What style or medium do you use for your artwork?
I started out working in watercolors. This was a great experience for me, but I found that the pictures were too realistic. I found that something was lacking, and over time discovered that what was lacking was the imagination in my art. So I allowed my imagination to guide me, and the path took a turn that could be described as more whimsical, taking the seriousness out of life and replacing it with just plain fun. I create art in many different forms, from watercolor to oil paintings to gardening, to creating decorated glassware for my home, to making very unique jewelry, to designing women’s dresses from men’s t-shirts that have spectacular designs, to my newest endeavor of using a bandsaw to cut large shapes out of wood, sanding them, and then designing art on them.
If your art was your fishing line, and you cast it out and then reel it back in, what is at the other end of the line?
Fun. Happiness. The purpose of my art is to remind people not to take life so seriously. When I do a painting, I put little surprises in the design that the customer has to look for. Tiny messages in little spaces throughout the painting, accentuating small insignificant details like whiskers and eyelashes, nostrils and ears. Unique items in my jewelry like watch faces and the Three Stooges! I throw it all out there to the world and receive the joy that they experience!
What inspires you as you prepare for a project?
Taking note of all the unique beauty in the world around me, as well as taking time to be unique myself. I love trees. I love that each tree is so different; it really makes me look at one project in many different ways. I love animals and have always loved drawing and painting them. Once I had a birthday party and showed up wearing rows of pearls and a pink tutu! It was just an expression of fun and inspiration!
Art was my lifeline. But as far as cancer affecting my art, I would say yes as well. Because of my cancer, my art took on more importance. I wanted more than ever to put joy out into the world. I wanted so much for my art to have more meaning for others; I wanted my art to actually participate in the lives of those who see it, or demand participation from the viewer. Which is why I leave small messages and designs that people have to search for. They need to engage to find the joy in my artwork. I began to do art that would leave a legacy when I am gone. I have these collages with comic strip backgrounds and all my grandchildren’s favorite items, so they will always have something to remember me by.