My development as an artist was transformed by gaining access to artist residency programs. Uncountable benefits accrued, from the heightened focus of daily studio work, without interruption or distraction, to cross-p0llinization with a wide spectrum of artists, writers, poets, and musicians. My first artist residency was in 1998 and the most recent in 2015. These critically important transient communities provided exquisite opportunities to work and learn, and along the way delivered friendships that enriched my life.
It was a big step for me in 2015 to go from working with local art associations to participating in cultural exchange programs in Beijing and Shanghai, China. I am grateful to many people who generously vouched for me and expanded my opportunities into the larger world of contemporary art. I will always treasure the odd desire of some Chinese people to embrace and be photographed with complete strangers.
No matter what else has gone on in my life, I never stopped enrolling in classes as a student. Putting myself in the role of student always makes me a better teacher and artist. Being a lifelong learner challenges my ideas and skills, allows me to walk a mile in another person’s point of view, and propels me into new ways of thinking and seeing.
My undergraduate college work was primarily in painting, drawing, etching, and art history. I worked summers as a book illustrator between academic years beginning in high school. After graduating from college with a BFA in printmaking, I went to work full-time in educational publishing for a computer corporation. There I balanced my foundation in hand-pulled prints with commercial 4-color offset litho. Later I completed the circle by learning to make hand-bound books.