I am painter, horseback rider and a fair to middling piano player. I have always been an artist—I sold my first blue ribbon, award-winning painting when I was about 13 years old at the Missoula County Fair in western Montana.
I don’t aspire to the phrase Less is More. To me, More is More (and sometimes not enough). I want to entice all the senses with my artwork by combining unexpected colors, flattening space, utilizing interesting patterns and manipulating paint into textures. Using a mishmash of tools, found objects and invented applicators, I illustrate personal stories in a variety of media: acrylics, oils, encaustic, latex exterior house paint, spray enamel, charcoal, colored pencil, coffee and bleach.
I also participate in Big Projects: wall murals, floorcloths, banners, fiberglass pigs (Seattle’s Pigs on Parade), nutcracker sculptures (Nutcracker March), benches (Performing Arts Center Eastside, Bellevue) and a wine barrel (fundraiser for Heroes for the Homeless), and rain collection barrels.
Patterns and colors and textures have been a part of my art since the late 1960s. The Beatles (“Yellow Submarine”), Peter Max (LOVE poster), music, hippies and Woodstock were enormous influences for me. I also remember a story about a little boy in a village where everybody had a pointy head, except for the boy and his dog, Arrow. (told in Niilson’s song, “Me and My Arrow”)
The ‘point’ of the story : Be Yourself. That’s what I try to do every day.