I found my way to abstract expressionism in a
surprising way. A lover of representational watercolors for over 30
years, I was never interested in abstract painting. In 2008 I was
diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic auto-immune disorder
which causes terrible joint pain, fatigue and muscle weakness. I was
flat on my back, the rug pulled out.
Abstract expressionism opened up a new world for me; one which used
color, movement and texture to help me work through what I couldn't find
the words to express. I've had four exhibits exploring the mystery of
human suffering without becoming macabre. My use of bright, vibrant
color always moves toward hope.
As I worked in abstraction, I became conscious that I see color with
certain music. I have now received several commissions/collaborations to
interpret music with paint, working with Duke University Chapel, the
Bach Roots Festival, the South Dakota Chorale's Magnificat and others.
In 2018 I received an arts grant to visit Norway, the home of Edvard
Grieg, to study his music, his life and the environment that colored his
With medication and rest, I was able to paint again in 2010, but
representational watercolors no longer satisfied. How could I "speak"
about the suffering I'd been through? I found the answer in a workshop
from abstract expressionist Lana Grow. She said, "I find painting to be a
spiritual practice." I nodded. I was in the right place. The rest is
I've found a home interpreting music with paint. It's funny how
unexpected gifts can rise out of terrible things. I feel like this way
of painting lifted me out of a dark place. I am grateful. I have been
working as an illustrator and painter for various companies, businesses
and churches, using a variety of styles and media.
I enjoy working commissions with clients
developing trust and flexibility in creating paintings that are pleasing
to both parties. I love the challenge of interpreting life with color,
movement and texture. Once troubled by the breadth of my styles, I now
embrace it as a gift and love variety. I never get bored. With the
return of good health, I treasure my ability to paint every day. I am a
native of Decorah, Iowa and a graduate of Luther College with a degree
in Art & Art Education.
My art business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" with The Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.
I am inspired by the beauty of color and colors up against each other in harmony and discord, by the beauty of nature, by the swell of strings and human voices raised in song, and by the resiliency of the human spirit.
I work in acrylic on Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper, on premium canvas or on gessobord. I love experimenting with different abstract techniques using different tools to apply paint, including cut papers, stencils, stamping and whatever strikes my fancy.
I have been lucky to receive many Minnesota arts grants which were integral to my development as an artist over the years. I am thankful to have received art awards and prizes along the way.
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