I live among the rolling hills and farmland of southwestern Wisconsin known as the Driftless Area.* Living in this unique geological area has helped define my artistic journey. But, before I go on, let me step back a few years.
In 1986, my husband, Tony, and I lived in Madison, the state capitol of Wisconsin. Having lived in Madison for ten years, we made the decision to return to our roots and look for rural property to build a house on. We had both grown up in nearby farming communities and moved to Madison in 1975. We didnít anticipate finding 40 acres of woods, fields, and rocky bluffs that we couldnít resist. The house came much lateróa geodesic domeówhich we built with the help of family and friends.
Within a short time of moving to the countryside, I made the momentous decision to teach myself how to paintóa desire that had been with me for many years. Prior to this, I had expressed my creative urges primarily with pencil, fitting it in on the edges of my life and not making much progress. I also took several adult evening painting courses, but, again, did not make a commitment to continue. All that changed in 1995, when I reduced my full time job to four days a week. The fifth day was devoted to watercolor painting.
After two difficult years of the trial and error approach and hitting a point of almost giving up on being able to paint, I felt that I had finally turned a corner. I began to show my paintings at art fairs and local businesses, and participating in regional artist organizations and their related activities. Eventually, I began to work with other media, in addition to watercolor, to see where it would take me. This next step opened doors of unexpected creativity and events that soared off into various directions and developed into niches of their own.
At this time, I regularly exhibit my paintings and artwork in solo and group shows. I have also come full circle--teaching beginning watercolor, among other courses, at Blackhawk Technical College in Monroe, Wisconsin. Nature, in its never ending display of magnificence, is the primary inspiration for my art. I will travel around the state and beyond at all times of the year to find new subject matter to paint, but Iím particularly drawn toward marshes, rivers, lakes, and their ecosystems. My own floral and vegetable gardens provide additional stimulation, as well as the agricultural scenes in the surrounding area. I make use of watercolor, acrylic, pencil, pen, or mixed media to create my artwork, and Iím always ready to experiment with new techniques, ideas, and subject matter.
* Driftless refers to a particular terrain which escaped glaciation in the last glacial period and lacks drift, the material left behind by retreating continental glaciers.