of making it!
Bachelor or of Fine Art, Texas Tech University
Design Communication and Illustration
Art Teacher since 2004
Laguna Plein Air Painters Assoc.
Texas Watercolor Society