I am a figurative artist working primarily in oil paint as a medium. I paint many subjects, including portraits and still lifes, but my current focus is floral paintings. I primarily paint “Flower Portraits”, small intimate paintings of one or two flowers. I love to paint flowers because they are, to me, the purest form of beauty. The organic form, complex layers, delicacy, and subtle shifting colors of a flower are a joy and challenge to paint. And flowers contain deep mysteries surrounding allure and procreation in nature. Each flower is utterly unique – thus the “portraits”. As an artist I try to capture and translate the singular character and beauty of each bloom. I love the challenge of painting florals; they require such mastery to paint well. It so easy to ruin a floral by overdoing it.
One of the things I like most about art is the deep level of noticing it asks of us. If you want to really notice something, draw or paint it. For me, single flowers are the ultimate subject for this kind of deep noticing. This is because I’ve always loved small things in nature. I’m the annoying person on the hike that stops a thousand times to examine every flower and bug. I get excited about the conical structure of this tiny flower, or the crazy patterning on the back of that fern. I bring that excitement back to my art with these small florals. The flowers I paint – and by extension, all the lovely small things in nature - are only receiving the close attention they deserve.
My paintings are very time and labor intensive and use every bit of training I’ve received. They incorporate all of the timeless techniques I’ve learned, dating back to the Dutch Masters: layered painting, careful attention to value/ composition/ hue/ chroma/ edges, and more. I’ve been inspired by any number of painters, both classical and contemporary, chief among them the insanely talented floral painter Katie Whipple, John Singer Sargent, Caravaggio, and many more.
I seek with my art to add beauty to the world. It’s really that simple. My paintings are representational because they are about noticing beauty, and then transmuting that into a new thing of beauty.
I grew up in gorgeous Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was lucky enough to grow up hiking, skiing, going to beaches and generally playing in nature. I attended UC Berkeley, and then St. John’s College in Annapolis MD, where I studied “The Great Books” of western civilization, ranging from Plato to Einstein. I then earned a Masters of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, and practiced architecture for many years at Kenzo Tange Associates in Tokyo – a fascinating experience. We moved back to NYC, where I practiced freelance architecture, took art classes at the Art Student’s League and under watercolor artist Bonnie Steinsnyder, and raised my three children for the next 20 years. In 2013 I convinced my family to moved back to Marin. I studied for four years at the renowned classical realism Atelier run by living Master Sadie Valerie in San Francisco, the Sadie Valerie Atelier. Currently I am in my own shared studio in the Mission district of San Francisco, the Liberty Hill Studio. This is now my beloved art community and painting space.