For my entire life I have been a working artist, organic gardener, and beekeeper. I create handmade paper as a means to an end. Paper art works take the form of: art lighting, shadow box, stationary, books and sculptures all crafted from sustainably collected plants, recycled and invasive fibers.
Each piece is a vignette that holds a visual narrative. Through layers of vintage ephemera, photos and bits of cloth, tales are told. When etched images are included the dialogue begins. Toys, natural and found objects punctuate the story. No material is arbitrary; I am influenced by overlooked materials found in my community, my own back yard. Rusty old tools are mashed together with deconstructed plants; this is where I find humor, combining these unlikely fellows. Often my works invite the viewer to playfully interact with the art work through light and kinetic elements that bring the imagery to life.
Throughout my life I have been not only influenced but supported, on this less traveled path, by a creative extended family that includes: gardener, architect, seamstress, quilter, potter, writer, and photographer. Although I did study Art History, psychology and costume design, I learned much more on the bus and in the park. Observation, deconstruction, collection and categorization of found materials reveal clues into their histories that lead to reuse.
Over the years my work has been presented at arts festivals and galleries worldwide winning many awards including the Best of Show at the Kentuck Festival 2009. The unique self taught processes I use in papermaking have been featured on HGTV’s Crafter Coast to Coast as well as Daniel Tigers Neighborhood. My handmade paper art work is collected privately and in museums including the American Museum of Folk Art in New York. I am enthusiastic about sharing my self- taught papermaking and printmaking processes as a Teaching Artist affiliated with arts organizations along the East coast. I was recognized as Georgia Arts Educator of the Year in 2005 for my efforts as a self taught artist with learning disabilities. In 2011 I relocated to Pittsburgh Pa. and have adopted it as my home embracing the climate, architecture and creative community. I currently hold a studio space in a former dance studio in Swissvale, Pa. Here I make paper out of invasive species and pull prints on a 100 year old press.