I love art. I like to look at it. I like to think about it. I like to create it. I like to teach it. For me, art is a way of life.
I became an artist when I encountered my first box of 64 Crayola Crayons. I discovered a way to tell stories about what I was thinking and feeling through making pictures. I had found my voice.
My mother, an artist, taught me how to see and encouraged me to express myself. My father, a diplomat in the Foreign Service, gave me the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and the Middle East, providing our family with a rich and varied cultural life.
Approaching art as a narrative informed my earlier career as an illustrator of magazines and children’s fairy tales. Today my inspiration comes to me in daily observation and engagement in literature, politics, walks through Manhattan or my suburban neighborhood. An artist, teacher, mother, wife and active community member, my fragmented impressions of people, with their personal landscapes and objects eventually find themselves placed in image or word on a page. There is always this wondrous rich brew of ideas at my immediate disposal because I teach both children of all ages and adults. All of the bits and pieces I create are sacrosanct, and I hoard them away in piles and folders for future use as a miser hoards gold.
I have recently returned to painting with gouache. I was first introduced to gouache and tempera while studying Illumination Art in Lebanon. I enjoy the brilliant jewel like hues, and complex layering as well as its mysterious and chalky surface. Most of all, it is the word “illumination” itself that encompasses the scale of what it is I try to express in my work. I am captivated by the color gold which illuminates and sheds light on to the world or “illumination” as explanation, elucidation, clarification, ornamentation. To illuminate is to teach.
Through a common language art connects us to one another. By allowing us to examine our lives, it gives meaning. It is ultimately what makes us human.