With an undergraduate degree in biology and a longstanding interest in ecology and environmental studies, I’ve spent many happy hours immersed in the images the natural world, but for many years my study of nature was more scientific than artistic. Upon completing a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Kansas in 1994, I came to Minnesota to teach mathematics at Carleton College. Although I loved the warm and fascinating people of the Carleton College community, the fast-paced, high-stimulus environment seemed to be out of sync with my more contemplative and solitary nature.
In 2001, I left Carleton, and over the course of the next year, returned to my childhood absorption in closely observing and recording the natural world, but now with the eye of an artist. I’ve taken classes at the Minnesota River School of Fine Art in Burnsville, as well as weeklong workshops with John Salminen, Pat Dews and Mary Alice Braukman, but my method of working with watermedia is mostly the result of my own ongoing experimentation with the intrinsic behavior of paper, water and pigment to create edges and textures that can’t be created with brush alone. Recently, I’ve been working with Susan Louise Moyer to learn a new method of painting on silk, in which the silk and dyes are specially prepared to behave very much like watercolor. I’m very excited about this new medium—the fine detail possible, the wonderful wet-in-wet effects, and the luster of the silk are stunning!
I’m an active participant in the “healing arts” movement, in which original artwork is used to help create a welcoming, soothing and uplifting environment in hospitals, medical clinics, wellness or fitness centers, nursing homes, and other places of health and healing. I strive to evoke our connection with nature even when a painting doesn’t actually represent some particular object or scene. I hope you come away from my paintings refreshed, feeling like you’ve re-connected with the natural world in a healing and uplifting way.
My work is in the permanent collection of several healthcare facilities, including the Northfield Hospital, the Hudson (Wisconsin) Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, Fairview-University Hospital, Lakeview Hospital and Clinics in Stillwater, and the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, as well as numerous private collections.
I’d love to work with you to create a special piece of art to fit your creative vision for your home or office. Or, to help you nurture your own creative spirit with classes and lessons, mini-art-retreats, and ideas for exploring and enjoying your creativity (even if you have no art experience at all).
When I’m not painting or teaching, I can often be found camping, skiing, kayaking, motorcycling or sketching or painting outdoors, or at Midwest Center for Movement training in the martial art of aikido.