Born and raised in Seattle, I have been an artist all my life. Creating art feeds my soul. My background, training and expertise are in drawing, painting, printmaking and mixed media. My work has always explored a variety of images and themes, including cats, birds sea creatures, water landscapes, people, symbols, signage, spirituality and sheer whimsey.

I studied at the University of Washington School of Art during my high school years, then attended 3 years college at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts); then undertook further study and teacher training at The Evergreen State College where I earned a BFA. I taught college level classes in graphic arts, silkscreening, figure drawing and bookbinding. For awhile after graduation I used my artistic skills to make a living but soon found commercial art sapped the joy out of my creative output and my soul was starving. I decided to go into office work during the daytime to make a living so I could revel in making art at night, not worrying if my work would sell or not.

In 1990, after I had long made my living as an office administrator of one sort or another, I began working as Director of Seward Park Ceramics Studio in Seattle. There I met a number of very talented instructors and studio members whose work was intriguing and inspiring. The clay community is very congenial and cooperative. I took some classes in clay and found the medium very challenging but fun. The tactile experience was a delightful new adventure for me. With pencils, pens and brushes, all the action happens at the end of the handle, whereas clay involves touching the stuff thoroughly with both hands. I was also fascinated by the textural change — at first clay is very gooey and easy to sculpt, then it dries out a bit and becomes hard enough to carve, and after firing it’s stone-hard, and can even withstand being outdoors all year long.

After discovering the joy of figure sculpting, I was hooked on clay. I reconfigured by basement studio for clay work, bought a kiln and explored a number of different directions.  When I tried tile making I knew I’d hit upon the art form for me. I’ve always been a picture-maker, so creating tiles allows me to use much of my prior training while enjoying the tactile qualities of clay and making satisfying work I can easily display and market. My work as a tile maker has been vastly enhanced by my association with the artists of Artisan Tile North West (ATNW), many of whom are exceptionally talented and well trained, as well as being generous with encouragement, tips and techniques.

In 1998, I retired from office work due to a major health challenge. That — to some extent — turned out to be a blessing disguise for, as I began to get back on my feet, I started practicing yoga regularly and teaching arts and crafts. My life was considerably enriched by such rewarding work. In the years that followed, I taught a variety of workshops in mural painting, mosaic art, tile painting and basic handmade tiles at the Thistle Steet Studio, the Alki Bathhouse Studio and a variety of other places through the Experimental College, Discover U and the Nature Consortium.

I also began teaching gentle hatha yoga, which has come to be the central core of my life because it has enhanced my mobility, agility, strength, stamina, confidence and equilibrium. Teaching yoga provides me an opportunity to help others with these concerns while connecting with a broad range of interesting people. I also enjoy dancing NIA several times a week, and that has opened up another joyful and creative part of me. In addition, I am blessed with a wonderful husband and two delightful cats, so life is sweet just now!

Comments

  1. Hi! I just visited Seattle and saw your wonderful flying crows on the wall at the bagel place in West Seattle. I’d love to buy one for my wife — any way to do that long distance? I live in California. Thanks!
    Margot

  2. Your tiles are beautiful. The carrots spoke to me – will look lovely in my kitchen.

    Your talent is appreciated. Thanks much!

    Cathy

  3. oh you’ve a studio there!!! i alayws pay a visit @ JCCAC but at that time i didn’t know you. So i’ll come to say hi~and if possible please show us more about your studio e.g. what’s inside la~ ^^

  4. Great interview. I tolalty agree with Paul’s comments about the atmosphere in the studio. Everyone is so encouraging and helpful and its inspiring to see all the fantastic work everyone produces. Even if I can’t do it myself! Also, I love the curly-handled jug Paul!

  5. Our master sowher is STILL not tiled. The tile is sitting in the garage, where it’s been, for almost four years. Sad, I know. Your project makes me want to finally get it done even more.

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