I was born and raised in Oakland, California and attended UC Berekeley where I graduated with a degree in Art and Political Science and received the Dean’s Award for Painting. This was during the years of Vietnam anti-war protests, the Women’s Movement, and the emergence of the Black Panthers and SLA. In response to spending my last year of college designing and printing anti-war posters, I moved to New York to learn more about what graffiti artists and other socially motivated artists were doing. I led art workshops with women inmates at Riker’s Island Prison and at the end of three months their art was shown at St. John the Divine.
When I returned to San Francisco, I studied graphic design which I pursued for 35+ years (and continue to do so), enjoying working for clients and helping them bring their vision to life. Also during this time my artistic pursuits turned to watercolor paintings of landscapes which evolved into nature journaling that I teach and deeply love.
Fascination with the natural world and how we perceive and live in it has been with me forever. I stumbled on metallic surfacers treated with mild acids and found that it created something akin to the "big boom". Because it is a blind process with the results showing up hours to days later, it resembles the lack of control we truly have as we navigate what the universe dishes up.
In my early work I created portraits of family members using needlepoint for the flesh areas; fabric and hair from wigs for the bodies; raffia for furniture. It was natural to work in a medium that I learned as a child growing up in a knitting and sewing family. It makes sense to me that I would return to sewing in my current work.
Portrait of my mother as Queen of May
I have always loved operating machines: cars, typewriters, sewing machines. I started sewing again recently, but this time on paper with a darning attachment which allows me to freely move the paper in any direction, adjusting the speed and stitch length as my emotion dictates and adding paper detritus along the way. It is like driving through the landscape of my soul. I enjoy the sound, the speed, the tinkering with the components, the craft of it.
My first project on my grandma's treadle sewing machine.