Artist Statement

I am a weaver and an etcher.  With a three inch tapestry needle, I weave abstract and semi-realistic artworks and with knitting needles, I etch reflective narrative images onto illustration boards.

I prefer weaving within a circular frame, using both my hand spun wool fleece and purchased cotton, silk and wool blends.  I resonate with Rainer Maria Rilke’s statement, “There is nothing so wise as a circle,” and feel very connected to several ancient spiritual traditions when weaving in the round.

After having worked almost exclusively as a fiber artist, in 2007 I began an intense exploration of oil pastels.  When my mother offered me her large collection of metal knitting needles twenty years ago, I accepted— even though I had no idea how I might put them to use.  Little did I know at the time that they would eventually become my primary drawing tools for etching images onto illustration board. Using a variety of sizes of knitting needles, I etch my images onto a board, layer oil pastels to the raised surfaces, and then allow the pastels to dry for about three to six months before lightly varnishing them with a matte finish to protect them from the environment.  Some of my creations are etched rather spontaneously, while others require a fair amount of pre-planning.  I love the freedom of alternating between working intuitively and methodically. 

Influenced by my involvement in a women’s spirituality group for thirty years, many of the figures in my art appear to represent diverse characteristics of the Great Mother, as well as women honoring the human need for connection, acceptance, and integration of what arises from the unconscious. Having lost my first born daughter to an unknown illness at the end of her first year of life, I am also moved to create images that speak of loss, letting go and healing.  Additionally, my longtime love for working with yarn (I am also an amateur knitter) and reading seems to trigger the need to create yarn and book inspired images every third or fourth artwork, with the yarn and books playing both a realistic and symbolical role, as well as offering an element of light-heartedness to some of my works!  

Biography:  A resident of St. Cloud, Minnesota, I taught in the Education Department at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University in St. Joseph, MN, for 18 1/2 years before leaving to become a full-time artist.  My partner John and I have three grown children—Robin, Meghan, Micah and a deceased daughter, Erika.  Family, friends, flower gardens, bodies of water, balls of yarn, poetry and labyrinths all serve to help balance the time and energy I expend crafting images and words into artistic expression.