Q & A
Q. When did you start painting? How did you get started showing art?
A. Since childhood, I always enjoyed art projects, in school and at home. Public school teachers encouraged me to pursue art. In high school, my teacher urged me to put together a portfolio and to apply to art schools. I went to art school but switched my major and graduated cum laude with a degree in English Literature. I became more serious about art in 1986 once I moved to Vermont. For the next ten years, I worked full time managing an art gallery and picture framing shop while I painted in my spare time. Once I had a body of work, I began showing locally. Gradually, I tapered off to working part time, then when I was 35, I decided to become a full-time artist. I found a gallery to represent me and I began showing nationally at juried art festivals. In 2003, I exhibited at 12 juried art festivals, winning awards at three of them.
Q. Why do you show at art festivals rather than only at galleries?
A. I enjoy meeting the people who come into my booth. When they buy one of my pastel paintings, they really like it, and it's great to be able to answer their questions, and to give them personal attention. A gallery employee might not be able to answer specific questions regarding my motivations and/or process in a particular piece. But the client who visits the festival is able to come home with a richer experience to go along with the artwork.
Q. Why do you call your pastels "paintings" rather than "drawings"?
A. My background in painting (oil, acrylic, watercolor, goauche) has influenced the way I work in oil pastel. Layering multiple colors results in a more painterly look. In my skies, you will notice areas of blended color that resembles oil painting.
As I define it, pastel drawing is a method of mark making in which each line is distinct.
Q. Do you prefer working on location since you can see exactly how the lighting changes?
A. Pastels are convenient for working outdoors. For four years, I worked exclusively on location. I enjoy it, but I have found studio work to be more fulfilling. I have more control over the process and since my studio is at home, I can paint any time.
Q. Do you work from photographs?
A. I take hundreds of snapshots each year. Referring to the photos refreshes my memory and sparks my imagination. I don't copy what is in the photos, but refer to them as I work. When I do commissions, I use other people's photos to help me.