I was born in a mining Village in the North East of England and came to America in 1978 as a young married woman. My history of creativity started with the guidance of my mother and grandmothers, who taught me how to knit, crochet and embroider. However it wasn’t until I was 40 years old that I took my first drawing and painting classes and through the mentoring of my art instructor Marie Linnekin that I realized my dream to be an artist.
It’s now been 21 years working as an artist that I now realize I was always an artist, I just didn’t have all the right tools or the confidence Art is part of a lifelong journey of curiosity about everything around me and using art as a means to question, challenge, cope, explore, understand, and communicate. As a dear friend and art pal, Nancy Mellon, says I am extremely curious about the world around me and create as a response to that, whether it’s through embroidery, painting, ipad art, photography, jafagirl public art projects, or assemblage.
As with life my art has a yin yang quality to it and is like a crazy quilt I stitched together, frayed in some places, threadbare in others, and sometimes hanging by a thread, some dark, some light, some whimsical, but each image adds to this beautiful quilt called life.
At times I use art and the process of creating as a means to cope and this couldn’t be any truer now. In January I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Invasive Breast Cancer and while my prognosis is very good, and I don’t need chemo, I still have to do 33 sessions of radiation treatment. Every radiation day I walk by landscaping stones in the hospital car park and one day I saw a smooth round one and thought it would be fun to paint a boob on it as a mark of this new ritual for 6 weeks. Next day I decided each treatment day I would pick up a stone and paint whatever came to mind during my treatment time.
So my new daily ritual has been radiation, and then the excitement of coming home and painting a stone, and each day is a joyful art surprise. As the bowl fills I am encouraged that the end of treatment is getting closer. One day the bowl will be filled and it will be beautiful.
Along with working on my art I am a member the Jafagirls, Yellow Springs Arts Council Permanent Collection Steering Committee, Yellow Springs Arts Council Gallery Committee, admin for Yellow Springs Arts and Culture Blog, and admin for Yellow Springs Art Exchange on FaceBook.