ABOUT THE ARTIST: SEEKING OUT LITTLE MOMENTS OF MAGIC
“Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place.” — Rumi
In everything I make, I try to weave in the world around me. The soft edges of misty mornings. The drape of spiders’ webs. The bursts of color from summer blooms. The powdery softness of fall mushrooms. The fine pinpricks of starlight through the tree branches. The charmingly whimsical little beetles, hiding between the flower petals, thinking I won’t notice them there.
I return to these little snapshots of nature again and again. I love trying to capture the texture of a shell or the quality of light through glass. The painting becomes like a visual journal. From the crunching of leaves on the path, to the smell of fresh earth as I’m lifting the leaves off of a perfectly creamy mushroom, to the rest of the sunlit afternoon spent in the woods. When I sit down to sketch and then paint, the whole experience comes back to me. I pour those expansive feelings into my artwork.
I love exploring these themes of interconnectedness. Through the changing of the seasons, through the cycles of growth in my garden, through the moon phases. I watch for the dance of the hummingbirds in summer, then the return of the intricate spiders’ webs in the fall, made new each morning and glistening with dewdrops.
With the Flow Tarot, I expanded my observation to include all aspects of the water element. I imagined myself in each image, asking what lessons the water, land and sky had to teach me. Tarot speaks to a deeper, more intuitive knowing that we all have. It is communication through symbols first, words second. In trying to express how we can all bring water’s renewing, rejuvenating flow into our lives, language fell short. So I used images to express how water adapts and moves, washes clean and wears down even the most stubborn of obstacles, without ever losing itself.
I try to keep that flow when I am creating. I let my experiences pour through me and into my art. Long walks become curled autumn leaves I sketch on the page. Crisp nights looking for shooting stars become velvety swaths of dark paint, shot through with glittering streaks. The bugs I shake from my dahlia petals become the tiny creatures I hide under the edges of pen-and-ink leaves.
These little moments of magic thread through each piece of art I create.
MY INSPIRATION: A LIFE IN THE MOUNTAINS
Living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, I feel like I am surrounded by moments of magic. The mountains here are among the highest on the East Coast. There are craggy peaks, covered in fir trees and half hidden by mist. There are lush glades, tucked deep into quiet, mossy forests. There is water flowing — in streams, rivers or waterfalls — almost anywhere you turn. There are clear days and cloudy days. Petal-pink sunrises and sunsets like bonfires. And then at night there are the stars…. I have lived all over the country, but this place with its wild landscape and moody weather, suits my soul best.
Here, I paint, write, create decks, make jewelry and teach classes. Here, I am inspired to garden, hike, knit and journal. Here, I play the harp, run a letterpress and teach college students about Hildegard.
Our 130-year-old home was built before power and is situated exactly east to west with huge windows to catch the every bit of sunlight as it passes over. It sits on a ridgetop, and was built just so that the center is lined up with an enormous mountain peak more than 5 miles away. But what makes it unique is that it was a bed-and-breakfast for 50 years. It has been special to so many people, in so many lifetimes. And every day, I am grateful to get to spend my life here too.
From wavy glass windows, I watch the seasons change across the mountains. I walk our gravel road and look for moss and mushrooms. I look for remnants of former gardens among the herbs and berries that grow wild around our home. I kick through autumn leaves, crunch over winter snow and watch for spring’s first blulbs. In the summer, I plant the biggest dahlias I can find and try to keep up with my own small vegetable and herb garden. This wild and woodsy life refills my creative cup and spills over into everything I do.