As a child, I was always drawing. I grew up in a rural suburb of Cincinnati Ohio, surrounded by meadow, creek, woods, and pasture. I was born in the same year that John met Paul, Elvis bought Graceland, and Jack Kerouac wrote “On the Road”. My first word was pencil. I didn’t choose art; it chose me.
I gravitated towards the East Coast for high school and college, and moved to New York in 1979, where I worked in advertising and gallery management. I also free-lanced as a model – a job that led me to spend time with three wonderful artists: Tom Wesselmann, Will Barnet and Duane Michals. I took classes at the Art Students League, and volunteered briefly at Bob Blackburn’s Printmaking Studio. I married, moved to Brooklyn, and began to raise a family.
My husband was transferred to China in 1990. We left our newly renovated brownstone in Fort Greene and arrived in Beijing shortly after the Tiananmen Square Massacre. It was there that I was introduced to a group of artists called The New Literati. Tired of propaganda painting and “art serving politics”, they sought to create a new social atmosphere through simple depictions of everyday life, using traditional techniques and materials. Their paintings were classical, yet contemporary, and often infused with poetry and bits of satire. I studied with Zhu Xinjian, an artist from Nanjing, who patiently taught me how to work with ink and gouache on rice paper. The influence of these artists on my work was enormous. I returned to the States with a softer palette and newfound appreciation for their minimalist approach.
I currently divide my time between studios in Chicago and Camden Maine.