What I get out of teaching and how it helps me create...
I have always had a knack for breaking down complex processes into the resources and actions required -- then setting up systems so that “what we do produces the results we need”.
I enjoy helping people. When you can help someone identify what they need to see and then to produce it – well, it is a very special moment. Rumi said “Let the beauty we love be what we do”. The teacher and the student both benefit from inspiration and insight.
Human beings have a strong inner drive to see what we need to see and acquire what we need to have – the right art creation can fulfill that. I spend a lot of my time determining how to produce my art to that special point. It is a joy to enable that to happen for my students. So many people want to create art and think they can’t – I gently separate them from what is holding them back and move them on. Individual instruction in concepts, techniques, tools, and studio time can be just what they need to move their art creation forward.
It would be difficult to determine a set point in time when I started teaching others – it has always been my nature.
My art education and devotion to art...
My art education has been very “a la carte” – I use precious resources of time and money to study what I need when I need it. Back in college I took the same watercolor class four times – they kept trying to tell me I couldn’t get credit for it after the first time! I didn’t care – that instructor was wonderful and I still think about and use things I learned in that class to this day.
I have travelled to France to study and make Neolithic pottery – digging the clay, working it, building the pots and firing them in a pit. Visiting the painted caves was a life changing experience.
I have gone to Ireland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides to see first-hand the Neolithic remains there. Newgrange, Callanish, Ring of Brodgar, Scara Brae - I love all the places where you have to wear your hiking boots, use a good hiking stick and there are NO turnstiles, tickets, or gift shops. Sunrise, sunset -- the neolithic people really knew exactly where to build for maximum engagment with the landscape.
There have been many trips to London and Bath in the UK to study historic clothing and textiles. Thank you V&A, Museum of London and The Costume Collection in Bath.
I spent a week in 2012 in private study at the Richard Diebenkorn Ocean Park exhibit at the Orange County Museum in California.
I try to go to Ireland every year for several weeks because the landscape and artists there inspire me in countless ways - the beauty, the ocean, the sky, the earth - the perfect place for an artist is the west coast of Ireland.
Every national and international art exhibition I visit and participate in brings me new insights and inspiration.
I have managed to patch together a life and a living that allows me to study and work in ways that are meaningful to me. I count my blessings – not everyone is that fortunate.
After 7 years of running a retail gallery in Lowell "Fire and Water ART" (open 5 days a week and with 25 artists) I opened a solo gallery Art Gallery 318 in 2013. I owned Art Gallery 318 and Art Academy 318 for two years - both Main Street locations closed in 2014 to allow me to focus on art projects and family.
Currently I work from my private studio. I am creating art for corporate and private collectors, national and international competitions, art for product designs and solo art exhibits at cultural centers and museums. I still teach - at individual student/client sites, at regional/national workshop venues, and by appointment.