Architecture, Art Criticism, Art History, Arts Ministry, Arts Organization, Digital Imagery, Drawing, Education, Fiber Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Mixed Media, Museum/Gallery, Painting, Public Art, Theology, Works on Paper
Artist / Personal Statement
Gracefulness, harmony, imagination and playfulness describe the larger part of my artwork. I have experienced picture making as a way of seeing deeper into the gift of life as I observe the living creatures and environments around me.
I untwist the prisma-bundle of light to separate out what colors I can from nature’s beautiful skein. The line my pen or brush makes trails my thoughts as I contemplate what it means to be a human between heaven and earth. The circles are places for emotional colors and forms to condense and make poetry out of what otherwise can be too overwhelming to take in compassionately.
My mediums are oil, watercolor, computer design and silk painting. The first three I set sail on during a fine arts camp at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as a teenager, then later at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Each of the mediums gives me a different way of delineating areas of color. I choose oils when I need a rich, textural palette. The pigments in watercolor seem to have a mind of their own, and give results true to nature if I can just see clear enough. The translucency of silk backlights the swirls of color that I can untangle with the dyes on the fabric. With Photoshop and Illustrator I can layer several images in complex ways, letting colors and patterns push and pull a story out from under it all.
I hope that my pictures engages the imagination of the observer, much like how a good book can dance inside the reader’s mind. It is a post-postmodern tragedy when people get so overwhelmed with images that they lose the ability to delight in any of them to any real depth. I think it is as important as ever that one’s own imagination comes to the rescue. I want my artwork to interact in tandem with the viewer’s mind.
I have seen my artistic ability grow the most when I am in another country. I visited Europe after finishing my classical art education. As I studied and traveled through Florence, France, through the Low Countries and England, my drawing and painting stayed the same but my eyes began to be entranced by the harmonious, contemporary designs I saw all around me. I was surrounded by well-designed pictures and parts. It was a direct contrast to the rugged nature and naturalistic wildlife art I was surrounded by in my home city of Anchorage, Alaska. Once I started teaching near Basel, Switzerland, my painting and design work began to open up and expand beyond academicism.
I am hopeful that with more focused study into contemporary problems of design I will be able to grow more and find my own voice. I look forward to teaching art and design at a university one day. Until then I will continue creating and teaching in my beloved Alaska.
Accomplishments / CV
May 2011 to present: Curriculum developer and presentation designer, Alaska Craftsman Home Program. Helped write, edit and layout teaching materials for a sustainable building education group.
August 2006 – June 2010: Art teacher, cross-country and track coach, Black Forest Academy, Germany. Taught courses for students in grades 1-12, including drawing, painting, ceramics, graphic design, mixed media, and photography. Wrote curriculum for several courses and worked on a team to revamp existing courses to be compliant with standards established for reaccreditation. Coached student athletes with a team of staff.
August 2000 – Present: Self-employed artist and graphic designer. Created and sold original paintings across Alaska in a variety of galleries and venues. Designed publications on a freelance basis using Adobe software.
September 2004 – April 2005: Editor and production manager of student newspaper, University of Alaska Southeast. Directed production of campus weekly. Designed layout, coordinated reporters and photographers, copy-edited writing and assisted in distribution.
September 2003 – June 2004: Layout designer, Alaska Newspapers, Inc., Anchorage. Copy edited and collected stories and photos for a number of weekly papers. Designed attractive and efficient layouts on strict deadlines. Created several special publications with artistic touches.
August 2002 – May 2004: Secondary Publications teacher, Grace Christian School in Anchorage, Alaska. Taught graphic design, journalism and photography to students. Guided production of final creative projects, including yearbook, literary magazine and student newspaper. Emphasized marketable desktop publishing skills.
Fall 2003: Art instructor, Anchorage Museum of History and Art. Created art unit for 8 to 11-year-olds based on current dinosaur exhibit. Taught diverse range of students.
July 2005: Master’s in Teaching, Secondary Art specialization and Alaska state certification, University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau.
May 2000: BA in American Studies/Art, cum laude, Hillsdale College, Michigan.
July 201O – 11: Digitally created art in “Work: Curse or Calling?” national touring show
May 2OOO – present: Artique, Stephan Fine Art, Snow City Cafe, Kaladi Brothers, Town Square Art Gallery, Katie Sevigny Gallery, Skeins, Hillsdale College