Years ago I graduated from North Carolina State's College of Design, where I learned both about design and the fine arts. After working as a graphic designer for more than 25 years and after oil painting workshops and practice, I fulfilled a dream and became a full-time artist. My home is in the Triangle area and I'm fortunate to also spend time at Sunset Beach, near where I grew up in southeastern North Carolina. This cherished place holds many memories for me and its beauty feeds my spirit. As I walk the beach, kayak the marsh and watch the sky, I find inspiration for my paintings. From observation, memory and imagination I create what I call glimpses of everyday nature — my homage to this fragile environment.
The marsh provides habitat for fish and birds, it buffers the mainland from storm surges, filters downstream pollution and is a place of inspiring beauty. I love to paint the wetlands, where the water rises and falls with the tides. I pay homage to the fragile marsh ecosystem of the barrier islands, now particularly threatened by climate change and overdevelopment.
I get a serenity from looking up at the sky and I’m inspired to express this in my art. The landscape is not just what I focus on with my paintings. The sky and clouds can be dominant in my compositions and I challenge myself to depict them realistically — in a unique way.
When the full moon is rising, I feel optimism, hope and inspiration. With the big sky views of the beach, I can observe its beauty and power up close. The high tides are amplified and the magical light, not obstructed by trees, glows for hours on a clear night. The moon is a constant reminder that we dwell in a universe of wonder.
I hope my art connects with people and evokes fond memories of a family beach trip. Families have traditions around visiting the beach — some rent the same cottage the same summer week at the same coastal community for years and years. I've heard my art takes them back to special times and places — a reminder of being carefree and relaxed.
Only through my imagination are most of my paintings possible. I hope I'll always find inspiration in the world we have now. Unspoiled, desolate beaches were the norm before cars, high-rise bridges, condos and homes packed the ocean-sides with people. When I paint I feel I'm recreating scenes from long ago — rare and endangered landscapes with nothing man-made imposing on the view.
I hope my scenes of inlet waters winding to the ocean or those with large clouds on the horizon are a calming influence on the viewer. I have a love for barrier islands— but not just for their sandy beaches. To me, relaxing and soothing to view are their tidal, salt marshes separating the islands from the mainland. I find them especially inspiring in mid-summer, when the marsh grass turns brilliant yellow-green. I feature this chartreuse-like color in many of my marsh paintings, combined with varying colors in the sky and water.