Coming from a family that worked with its hands, I have always been involved in creating objects. I worked in clay while raising children and working as a psychiatric nurse for the early and middle parts of my life. I threw pots and then moved on to slab rolling porcelain, and made cylindrical vessels with sea forms in porcelain attached as ornamentation. I attended Haystack School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine several times to develop my skills, and to learn something new in the clay realm.
in the 1990’s I came to an impasse with my career and with clay and enrolled in the University of Southern Maine art program. Most appealing to me were the painting and bookmaking arts, which I continue to pursue. Rebecca Goodale, Department Head of the Book Arts Program, remains a mentor for me.
I painted in a variety of mediums until I attended a workshop in casein tempera with Alan Bray, one of my favorite Maine artists. Since that time casein tempera has been my medium of choice. Casein, a milk-based medium, is one of the oldest forms of paint. I particularly like the luminosity that comes from the layering of color and the selective details I can create. The fact that it dries quickly and is nontoxic is an added bonus.
I continue to make artist books, one of a kind or limited editions. These books often describe a personal experience, such as walking trail or observing wildlife. Watercolor is the medium I use in my books with text handwritten or printed from a computer. I belong to a group of book making artists associated with the Kate Cheney Chappell ‘83 Center for Book Arts at the University of Southern Maine. Meeting once a month we discuss and critique each others work and help raise awareness and funds for the Center.
Much of my work focuses on the natural world. I am drawn to the seashore, woods and surroundings of my home in Woolwich, Maine. I cannot imagine what I would do with myself if I did not have the skills to paint and create books. These activities help me observe and experience the world in an intimate way.