Artist Bio

Artist Bio

Portrait of me standing at the top of Steptoe Butte in Washington State during a photographic research expedition. Photo credit: Schierman Photography.

My drawings spring from the inspiration of living and traveling in some of the most spirit-embodied places in the world. I focus on the iconic American Palouse and mysterious Old World Europe, intent on depicting the delicate environmental balance of nature and its relationship to agricultural production and human consumption. I am fascinated by natural form, rhythm, texture, light, and shadow. Every location offers a unique landscape formed by geology, the elements, and human endeavor.

I was born in 1964 in the Hague, Holland and spent 15 years living abroad in Holland, Germany, Turkey, and most recently in Brussels, Belgium from 2007-2010. My expatriate assignments instilled in me an appreciation for art, inspirational travel, history, and cultural immersion that continues to influence my work today. I graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Skidmore College in 1985 and earned a Master of Arts in 1990 from SUNY Albany in Drawing. I’ve lived on both the East and West Coasts of the U.S. and exhibit my drawings in many solo, invitational, and juried exhibitions in the United States and Europe.

My preferred medium is charcoal; with it I’m able to explore the interplay of light and shadow, softness and edge. In my “Palouse” series I use it to mark the furrowed earth and sinuous lines of Eastern Washington farmland. In “Nocturne,” it lends a sense of film noir drama to scenes of Belgium’s cities at night. And while I usually work in two dimensions, in 2014, I took on the three-dimensional challenge of designing four of the 250 fiberglass painted cakes for the City of St. Louis’ 250th Birthday Celebration public art installation. My cake designs were exhibited at Jefferson Barracks, Pere Marquette State Park, Busch Stadium, and the East St. Louis Municipal Offices of Mayor Alvin Parks, Jr.  In 2014, I was invited to participate in the international exhibition organized by OnCaravan.org  titled AMEN: A Prayer for the World. The exhibit featured Eastern and Western artists seeking to "express the deep, fundamental human acknowledgement of power and hope in the universe for all peoples".  The exhibition brought together 48 artists and took place at the Cairo Opera House, Cairo, Egypt, The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and St. John the Divine Cathedral in NYC.

I’ve had my work selected for various forms of print and film media, ranging from me playing the part of “the artist” for a Carolina’s Healthcare System television commercial (and creating the drawings for the set) to appearing in a short artist feature film for the opening of my solo exhibition at the United States Embassy in Brussels. The design team for ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover show selected my drawing "Surf Rock" for their episode Extreme Home Makeover: North Idaho. My work has been on the cover of the national poetry journal Willow Springs (issues 67, 68 and 69) and in 2010 and 2012, I was commissioned by singer/songwriter and public radio host, Kevin Brown, to design two brand identity CD covers.

In addition to my studio practice, I produce art events that engage youngsters in creative thinking and problem solving. I’ve found that children are fascinated by charcoal drawing and the range of possibilities it offers as a medium. I wrote the “Eurovillage: Unity in Diversity Mural Project" model, which was presented during a weekend educational forum at the Palais de Tokyo Museum in Paris, France, and I created “The Learning Garden,” an IB curriculum concept that engaged every student in a topiary garden design installation featuring renowned topiary artist, Pearl Fryar, for the Davidson I.B. Middle School in North Carolina. I currently teach drawing and organize charcoal workshops for the Yellow Barn Studio in Glen Echo, Maryland.

Throughout my work I hope to explore an appreciation for naturally occurring landforms and the legacies -- both agricultural and architectural -- of hardworking people. I am moved by the places and communities I’ve called “home” and seek to convey both a sense of life’s shadows and mystery and its moments of surprising joy and illumination.