The Importance of Play













Crossing over the threshold into a creative space can be daunting at times – it often takes me an hour or more to really leave the world behind and lose myself in my practice. But if I allow myself to play before tackling a painting in progress, I can enter into a joyful headspace that allows my creative energy to flow more quickly and freely. I begin all of my paintings in play mode – experimenting with collage, drawing with crayons and laying down fields of color. As I connect these random shapes and marks – a narrative slowly begins to emerge and I’m on my way.

The Evolution of a Painting

Phase One – first layers

Phase Two – adding detail

Phase Three – finished painting

Sometimes it’s hard to know when a painting is finished. In phase one of this painting I was in the beginning stages of playing with shapes – and while I really liked the story that was emerging, I felt like it needed more. In phase two I added more shapes, color and collaged elements, but the focal point of the painting got lost in the details. In phase three, I kept some of the visual interest from phase two but toned down the colors to let the story sing – the inner workings of “Henry’s Wind Machine”. My son Henry is a sailor and I often imagine him figuring out different solutions to shift the direction or amount of wind to his liking.

In Progress


I’ve got ten big panels ¬†prepped and one painting finished for my upcoming show in August. I’ll be showing paintings at the West Linn Public library and I have a big space to fill. I optimistically planned on finishing three paintings a month during the next 6 months. Ha! My process is SLOW…first there is the underpainting. Next, progress with pretty colors and shapes, then a destructive phase to mess-up all the pretty. And lastly, a fix-it stage (more about my process later). Oh, and besides my process, life gets in the way too. Realistically, I’m hoping for 9 finished pieces. Wish me luck.



I love making artist’s books! I enjoy searching for all the different materials I get to incorporate into one project. Mouldmade paper from Germany, special-order cloth from New York and colorful ribbons. I went to three different stores, including a Ribbonry to find exactly the right shade of green ribbon. Figuring out how I’m going to combine all these different materials is totally engaging. And that’s why I love book arts – I lose myself in the details.