My passion for identifying native plants and wildlife, on long hikes throughout Wisconsin and in my own yard, allows me to meld their realistic details with my own aesthetic. My silkscreens become a personal, visionary hybrid of what I behold with my eyes and the powerful feelings of aliveness that I experience in the natural world around me.
In fact, I love the prairie and woodlands so much that I turned my suburban yard into a wildlife habitat, taking three years to carefully establish a native prairie outside my door. From there, I worked with my hometown of Elm Grove to turn a vacant lot, once a VFW Post, into an local habitat and educational native landscape dedi- cated to our veterans.
As I review my artist journey, it’s clear that part of my primal foundation was a painter who lived next door. I spent hours in her studio, side-by-side, painting still life and landscapes with her. I was in grade school, yet she took my work seriously. She shared her techniques, and then leaned over to ask about mine— how did I create such a smooth reflection, or what brush did I use to create a realistic tree texture?
My childhood home was also full of important reproductions. I would study Vermer’s ‘The milkmaid”,
Ernest Albert Land’s ”The violin”, and Claude Gelleé’s landscapes – marveling at these masterpieces, wanting to follow in their footsteps.
Art infused my life and throughout high school I entered contests, winning numerous local and state awards. I went on to study at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, on a one-year scholarship, where my first year of work earned me the coveted three-year, Frederick C. Layton scholarship.
Once I graduated, my major in illustration and minor in drawing and graphic design suited me perfectly for a position in advertising where I began as a graphic designer and moved up to senior art director. It took me awhile, but now I see how my work in the commercial art world supports my fine art with a deeper understanding of how people are affected and influenced by what they see.
Alongside my creative, commercial work, I became an active member in a national landscape organization,
The Wild Ones, where my awe for the natural world intersected with the fine art I was producing professionally.
I became obsessed with reading every book I could get my hands on about native landscapes, realizing that this knowledge would deepen the visual stories that my work evokes.
I have sold numerous pieces of my original silkscreens to corporations and private collectors throughout the U.S. Currently the Katie Gingrass Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; the Grace Chosy Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin; Woodwalk Gallery in Door County, Wisconsin and Gallery 13 in Minneapolis, Minnesota represent me.