When I was in the first grade my teacher asked me to decorate the window for Christmas. I might have overdone it a little bit. She brought in other teachers to see what I’d made, and I’ll never forget how it felt to create something that other people appreciated and enjoyed. I continued to create, took every art class I could, watched my fair share of Bob Ross, and by high school was selling oil paintings locally.
In college I started experimenting with watercolors because they dried faster and I had 30 paintings to complete in a very short time. As I began to paint and paint and paint, I realized the pigmented water was a metaphor for everything that challenged me in life. A card-carrying control freak, it caused me great anxiety to tip the board and watch the paint pool and swirl where it would, to sprinkle salt and see what happened, to apply paint and see what it became. That is still not my favorite way to paint, but it did help me find the beauty in letting go and letting nature take its course.
I love working small with the tiniest brush I can find, laying down layers of sheer pigment for depth, then adding dry-brush detail. I don’t aim for perfect realism, but rather to perfectly capture the mood the subject matter evokes for me. I am moved by portent and nostalgia, and try to capture both in my most recent series, “Alameda Snapshots,” a sampling of the beauty and history of our unique island.
My artistic journey has taken me in unforeseen directions over the years. In the whirlwind of raising children I went almost two decades without picking up a paintbrush, but it was my greatest joy in life to make everything around me a little more beautiful. Now as an empty nester, a recent newlywed, and a new transplant to Alameda, I’ve refocused on the art of watercolor. I’ve been so inspired by the beauty and history of my new home, and I can’t imagine a life without being able to capture it in water and pigment.