Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. — Pablo Picasso
I am a visual artist, equestrian, and certified trainer with the international Center for Nonviolent Communication Communication. To me all these endeavors are art — a creative process and experience, suffused with new insights and learning, that result in a unique personal expression.
I am currently focusing on two genres with my paintings — landscapes (and other scapes) and animals, especially horses. My landscape paintings are a visualization of my feelings about the world around me. I’m interested in all types of landscapes but especially love the beauty of the mountains, fields, streams, and gardens of southwestern Virginia. Whatever the specific scene, landscape continually provides me with inspiration in form, line, color, and light.
About 20 years ago I began taking horse-back-riding lessons. My first love was a senior Leopard Appaloosa gelding named Spotty. He and all equines I have since encountered fill me with an awe of their beauty, grace, perspicacity, and gentleness. Painting horses challenges me to capture the unique personality of each one, as I develop a composition that highlights the character I want to portray to the viewer.
I received my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. In addition, I have studied with a variety of artists, including Vera Dickerson and Mary Jane Birch of the Studio School in Roanoke, Virginia and nationally known artists Daniel Greene and Louis Cadillac. I also have studied with Dawn Emerson, a renowned pastel painter from the state of Oregon.
I work in a variety of media but dry pastel is my favorite. I enjoy its range of qualities – from the graphic feel of hard pastel sticks to the buttery sensation of the softest pastel brands. I also am drawn to the immediacy of its vibrant colors, which I use either alla prima (in a single layer) or in many layers to produce subtle hues and values that seem to vibrate with energy. Pastels provide me with just the right artist’s tools to combine the various elements of painting (shape, form, line, value, color, and texture) into personal expressions as drawings and paintings.