What media do you work in?
Although I have dabbled in all things from ceramics to hook rugs my go-to media is paper/canvas art with water-based materials like water color, craft paint, acrylic paint, gauche and water-based ink on paper and canvas. I also do a lot of sketching, illustration and pen and ink drawings; as well as a digital graphic art and photography.
How long have you been creating?
I have been creating since I was less than a year old when I could first handle a crayon. My mother has been a phenomenal inspiration and support of all my creative interests, as she was the one who gave me that first crayon.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because it gives me purpose; I feel I communicate and express myself best through my creativity outlets and I can be a source of inspiration to others to tap into their own wealth of creativity especially as a source of expression, comfort and healing. How has your Art or Craft changed over time?
I have become more serious and confident in my Art in the last few years. Before 2006 it was more of a outlet or hobby; however I did include a lot of creativity and art into my career as a science teacher. Now, Art and Creativity is a part of how I conduct life coaching and anti-bullying programming.What Art or Artist do you most identify with?
The Art movements that I most identify with are: impressionism, surrealism. and abstract. Artists like Claude Monet, Vincent Van Goh, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo who expressed so much in their art: such as the techniques the used with color, form, light, shadow and shape; as well as, how they expressed the social movements of the time periods they lived in.
What work do you enjoy doing the most?
I love to inspire others to create as they explore who they are as a person. I love my work as a creative life coach. As for working with art, I love playing with mixed media and altering pieces into works of art. I have created over 100 lunch bags into “gifts of love” to promote love and kindness through art.
What part do you NOT enjoy the most?
There is no one thing or part in art that I do NOT enjoy except marketing myself (and perhaps those occasions when I get art product in my hair.) It is hard for me to promote myself (as it is hard to get paint and glue out of my hair, LOL). Strongest memory of your childhood…
My childhood was a chain of many strong, memorable events; one of the strongest memories is way too personal to disclose here; but, I can share one of the most amazing summers I had ever experienced. I think it was the summer of 1975; I was 7 years old. We spent much of our summer in Cocoa Beach, Florida (600 plus miles away from our home in Virginia). We stayed at the Holiday Inn and the grounds were gorgeous; and, the beach was across from the hotel. I spend much of my time either at the pool or on the beach.
But, what made that summer significant was that Cocoa Beach was only a short distance away from Cape Kennedy (N.A.S.A.), where my father worked as the lead electrical engineer (rocket scientist) specifically responsible for the communication instrumentation on the Viking I and Viking II projects, the first probes sent to Mars. Viking II was due to launch that summer and my family was one of the few who were privileged to witness it closer than the general public.
The rocket that was used to propel Viking II to Mars was massively huge! It was easily visible even from a distance of one mile away, which was the closest they let anyone who were not NASA employees to view the launch. The anticipated countdown started at least one hour before on a large display… finally down to the last ten seconds…10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… ignition and liftoff. The gradual rumble shook the ground, as the white smoke, steam and fire appeared. The rocket started to rise upward against gravity; it seemed to be moving in slow motion. The level of noise was deafening as it made a monstrous engine-like grumble sound. Everyone was excited as we watched history in the making. The rocket launched into the sky and with its entrails following behind it, getting smaller and smaller as it moved out into space toward Mars.
What’s your favorite food?
Anything Italian…especially LASAGNA.What’s your scariest moment?
The scariest moments in my life have involved the tumultuous and chaotic weather patterns and Mother Nature’s wrath. LOL
I have always been deathly afraid of lightning and thunder; but, on this day, my mother was driving my sister and I home from school (and her place of work) when a sudden storm front came upon us just about 2 miles from our house. We learned later that this storm spawned off a series small tornadoes; and, one tornado decided to form right behind my mother’s car.
My sister and I were terrified; but, my mother kept a cool head and instinctively turned into a parking lot that was sheltered by the windowless wall of one story business building made of cinderblock. We all ducked down as we felt t he tornado pass by following the path of least resistance, the street. No sooner did this event start, it seemed to come to pass with the forceful winds creating such growling sounds. But, that very moment when we had experienced this in our state of panic, everything seemed to happen in slow motion; however, in reality, everything happened within a span of about 10 to 15 minutes (maybe less).
Other moments involved a couple of hurricanes, many severe storms with flooding and high winds, and an earthquake. One of the scariest events in my life was actually not know whether my parents survived the devastating earthquake in Chile in 2009. My parents were done there visiting extended family when the earthquake hit.
What do you listen to or watch while creating?
I most often listen instrumental music as lyrics can take me out of my creative flow or groove. Sometimes it is classical; sometimes it is jazzy; and sometimes it is something totally new wave, neo-classical, electronic-trance-club or ambient music.What superpower would you have if you could?
The ability to fly like a bird, especially to gain a new perspective of life and nature.If you couldn’t do any type of Art or Craft what would you do for a living?
I would either be a scientist in the field (environmental scientist) or teach science, scientific process, creativity and experimentation in the classroom to school aged children/teens.
What makes you angry?
Apathy to injustice. It is hard for me to see injustices without saying or doing something about them. It angers me when others can just turn a blind eye to it.
What is your process when starting to create?
I need to be in a completely relaxed state before I can create; so I create an environment that is tranquil and comforting: good music, lighting, materials handy. Sometimes I start with a sketch or design. Other times let color lead my hand as I “throw” paint down and see what emerges.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by God, the Holy Spirit within me and my connection with the Creator. People who have influenced me include my parents, my husband, my fur-baby Sasha, Jesus, Dr. Seuss, Walt Disney, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Wayne Dyer, Mike Dooley, Andy Dooley, SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) and all my new-found creative friends like Kelly Donovan.
Where or what do you get inspiration from?
My go-to place for inspiration is outdoors in nature especially under the stars on a clear night or a dawn/twilight. Sunsets and sunrises are quite inspirational as they mark the ending and beginning of a day. When I can’t get outdoors, I love browsing through Pinterest and doing a Google/Chrome search on various topics.
Have you ever been shown in a public setting?
Yes, my work has been in a local gallery (Blue Skies Gallery in Hampton, VA) and more recently featured for the entire month of February at our local public library (Poquoson Public Library). Three of my paintings (for sale) are on the walls of T.C. Grill restaurant, bar and club in Hampton, Virginia.
What is your favorite book?
This is a hard question because I have so many favorites; however, I love how Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll always engages my imagination.
Who is your greatest influence?
My mother has been my greatest influence both by her advice and how she has lived her life.
What is the greatest piece of advice given to you?
The best advice I have been given is: Never stop learning, be open to new experiences and follow your heart.
What advice would you give an up and coming Artist?
Produce, produce, produce…never stop creating and keep at your craft. The more you do the more comfortable you will be with your techniques, your tools and you will start to see your own personal style of art emerge.
Thank you so very much for sitting and answering the questions. Would you be willing to be part of a live show with me at some point, whether to show some of your work or do a demo? YES