I was in kindergarten when I first proclaimed I would be an artist. I remember coloring and announcing to my neighbor that I could fill a large area in fast movements without leaving white spaces between the lines. Evidently, I was destined to be great! Growing up in rural Ohio, I did not have many chances for visual arts in school. Fortunately, I participated in 4-H and gained plenty of experience sewing, restoring furniture, baking (bread making but I also may be the only person you meet that has taken the fine art of microwaving), and other activities that involved aesthetics. Little did I know that it was all part of the training that would provide a solid foundation for a career in the visual arts.
In high school, I took a random assortment of art electives from drawing to enameling. I was fortunate to have an excellent art instructor, which was miraculous considering the size of the town. I learned a little bit about a lot of things and began to understand that art was more than the random doodles or copied work that I had always created. I went to college as a fine art and creative writing dual major. I quickly dropped creative writing and realized that art was it for me. I received a Bachelor and Masters in Art Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Teaching is the best choice I could have made out of college. Through teaching, I continue to grow intellectually as well as in the physical production of art. I teach what I know and much of what I don’t know or have never done before. I teach under the assumption that my students are creative, smart, and intuitive learners and together, we can solve any problem.
My art is therefore about learning.
I am at my best when I am problem solving through drawing and painting. Recently, I have been exploring a new process of creating art that I call Dreamscapes. This process consists of transferring historical images to a surface and then using those photos to create an imaginary landscape that celebrates the history of a place and commemorates time. I have always been fascinated with the linear concept of time, and I enjoy researching imagery and story to celebrate and acknowledge the past, present, and future in my artwork.
Someone once told me, “Those who can do and those who can’t teach." I beg to differ. I’m a better artist because I teach. And, I’m a better teacher because I create art. It’s taken me since kindergarten to proclaim it, but I now know that I am an artist! After all, I can color without leaving white spaces between the lines…perhaps I am destined to be great.