Raised in Peoria, Illinois - one of two girls in a family of nine children, it was idyllic growing up in a big old house on the edge of town surrounded by wooded rolling hills, creeks, and fields yet developed. My siblings and I spent many happy hours exploring and just being outside. I think that’s when my love of the landscape imprinted on me. I didn’t know it back then, but I was absorbing all that beauty and saving it for a time when I could express it as a professional artist. In the solitude of my childhood I made art. My parents saw to it that I had art lessons and set up an art space for me in the coolness of the basement of that old house. My first studio! At age 16 I was given the gift of a complete set of Rembrandt pastels in a wooden hinged box….and that is where my love of soft pastel began. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alverno College in 1971 and spent the next 30 years focusing on raising a family. That box of pastels was never far away and I returned to them in 2005. My old friends.
Primarily a studio painter, the time I spend outdoors walking or sitting with my sketch book is a process of gathering and recording information to use in my studio painting. Inspired by dramatic lighting in the landscape, I make careful observations about the light and resulting shadows, noting how it influences the colors I see before me. Because I am always looking for ways to push the color, I exaggerate and expand the barest hint of color I see in nature.
I am completely devoted to the medium of soft pastel. It is the direct contact with the paper, the buttery softness of the sticks, the lushness of the colors and all the techniques this medium allows me to explore, that captivates me. My paintings evolve as I float layer upon layer of pure color each one influencing the other. I rarely blend the layers to preserve the luminous quality of pastel that has been my fascination for 15 years. I have studied with nationally recognized artists Colette Odya Smith, W Truman Hosner, Marla Bagetta, Christine Debrosky, and Nancy King Mertz.
My work is in hospital and private collections throughout the United States, the Teaching Collection of the Trout Museum, Appleton, WI and the Permanent Collection of the Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI. In 2014 I was awarded Signature Membership in the Pastel Society of America.
Miller Art Museum 2011 - Gerhard Miller Award of Excellence
The Hardy Gallery - 2020 Juried Exhibit - Honorable Mention Award; 2012 Jurors Award
Pastel Society of America - 2014 attained Signature Status
The Trout Museum of Art - 2015 Purchase Award
Wisconsin pastel Artists Artists - 2020 Spring Exhibit Honorable Mention Award; 2017 Choice Award
Pastel Society of America - 2017 Atlantic Papers Award