"My paintings are like me, quiet and simple and full of love."
WHY DO YOU PAINT?
Years ago I started buying children's books as a way to begin collecting art. I loved the drawings and paintings, and the stories that deal with one idea at a time. Simplicity. Of all the careers a person could have, I was most in awe of painters. I wanted to be one too.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PAINTINGS?
I look for the simplest, most elegant expression of being in our big, wide world. My paintings celebrate my sense of wonder at the perfection of the design in nature. Each painting is my way of sharing what I saw and felt when I painted it.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK?
Storms. Sweet light. Shapes. The way the natural world is perfectly designed to work the way it does. More and more I am inspired by city skylines, people, and our built environment. I've discovered magic everywhere, every day. For two summers I had the privilege of watching a calliope hummingbird build a nest and raise two chicks right outside my studio window.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CONNECTION TO ITALY.
Ed studied art in Florence for a semester his junior year at Stanford. He took me there in 2005 and I fell in love with the people, the food, and the landscape of Italy. We speak Italian, and we recently found a rental apartment in Montalcino with an outdoor pizza oven so we can cook for our Italian friends. Italy feels like home away from home.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
I would like to paint more from memory and imagination, and have my paintings be more whimsical.
DO YOU PREFER WATERCOLORS OR OILS?
I like both mediums. I like the transparency of watercolors, and how colors can blend together. Watercolors are light to carry and clean to use, much easier when canoeing in the wilderness or travelling. Leaving areas of the paper white is so important to the design ... it is a different way of seeing than oil painting. That said, I like the texture and energy of oil brushstrokes and the rich, saturated oil colors.
IS IT HARD TO PART WITH YOUR PAINTINGS?
Yes, they are my friends, my memories. Like in a journal, I write the date, time of day, where I am, and anything interesting that is happening at the time about birds, animals, storms, etc. I am happy when my paintings go to a good home.
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE THING SOMEONE HAS SAID ABOUT YOUR WORK?
A friend said that when she looks at my paintings she feels a presence, a soul, which to me means that my paintings convey the feelings I had when creating them. There is no greater satisfaction than that. It means we are 'in the moment' together, even years later.
DO YOU WRITE?
Yes, I love words and ideas. I read as much as I can. When we travel I keep journals full of impressions, stories, records of where we went, exciting or funny things that happened, what and where we ate, who we met, how people say things. I also write when I need to figure something out.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING AND THE WORST THING ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST?
The best thing about being an artist is that you can always be better than you are. The worst thing is feeling like you will never get there.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BE A PAINTER?
Don't quit. There is a lot more that I could say, but this is the most important thing.