Because of my artistic and nature-loving parents, I have been an art lover since I could hold a crayon and paint with my fingers. Making art made me feel alive, soothed my soul, and was always my friend. Encouraged to follow my dreams, I realized in my college years my desire was to always have art as my companion while pursuing a counseling career.
In my undergraduate work, I minored in art and devoured all the art classes I could. Again, art wooed my soul, healed my broken heart, and gave me a way to express myself in life, whether it was weaving on a floor loom, sewing, quilting, needlework, drawing, painting, knitting, or collaging. Art and creativity were the friends who never let me down and provided the endless deep well of projects to create!
As I have pursued my counseling career, and utilized art with my clients as an expressive art therapist and certified creativity coach with Miller Counseling Services, PC and Lighted Path® Coaching, I also have studied from many master artists and discovered my love of watercolor, acrylic ink, acrylic mediums, fine paper collaging, oils, encaustics and cold wax.
Although I continue to explore new art techniques and mediums, I focus mostly right now on mixed media collage and intuitive painting with organic free flowing abstract techniques, as well as detailed realistic aspects inspired by the natural world and whimsy. I also focus on portrait work with pets and people using watercolor oils and mixed media.
As an intuitive painter, I begin my painting with splashes of acrylic inks, spraying with water, and letting the colors flow and drip into each other on the surface of the board or canvas. I will do this back and forth several times with different colors of acrylic inks, using my fingers to splatter and bring up the color underneath while wet.
I love the feel of the paint on my fingers, splattering and moving it around on the surface, my fingers and the paint dancing together in collaboration.
Next I add mark-making with different media such as bamboo skewers, old gift cards, bubble wrap, graphite, handmade stamps, the list goes on! I scratch sometimes, dab and write at other times, even blow with a straw at times. I spray paint over stencils creating a shadowed background design that starts a new path for the intuitive painting process to follow. I just let the brush and the paint show me the way.
Once the background is formed, I move toward creating whimsical images that interplay within the luminous background. It is always such fun to see what images take form in my paintings. Elements from nature often appear. I am especially drawn to creatures with feathers and wings because of their freedom and ability to soar to the heavens. And animals because they speak to me through the way they live in the natural world.
The beauty of the human face, especially the eyes, show depth of the soul and emotion. As a therapist and spiritual director, I have spent many hours looking into the eyes of my clients, understanding their hearts and holding a safe place for them to discover their authentic selves. Because of this inspiration, I love to bring human images often with a little whimsy, into my art.
As icing, I add embellishments such as glitter, gems, and ephemera. Sometimes I will put a word or phrase in my artwork that reflects the story of the painting in some way. This is a direct inspiration from my practice of art journaling, which is an interchange of word and art reflection that dance with each other.
I call my painting process Intuitive Soul Painting which I also facilitate in my classes, workshops and retreats. Mindfulness of where I am in the creative process informs my mind as to what is next. I want my students to also become aware of this experience of step-keeping with the creative process.
Commission work is especially rewarding because I can collaborate with the collector to paint a picture of their loved one or pet, wildlife or whimsical being with collaging fine papers and painting with acrylic or watercolor. Some of the most fun pieces I have painted have been with the collector’s ideas meshed with my creative freedom to paint intuitively. Together we trust the process!
Staying true to self, learning the dance of resistance and fear, embodying inspiration from nature, and observing the beauty and movement of color are inspirational factors from which my art flows. I consider painting an act of worship; my soul connecting with God’s inner voice expressing my uniqueness through art.
My desire is truly to brighten the world with my art. If a collector feels joy and connection with whimsy and/or nature from viewing one of my paintings then I have expressed what I intended from the beginning. If they see or feel an aspect of themselves expressed, then my painting has had a positive impact.
Each painting is started with an intention from my heart to follow my soul intuition as I paint. I want all those impacted by my art, to see the beauty and depth of the creative process, drawing them into a whimsical story set in a magical organic background with a deeply intricate expression of image, hopefully delighting their soul!