I began painting in Wisconsin, but really fell in love with the beauty of the American Southwest. I am active in plein air painting groups, and when not painting in the studio, I can usually be found outdoors with pochade box and backpack, capturing first-hand the beauty of the desert, the mountains, and especially Grand Canyon. Plein aire painting uniquely captures the depth and definition of the landscape; these qualities can be lost when working from photographs alone. I feel there is almost always a near perfect composition provided by nature. I love to look for that when selecting a site to paint. Sometimes a scene calls out loudly to be painted; other times I hear only a whisper. Those are the images from the landscape that find their way to my heart and to my canvas.
There is no substitute for spending time with your subject, whether it’s a landscape or a beloved pet. In this way, the emotional ties are developed which are then reflected in the finished work.
Born and raised in rural northeastern Wisconsin, I pursued a career in teaching followed by a master degree in counseling graduating from UW-Green Bay and UW-Whitewater, respectively. In 2001, I took a first-time painting class from the Wustum Museum of Art in Racine, Wisconsin and credit my teacher, John Parsons for his persistence, patience and believing that I could somehow figure out this painting-thing. Moving to Arizona in 2003 I landed in a community of fine plein air painters who have been a great influence. Combining that with classes and teachers from other walks of life, I find myself, now in Flagstaff, close to the earth, doing what I love most, painting, hiking and gardening.
My most profound pleasure is passing on what I know to others who would love to learn to paint. "Teach what you need to learn", has been my motto, spoken to me years ago by my tai chi teacher. Every time I work with a student, we both learn.
Arizona Plein Air Painters-founding member
Artists Coalition of Flagstaff
Plein Air Artists of Northern Arizona
The Nature Conservancy
Grand Canyon Association
International Crane Foundation