I love to be creative in many ways, but my favorite art forms are painting and drawing. I particularly love to paint with acrylic on denim. I usually paint on a circular shape, which reminds me of a dream catcher. I also love to incorporate small elements in my work such as birch bark, beadwork, driftwood, and even pennies. 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.
I also really enjoy making jewelry. I started doing beadwork with semi-precious stones, with different types of settings, like crochet wire. One day, I combined crochet techniques with stones and beading and was quite pleased with the results. I can do rings, cuffs, necklaces and earrings. I’ve been making jewelry for about five years, but I would still say that I was always a painter first.
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 I’ve witnessed. I also work with kids and they never fail to inspire me. 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!