The spruce tree outside my bedroom window was the subject of my first landscape painting. I was ten. It was winter. I had one brush, an 8″ x 10″ canvas-covered board, and four colors of paint: green, white, black, and blue. I have no idea what happened to that painting, but I remember well sitting on my bed, looking at the tall evergreen through the window, and trying to figure out how to paint it.
I was born in Minnesota and have lived much of my life here. I’ve also lived in Denver and Houston, the Bitterroot Valley in Montana, and in Bend, Oregon. I could have stayed in any one of those places, but I kept moving until one day (literally), I decided it was time to move home to Minnesota. That’s also when I decided to return to school and I enrolled in the Graphic Design-Technical Illustration program at Bemidji State University. I qualified for my own studio space in the Fine Arts building in my Junior year, and that’s when I got more serious about painting.
There are as many reasons to create art as there are artists. I love trees, clouds, rocks, grasses, streams, the changing seasons, and being outside, so painting the landscape is a very natural choice for me. In 2015, I got interested in plein air painting and that’s what I do when the weather cooperates. I’m not an all-weather plein air painter though, so I needed options for studio painting and chose to try still life and floral, which is my way of bringing nature inside.
My work is influenced by the Impressionist and Post Impressionist periods and by artists I’ve studied under. As I reflect on my progress as a human being and a painter, I know that nature touches my soul. It’s my teacher and I’m a willing student.