What is life without a little fun?

How long have you been a PAA member and why did you join? I have been a member if PAA for about 6 years. My husband Steven and I moved to Diamond Springs August of 2013 from Bay Point, CA. I had been a member of Pittsburg Art Collaborative Organization (PACO) which was similar to PAA. I took a year off doing art while we settled in and finished remodeling our homes.

I was happy to have moved into such an creative community. I joined both Diamond Springs Art Assocociation and PAA. I have met many wonderful people who encourage each other to be creative and not be afraid to try new things.

How long have you been an artist? I have been creative all my life but never considered myself a real artist until later in life. After taking care of my family and moving back to California from Hawaii, I worked in retail. I started taking graphic arts classes and was recommended for a job at The Antioch Ledger Newspaper designing Advertising while still in my first semester of classes. I wanted to transfer to our parent company, The Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek. I was told I didn't have enough fine art background. So I started taking a painting class and art history class. I got the job. Worked there for 20 years. I continued to take classes, in art, photography, graphics, computer, management. I never got a degree but would take classes as needed and just create.

What is your medium and why did you or it choose you? I started with acrylics. I liked to do things and get them done quickly, so I could start on something new. I do many different art forms, Poetry, Watercolor, Photography, Mixed Media, Found Object/Recycled Assemblage, Ceramic Sculpture. I get bored doing just one kind of art so I try different things to see if I am any good at it. If I can't do it, then I will buy from other artists because I love what they do.

What is your inspiration to create art? I remember watching the movie about Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel and wanted to paint like him. I also loved Maxfield Parrish, and designs by William Morris.

What message does your art say to your audience? I want people to find humor or see beauty in this life. I have experienced many challenges, heartache and violence in my life and see the pain in the world. I want to live in a peaceful, encouraging world. Be playful, using my imagination, creating art from fantasy, faith and beauty.

Who or what are your biggest influences? Many artists have touched my world and inspire me. PAA has incredible artists and many masters of art. Kathi Keil and Patti Sisnereos ceramic character creations are incredible. I wanted to see if I could do it too so I took my first ceramics class. I really enjoyed it and because Patti gave me here old kiln, I created a vulture that made it into the Mother Lode National Show. I also give Kaaren Poole credit for inspiring me in mixed media. After taking her fun seminar, I was able to get one of my mixed media pieces into another Mother Lode Show.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio? I can't create without my imagination, using whatever it requires to complete my art. It could be pencil, paintbrush, metal odds and ends, computer, paper, canvas, clay. That is how I play. My life was so serious that I have to remind myself to play which comes out in my art.

What are you currently working on? During this stay at home order, I took some time to make face masks for family and friends and several quilts for the Linus Project. After reorganizing my art studio again, I am starting to create again. I have a commission for two 16x20 paintings for the Burger Barn in Pollack Pines. Gino wanted a stagecoach. I suggested I could paint one parked in front of the restaurant. He liked that idea.

Have you learned any new art skills while we are sheltering in place? I am not working on any new art skills but after I finish my painting, l will pull out my clay and practice my clay sculptures. My last one was a failure so I will try again. It is the newest art form I have learned and need more practice.

What advice do you have for your fellow artists? I encourage all of us to just play and be happy, there is enough darkness in the world. Just Shine.