This painting contains various elements of my Kansas experience. The bird is a grackle, a common visitor to our yards. This is a bird with attitude! The sky is based on what I see just about every evening as I make my way out to the barn to feed. The flowers are from my garden or pasture. Finally, the railing that the grackle sits on is based on the ironwork found on the cupola from the Windsor Hotel in Garden City.
I am fascinated by the richness of a natural world that goes largely unseen, or perhaps more accurately, is seen but unnoticed. The questions I pose in my paintings have to do with the division between ourselves and nature. We are a part of nature yet often at odds with it. My work deals with this borderline area.
My formal training in art began at the University of Kansas, where I earned a BFA and MFA in painting. I have worked in visual communications, was an artist in residence in all the Garden City elementary schools for three years, and I taught a variety of visual arts courses at Seward County Community College for twenty years. As an educator, I strive to cultivate the student’s ability to see and evaluate discerningly, to develop basic art skills, and to encourage students to explore the arts as a means of self-expression and self-realization.”