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About this project

I wanted to say a few words about myself and this project, not so much for your benefit, but more for myself: personal reflections, artist statement of sorts, or maybe a journal entry. I don't expect anyone to read this, it's not necessary to enjoying the pictures. But it's here.

Identity

I′m an artist. Of course, I′m many other things (disciple of Jesus, wife, librarian, friend, aunt, daughter, drinker-of-Dr. Pepper, to name a few) and being an artist isn′t my only identity. But it′s a significant part of my identity, and one that I denied for a long time. Up until only about 2005, for example, if a friend introduced me to someone as an "artist" I would demure and say "no, I just dabble in art… it′s just a hobby" etc. But I′m reclaiming that identity. In a way, this website is a part of my own personal therapy, healing, becoming my true self.

"Creativity is the natural result of spirituality," is one of the core tenants of my church, Mosaic. Being in a spiritual community that strongly encourages the creative arts has been an extremely helpful thing for me over the past few years. God is the first artist, the first creator. While humanity is God′s "masterpiece", the rest of creation is pretty darn amazing. It′s been a huge revelation for me to connect with these truths. I′m made in God′s image, and the yearning in me to create, to make, to visually express, is a significant part of God′s image in me. It′s a very affirming and reassuring thing to know as I try to figure out my life path.

Journey

I was an artist from the earliest age I can remember. My favorite times in school were when we got to do art projects. I was also extremely fortunate to have parents who encouraged my budding artistic pursuits, and often supplied me with the materials to make lots of my own creations at home. In junior high I had a really great art teacher who gave me the affirmation and encouragement I needed to take my talents somewhat seriously and begin to dream of being a "real" artist someday.

Throughout high school I took every art class I could in the midst of a busy academic schedule (oh yeah, I was a total nerd -- in the top 10 of my graduating class). I nurtured my artist dreams, applied to and was accepted at UCLA′s art school, and thought I was really on my way. I was a bit fuzzy on what I thought being a "real" artist meant -- I just always liked doing art, and I wanted to keep doing it.

Art school was disappointing. Oh, I enjoyed getting to do art, in so many different mediums (drawing! painting! photography! ceramics! sculpture! etc.), but I was learning less technique and more theory, and I was also getting mixed messages about what being a "real" artist was. I didn′t buy their theory, and pressure from other students to be "artsy" was discouraging. I wasn′t happy. Art usually lifted me up, but, I was being brought down. And then I got hurt. Some severe criticism of my work in one particular class was such a piercing arrow into my heart that I gave it up. I quit. It seems almost petty now, but there was a lot packed into it. It was like the culmination of everything I was unhappy about, being pressured to do/be, and a questioning of my very identity as an artist, all packed into a couple ignorant students′ challenges of my work. I told myself: "if that′s what being a real artist is about, then I want nothing to do with it," I quit art school, changed majors, continued my academic career, and just gave up the dream.

But I still liked doing art. Dabbling. So, without calling myself an "artist", I kept making things, as a "hobby". After my undergrad years, when I found the time, I took art classes at my local community college. Photography, metalworking, two-dimensional design… and I loved every bit of it! No grandiose theoretical stuff - just opportunities to learn the crafts and do the DOING of art. My mom taught me to quilt. Friends taught me to knit. It′s all the same -- making, creating, ARTing. Over the past few years, the wound from art school has been healing: I′ve been through counseling, I′ve been a part of a nurturing spiritual community, and I started going through creative recovery with Julia Cameron′s book The Artist′s Way. I′m older, a bit wiser (sometimes), I know now that some punk kids can′t tell me who I am or who I′m not. God has made me this way. I′m stickin′ with Him. I′m an artist.

what′ve we got here?

What we′ve got here are pictures of every piece of art I′ve ever made, that I still have access to (ie. either I still have it, or my family has it -- I′ve given lots of art as gifts over the years), my parents probably have the single largest private collection of my work, apart from my own, at this point. Oh, with the exception of the photographs: I am putting less of my photography on this site, because I′ve got a lot of it up on flickr.

It′s arranged, as you can see, by medium (except for the earliest stuff). I′m more prolific in some mediums than others, so, some pages will be stand-alone while others will have sub-directories. I do all my own web design and html/xhtml coding myself. As you can see, there's nothing flashy, just basic stuff, but I′ve tried to make each main page easy to use.

what the heck else can you have to say?

Nothing, really, I′m done talking. Go! You′re free! Look around!


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