Born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, my Italian father was a saxophone player, and my Scotch/Irish Mother was a beautiful Big Band singer from Elizabeth, New Jersey. Living with my Father’s parents and his many siblings in the family home, and traveling with the band ultimately proved too crazy a lifestyle for my Mother. She fled back to Elizabeth with my brother and me in tow.
When I met my stepfather, a German electronics engineer, my world went full speed into one of strict discipline. All words and actions were dictated by him, and I was instructed to spend my time “thinking”. The new family moved a lot as my stepfather’s job in aerospace meant we relocated almost every year. My Mother creatively made each new house a home; taking the same stuff from the last house and making it fit into the new one. My initial escape at each new place was to build new hiding places with the moving boxes. Playing with boxes evolved into making what I believed was “art” from tossed objects; egg shells, cigarette wrappers, light bulbs, wiring and pipe. After moving 16 times Atlanta appeared to be my ultimate home, yet I continued to move 26 more times, only once leaving the Atlanta area. Later in life there was one aspect that remained constant: 27 years with The Coca-Cola Company. Starting in Marketing Research, moving around in many different areas, I spent 14 years in advertising. There I was able to be involved with all aspects of the creative process of print production and photography became a big focus in my life. I found a great fit.
When I moved away from the regimented corporate life for good, the time was finally there to rediscover my own creative possibilities. Exploring different mediums, I was drawn to encaustics. I was intrigued with the way wax moves and feels; the way the light can dance or sink on its surface, and the amazing diversity of hot wax.
Many teachers later, I found the opportunity to study with the artist and teacher, Michael David, and became part of the original atelier group, The Fine Arts Workshop. This association has brought me to this point in my creative process, and it is a major source of my energy and stimulation.
In trying to understand what fuels us, why we are drawn to certain challenges or ways to express ourselves, we have to explore the roots of our energy. The energy from my fragmented life, with its diverse disciplines and constant change are seen in my painting. Someone wrote of my work that I “create swirling, rippling clouds of white and yellow by pouring molten wax onto a wooden support… her poured fields of color recall Rothko, Newman or Morris Louis, but her delicate, billowing vapors find a tranquility quite their own.” Did I do that?
Above all, my work has movement, yet my images are strangely peaceful. I have finally found a private sphere away from public chaos.