My love of art began at the age of 8 when I received a Kodak Instamatic camera. I immediately began looking at the world differently, trying to discover those moments and objects so special that they deserved to be captured on film. We were rather poor growing up, and film was an expensive luxury so each photo had to be worthy.
My love of color, texture, and repeating patterns found in nature became an obsession. I marveled at the accidental and random nature of things that sometimes combined to make something beautiful out of something ordinary. I took pictures of peeling paint and rusty metal. I took pictures of my baby brother playing on the front lawn, because I loved how his bright red sweater looked against the lushness of the green grass. As I got older and purchased photo “toys,” I was drawn to the world of close-ups. Now I could rejoice in the miniature components of a flower center, or the underside of a mushroom. I spent hours in the darkroom, using both traditional and alternative processes.
My camera has always been my artist’s brush. In more recent years, technology has become another creative tool I can manipulate and combine images endlessly. The scanner has also become invaluable—I can scan images and manipulate them in the computer before deciding on a final arrangement. In 2002 I discovered printmaking—and shortly after, the art of solarplate etching. This has been a perfect marriage for me—photography and printmaking with solarplates. I use one or several manipulated photos to create the solarplate, which is then inked and printed using methods which date back to the 15th century. I often combine various techniques, and will adhere Polaroid emulsion lifts onto monotypes or prints created with solarplates. I have also taken instruction in metalsmithing and collage making, and am now creating pieces which combine all of these techniques. I am excited about the limitless possibilities!