We have the Life Force burning within us. We extend the natural process through thought and artistic expression. Let us each speak to issues we find significant. We grow and explore at the tip of Life's evolution, and we bear responsibility for notifying others of what we have considered. (Gary John Gresl)
I have been selling my art for more than four decades, but my love of art and the creative process has happily been a major part of my life since I was a child.
I believe the powerful communication and expression of art enriches both the artist and the public. Therefore, I feel that with art making comes not only personal satisfaction but also a sense of responsibility. Through art, the artist speaks a universal truth that is often more accessible than other forms of communication. I try to speak out about critical and difficult issues facing people and the planet, but also balance this with art that is whimsical and humorous. I enjoy the exploration of metaphor and irony in all their permutations.
I frequently work in clay, mixed media, and found objects to create unusual and expressive sculptures and assemblages. Working in this manner allows me a freedom of expression that I cannot achieve nearly as well as with a single medium alone. Sometimes I prefer to work in 2-D, in acrylic, collage and watercolor, but most often, I incorporate mixed media and found objects as well.
I draw most of my inspiration from a deep and lifelong love of nature and animals. Much of my work reflects that passion, whether it is a sculpture of a shore bird or salmon, or a mixed media painting of our forests and streams.
I teach classes in clay and mixed media to adults and children. I am also an art therapist and art therapy supervisor. Following the tragic loss of my daughter to cancer in 1989, I returned to college and in 1992, I earned a master's degree in art therapy, later working for hospice in Portland. Several years after that, I began private practice, specializing in grief and loss. I believe my own experience and the experience of helping others through such difficult and challenging times have enriched my own personal growth and expression and given me an understanding of deep human connections. Even if someone is not directly involved in art therapy, just the process of making art can have a deep healing impact on the artist.
I continue to seek out new artistic ways to express my thoughts and feelings, stretching the limits of the materials and subject. It is inspiring, challenging, thrilling, and always powerful.