I am a watercolor painter with deep roots in the textiles arts. I have been involved with art and craft since I was very young.
When I was growing up, there was always a caddy of crayons and paper at our kitchen table. Mom’s big loom filled a corner of the living room. Dad’s wood shop, printing press, and darkroom equipment were in the basement. We had no TV. So I grew up in a 1950s pre-computerized makerspace. We were a family of makers. I took to weaving, sewing, and knitting, but also loved spending time in the shop watching my dad work.
My undergraduate degree was in Textiles & Clothing and Journalism. And I earned an MFA in Weaving. In the 70s, we headed “back to the land.” We wanted to build our house, raise our food and make a living with our own hands. So we did.
I established The Northern Vermont School of Fiber Arts. I love teaching, learning, hearing people’s stories and being part of my community. In the late 80s, I moved to Arizona and immersed myself in a new community. I taught art for seven years to elementary and middle school students. I retired when our son graduated from college. Now I have found new freedom to chose how I express my ideas.
As a fiber artist and craftsperson, I have been enlivened by and immersed in pattern, color, and rhythm for years. The structure of weaving, knitting, or sewing are easy and enjoyable for me.
In recent years, I have been drawn to watercolor. For me, it’s at its best when the paints flow on the paper and mix in the water as they will. I struggle with this release of control, so it is a whole new teacher for me.
I have tried combining the techniques and skills of these two seemingly opposite approaches creating pieces that embody my history. For a couple of years, I painted and cut and carefully wove watercolor paper into my paintings to create patterns or texture and a small amount of depth to the composition. Sometimes I used collage or traditional textile techniques such as embroidered elements. Recently I have been working to improve my drawing skills.
I am drawn to patterns and colors regardless of the subject. Some pieces are crisp and representational. Others are repetitive simplified shapes or colors, creating more stylized or abstract compositions. I’m encouraged and excited with each new phase of my experimentation.
I now live and work part of each year in Phoenix, Arizona and Northfield, Minnesota.