I came to the practice of art in an unconventional way; my path was not a straight line. I had studied the Chinese language in college and as part of my studies, I learned Chinese calligraphy. Using the brush to make the characters fascinated me much more than learning Chinese. I was much more interested in the brush than the characters. After college, this led me to continue with calligraphy and brush painting. I was fortunate to find a teacher from the Museum School in Boston who was devoted to this art form and taught me the fundamentals of Sumi-E painting. During these lessons, I gradually recognized that making art was meant to be my life’s work. My teacher was the painter Judith Liniado. She was willing to expand my lessons. It was Judy who gave me the grounding in the fundamentals of drawing and painting; the tools necessary to make art. She gave me a rich appreciation and respect for materials and methods that has never left me. After these beginnings, I continued my studies at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design where my serious study and development as an artist took place. With these studies, I began serious experimentation and search for my way of expressing my authentic self through the work. One day in a painting class, my instructor said, “I have been watching you and I realize that you see the world abstractly.” This statement fundamentally changed how I was to make art from that point forward. I could use my innate way of seeing the world as the means of my creative expression. Her statement guided me and continues to sustain me while I push the work forward. During this time, I also began to more fully explore my fascination with the relationships amongst colors and mark making; a direct link back to my study of Chinese calligraphy.
I was fortunate to meet the painter and printmaker, Gema Philips at a monotype workshop held at MassArt. When the workshop ended, she invited myself and a group of artists to her studio to continue to make monotypes. For several years, a group of us gathered once a week to paint on glass, watch our work go through the big press and, most importantly, talk about art, artists, ideas, and life. Unbeknownst to me, these weekly meetings of talking and making art were slowly changing how I saw my work; pushing it into new areas. I found myself taking risks and begin to not only find my “voice”, but to feel comfortable in the risks that one needs to take. This experimentation never ends and continues to push me towards new methods and materials in my exploration and excavation of the creative process.