About The Artist
My paintings and murals explore the balance between the environment and industry, inspiring conversations about our complicated relationship with nature.
My main sources of inspiration are the three magnificent National Parks close to home: Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades National Parks. I teach painting and drawing at Skagit Valley College, where I am the Art Department Chair.
These works show the creative process behind the mural I painted for the Murals in the Market festival.
I sought inspiration for my Detroit mural during a hiking trip in the Washington Cascades. I started by doing a sketch at Picture Lake, with a reflection of Mount Shuksan in the calm water, then I stayed into the night with a group of photographers to get some images of the night sky above the mountain. While we were taking photos, everything got very quiet. Then, we heard a bear take a few snuffly breaths from behind us before retreating through the bushes with a large crash. After that, we kept talking loudly to alert other large animals of our presence in case they were thinking of visiting the lake for a drink of water. that we were at the lake.
Back in the studio, I used acrylic paint on paper to explore a few versions of the grid I would add to the mural. When my design was ready, I made a laminated print I could reference while painting on the wall.
Beyond the Pail Artwork
I devote a lot of time to the design phase of my murals. It’s more time-consuming than the time spent painting on the wall. Every wall is special and brings a unique context to the project.
My designs begin with sketching in nature, where I find my inspiration. Back in the studio, I experiment with paper acrylic paintings to explore perspective grids that would fit the wall. Then I move to the computer, combining the grid layout with the landscape elements from my sketches. Once my layout is finalized, I use the iPad to experiment with color palettes.