I spent my childhood and teenage years in the state of Colorado, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. I graduated from Colorado State University, with a BFA (Graphic Design concentration). After working as a designer and illustrator in Denver, San Francisco and Seattle areas, I decided to pursue my passion for pastel and encaustic painting, mixed media collage, art assemblage and photography. Currently, I am exploring my personal archetypes through encaustic monotypes and monoprints. My love of Latino folk art and Mexican culture, as well as the beauty of all things worn and aged, permeates my work. Nature, in all its beauty and mystery, also shows up as a consistent theme. I continue to search for the “Universal Mother” through timeless icons and archetypes, due to the loss of my own mother at an early age. “She” shows up in my work as Venus fertility figures, the Virgin Mary and my own mother, Marilyn.
My creative and technical processes consist of surrounding myself in the studio with encaustic wax, oil pastels, artist inks, artist papers, ephemera, sand (from my own collection), bark, leaves, rust, found objects, and photographic images. The very scent of molten beeswax gets me into the state of what I call “the other side”, or the creative process. Encaustic wax is a very tactile medium, warm and alive, not unlike human skin. The use of my hands and fingers directly on the wax surface becomes very much a part of the process. I employ many techniques such as scribing into the wax, creating translucent layers of wax, mark-making with oil pastels and water-soluble pencils, rubbing dry pigments onto the wax and embedding my own photo images. My newest passion, encaustic monotypes, employs the use of an aluminum plate on the hot encaustic griddle, and “painting” onto the plate with blocks of encaustic wax. Mark-making and the use of stencils also play a large part in this printmaking process.
My works are part of private collections in the Northwest, Midwest and East coast of the United States. My works have been exhibited in both the United States and Canada, and have been published in The Pulse of Mixed Media: 100 Artists Revealed (North Light Books/Apter), Cloth • Paper • Scissors, Somerset Studio, Somerset’s Life Images, Somerset Workshop and IndieArts DVD magazines. I currently teach art workshops in the state of Washington and Mexico.