I love to be creative in many ways, but my favorite art form is painting. I particularly love to paint with acrylic on denim. I usually paint on a circular shape, which reminds me of a dream catcher, and allows the denim a presence in the finished product. I also love to incorporate small elements in my work such as birch bark, beadwork, driftwood, and even pennies. Margaret Nazon’s beaded depiction of space inspired me to do more than just include the beadwork in the painting but instead, to make it a focal point of the painting.
I always thought I was a terrible artist until I took a course about painting on fabric in Enterprise in 2004, which opened me up to a different medium. At the time, I was temporarily off work, and I was raising six kids, so I used painting as a way to release stress.
Sometimes I find it’s a challenge to know what to paint. I’ve done some more emotional work for art shows addressing violence against women. Other times, my art will highlight natural beauty, like a sunset or the beauty of the weeds that surround us. After all a weed is just a wildflower that is determined to thrive.
I love painting because it takes the ideas I have in my head and displays them for others to see; I share in that way. Sometimes, I will have an idea in my head for a day, sometimes even a month, before I’m ready to start painting. I tried painting on a schedule, but it just doesn’t work for me – I have to wait until inspiration strikes and then I get in the creative flow.
In the last five years, I’ve also started to include a hidden little bird in each image I create. My favorite part of making art is seeing the completed product. Sometimes, that can take a while because I’ll finish a painting, hang it on the wall, and think: “Something’s not quite right.” I once had a painting on my wall for a year before I knew what to do to complete it!