Long Story Short:
I painted for a long time. Then I embroidered. Before any of that I was a copywriter.
Long Story Long:
I became an artist when I became a mom. My desire to create art seemed to rival my desire to create children. I always loved textiles so I began by making quilts. Too slow. Too time consuming.
I was inspired to try my hand at pastels after discovering a fellow self-taught artist, George Colin. Colin was an untrained folk artist from downstate Illinois and his bright colored naive pastels absolutely charmed me. Not knowing how to store these delicate pastels I had created I was introduced to a wholesale framer who would change my life. Joe took a look at my 5 pastels and told me to make more. He would frame them for dirt cheap out of leftover moulding. He wanted me to start doing summer art festivals with them. I did what Joe said and that first summer, Joe would pick me up in his van, loan me a tent and display and sit with me for 2 solid days helping me sell my art. He would talk to everyone when I was too self-conscious. He taught me how to price my art. He taught me how to believe in myself. He gave me a career. Joe became a dear friend and helped me for years. He has since died but I am indebted to him forever.
I spent the next 15 years developing my skills and my brain. Trying new medium. Exhibiting in different venues. I primarily painted with acrylics and mixed media but I also dabbled in printmaking and would love to return to that craft.
Five years ago I had a need to explore social media and they ways it was affecting my teenage children and their peers. I went back to my childhood love of textiles and began to embroider my drawings to act as a contrast to the cyber speed of the new photo sharing life and to drive home my presence as a mother through the domestic craft. Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago began to represent me with these works. I had two solo shows and the gallery took my work to Art Basel in Miami. I also exhibited at George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles and Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York City as well as countless museum and gallery shows throughout the country. The work is still being sought out by curators for exhibitions throughout the US.
I began making my hand embroidered necklaces recently during a period when I had limited time to work. For a long time I had been frustrated looking for a necklace that was just what I wanted. And what I wanted was a long necklace that wasn't so delicate that it would disappear and wasn't one of these "statement" necklaces that looked overwhelming. I had the idea for an embroidered necklace and when I looked around I didn't see anything that felt contemporary, so I started designing and my friends loved them and everyone wanted to help me design them so I started working!
As my children have aged and social media sharing has become old news I have moved on to a new series I am currently developing. The series is called "56" which is my age. It is a very personal, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, look at my life at this significant time. I'm loving working on it and I hope you'll enjoy seeing it.