Born in Southern California, I moved to Northern California to go to UC Berkeley, then moved to Sonoma County in 2000. As a young girl, I loved playing outside always curious about what moves and grows----the seasons, the land, and my place and relationship to my surroundings, others and life itself.
Very early, I had a sense of wonder and awe. When I was three, I dug into the earth and found a potato bug which made me feel life was full of mystery. When I saw the stars in the sky, I felt an overwhelming vastness and grandeur and very tiny indeed.
In first grade I was given a box of 48 new crayolas which gave me a sense of beauty. I was so moved by the beautiful colors, and how they all seemed so pure and joyful. When I was in 3rd grade I fell in love with creating relief maps, molding the dough with my hands, making something. I also loved using my imagination to make diorama of books I had read. When I was a young teenager I picked up a camera and saw the world in a whole different perspective. When I was in high school, I went to my first museum and found ART.
From then on I began my formal art education and entered a world of creating--- first in photography, then ceramics making sculptures and eventually painting.
I went to UC Berkeley and studied design and psychology…..the two just go together----making sense out of what I saw around me and that something inspired me to create. I spent a summer on a farm learning to create with clay and the following year I went to London where I spent at least 1/3 of my time in museums, another third of my time exploring the countryside by walking, and the rest learning to make a perfect set of dishes.
While I admired the skill of the craft, I had an inner urge to express myself more freely and more deeply, so I went back to school and got my MFA from Mills College in ceramic sculpture and photography. Photography kept me outdoors in nature feeling the land and light and the ceramics gave me the expressiveness of a medium and using my hands as tools.
I had a lot of anxiety in grad school. I often hyperventilated, feeling like "who am I to create", seeing others' art as more worthy of being in the world than mine. But I kept persevering even if insecure and I experimented and tried all kinds of things. Notable teachers were Peter Voulkos and Ron Nagle in ceramics and slowly I begin to trust my own self. I don't think I ever lost the feelings of "not good enough", they are just overshadowed by my curiosity, my passion and my sheer determination.
When I was in my early 30's I was chosen to be a SECA award winner and began to show my ceramic sculptures in local galleries and art centes such as the Berkeley Art Center, the SF Museum of Modern Art and a few galleries that have since left the scene.
My most proud exhibition was one I proposed to the Lawrence Hall of Science where they expounded on scientific explanations of how weather and clouds are formed and I took interpretive photos of the sky. I loved the combination of science and art---me expressing my experiences of the vistas and skies of the San Francisco Bay along side technical aspects-----for me, the show was a balance between the heart and head.
To fast forward a bit, I had a studio in my garage, had children and taught a bit. I continued to show my art and kept expressing the ways I saw the world through art. It wasn’t easy being an artist as I had to overcome the thoughts of the “starving” artist and taking the making of art seriously while having a family.
As I started to have more demands from family, I struggled with carving out a niche and time to do my art and being true to myself. Then, the unthinkable happened. My 9 year old son got cancer. Everything I ever believed became null and void. I had a spiritual breakdown and an emotional crisis and felt very lost as to best care for my son and myself.
More to come............