Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the 2015 Bust Of Steamboat. As I was creating this piece, I found myself reflecting on friends and peers from the Yampa Valley who have been affected by breast cancer. These people are my role models for their strength and vitality.
Currently I am working more and more with animals as the main subject even though I will always return to my true love - human portraiture. I especially enjoy doing commission work knowing that patrons entrust me to represent the soul and essence of their loved ones, be it a family member or pet. In the future I hope to experiment with different mediums and I hope to complete a larger, mural sized drawing.
I have been creating photographic images for many years. In that time, my interests have evolved – with my location and places I have traveled, and with those I have met. I love photographing people and creating story telling images.
I believe in giving to worthy causes by contributing my photographic talent. I spent several years in Dallas where I was the Photography Chair for "Susan G Komen" and the photographer for "Heroes for Children". These were two very different organizations – one a large worldwide foundation supporting research, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and the other a small local organization, helping families with children suffering cancer, that grew out of the heart of a very special woman who lost her daughter to the disease.
Now that I am in Steamboat, there is no "Komen" and no "Heroes", but "Bust of Steamboat" seems to be a wonderful combination of the two – a local organization raising funds to support the people in this community who are touched by breast cancer.
I wanted to create something bright and uplifting. What could be more uplifting than creating an interpretation of one of the most magnificent natural color displays such as the northern lights? With the introduction of the curves and negative space to shape the “Bust” of the piece and addition of bright colors, my abstract piece “Areola Borealis” came to life.
This piece was created using two firing methods. To create the curves and ripples in the base glass a mold was created out of a carved clay structure that was eventually turned into a mold used for open casting of the glass. Once the glass is introduced into the mold it takes on the shape of the curves that were originally carved.
Once this process was complete, a second firing was performed to add the elements of additional colors and shape. The heating process is performed in a different manner than the casting to maintain its textural finish.
Painting on silk
It is a 9x12 oil on canvass, quick sketch of a nude. This is one of a series of short timed poses. This forces the artist to be quick and precise.
I love the excitement of a timed "quick draw." And capturing the shape and disposition of the human form is much like catching the light at the right moment when painting landscaper, en plein air.
When painting “Different Strokes” for 2017’s Bust of Steamboat, I was thinking of my beautiful cousin, Linda who was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2016. She is a fellow artist and has always been an inspiration to me. She was always health conscience and active, and the last person you’d think would get cancer. We have watched her fight a fierce battle, go through chemo and all its side effects, a mastectomy and breast augmentation. She has fought by being open-minded, well educated, nutritionally conscience, and positive. But I know she gets scared sometimes, as does her family. Thankfully, it seems she is on the winning side a year later.
I painted “Different Strokes” because no one has ever (or still!) rocks a string bikini like she does! You go girl!
“In this uncertain time, I have found great solace in getting outdoors and painting what is constant- the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us and the "sense of place" I get from it. I am interested in interpreting not only the ephemeral beauty of the grand vistas around me, but also in finding the grace in small everyday scenes and objects.
Family, community, the environment... In the face of the change that is inevitably occurring around me, I acknowledge that we certainly are living in a remarkable moment in time, in a remarkable place...One in which change is certain, so it is my privilege to document these moments as I see them now.”
The Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project (YVCAP) was established in 2000 for women of Routt and Moffat counties to prevent or treat breast cancer, which means all the money raised stays in the community.