My new artist's statement:) for an application I am really hopeful about!

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

A child lingers for a moment, staring wide-eyed, surveying my artwork,

then proclaims, “You make paint swim!”

I discovered my talent for painting by accident, in my mid-30s, when I reverse-painted a fish on an old window sash.  The need to create was cathartic from that moment on, and the responses to this work kept me going.  I had no idea that I would be an artist.  I started my career as a teacher, and moved to Charleston to be a marine biologist.  I felt that painting was a hobby, until I realized that I could inspire and educate with emotional images of wildlife.

My work is influenced by a lifetime of studying biology and spending time outdoors.  I love being on the water- rowing in college, living on a sailboat, exploring Antarctica and crossing the Atlantic on research cruises. I also have experience navigating with a sextant and developed an appreciation for nautical charts and maps.

My first series of paintings was born with this auspicious combination.  I reverse-paint wildlife on glass and place them over maps and charts, providing a sense of place and history for the piece.   I research the natural history and conservation status of the species I paint, and include this with the pieces when they are displayed.

While I strive for biological accuracy, my pieces are impressionistic.  I create the paintings with acrylic paint in fast, organic strokes that mimic the nature of feathers and fins and capture the spirit more than the exactness of their image.   I want to convey the beauty, importance, and interconnectedness of all living things.  I want to display hidden layers and I often paint above and below the surface of water or Earth. 

I continue to seek ways to create art that is meaningful and that inspires others. My most recent series, “ Spring Preening”, features birds in flight and preening on large-scale canvas with organic drips of paint to emulate water.  I believe that capturing these little moments illustrates commonality and encourages empathy.  My hope is that this leads to active conservation of our unique natural history in the Lowcountry.