Hometown: Roy, Utah
Early Art Years and Education
I’ve had the need to create art for as long as I can remember. As a child I had an interest in art and animals, so naturally I combined the two as I grew older. I earned a bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis on painting from Weber State University. My applicable learning came from the numerous workshops I have taken, learning directly from working artists.
Genre and Media
I love oil paint and use it exclusively, on gessoed board (Masonite). I appreciate the obvious price range of painting on boards, along with how easily I can create different sizes without a stretcher bar or a canvas.
Inspiration for Fresh Tracks
Prior to this painting, I hadn’t created a white-on-white painting, so I was excited to try it and experiment with new color harmonies. I also wanted to create a feeling of joy and elation in this painting. My goal was for the viewer to be able to look at it and feel the unbounded freedom that the wolves felt as they ran across the endless tundra.
This was a really fun painting because of the size and the freedom I had to experiment with color. I enjoyed painting each individual wolf’s expression, which was challenging. One surprise I had during this process was being too nervous to delve into painting after I’d drawn it. I took an entire day off, and then I started again the next day.
The development of my paintings is a result of several important steps. First, my husband or I capture the photograph that I am going to paint. Animals are my passion, so I spend a lot of time outdoors observing and photographing them. I also work en plein air in order to render my interpretation of nature firsthand. This is the best way to learn about color and to develop one’s personal style.
In the studio, I spend time constructing the composition by drawing various ideas, incorporating photographs and utilizing past outdoor observations. This process alone may take an entire day, as I make an interesting abstract arrangement of forms. I then draw it out on the board and work out the value pattern with a layer of burnt sienna acrylic paint (or pencil or charcoal) over the drawing. I have an extensive range of paint that I use and I’m always open to exploring with new colors. I often study a very small color/composition for each painting in order to discover the specific color harmony for it. The study is a guide or map for my larger piece; I can always refer back to it.
Edited by Cherie Haas, associate editor for The Artist’s Magazine.
Artists of the Month are chosen from the list of finalists of The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition.
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