Barrier Series

During the early to mid 1980’s I did a series including signs, arrows, blinking lights, and road barricades as my visual vocabulary. This series later evolved into non-literal symbols, but continued to emphasize the changes that were taking place in our environment. The series started when the City of Melbourne was undergoing major construction on two causeway bridges that added to the chaos of daily life and were metaphors for change.

Woodchuck Series

The woodchuck series resulted from hearing a story told to me by my husband of an experience he had when very young on a farm in Pennsylvania. One hot summer day, he was approached directly by a woodchuck that was apparently in a daze.  Attempts to frighten the animal failed until it was extremely close. For a long time thereafter, the encounter caused him to be very timid of woodchucks.

During the summer while painting on location in Cade’s Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains I saw uncultivated fields with woodchucks foraging for food and accomplishing their daily tasks. The sight brought back my husband’s story. My experiences painting from nature “en plein air” made me aware of nature’s constant struggle for survival. When we are in their environment we are the invaders and must respect their needs.

In this series, the woodchucks are searching for a place where they can live in harmony with nature and the manmade environment. Their journey to find a private place is ongoing, and a metaphor for everyone’s struggle for discovery and fulfillment. It is a story that each viewer writes.

Fruit and Vegetable Landscapes

The “Fruit and Vegetable Series” started when a friend brought me some turnips from North Carolina. I had not seen any since I was growing up. Turnip greens are one of my favorite vegetables to eat, and really only knew them as the dark leafy cooked vegetables. The beauty fascinated me and contrast of the bulbous white and purple roots next to the broad, dark green leaves, and was inspired to use them in a painting. I visualized a composition of turnips in an environment of twists and turns, and did a quick sketch. Later, as I continued to develop the idea, I happened to see a Tern. I liked the synergistic relationship of the symbols and terms that evolved into the painting “Ternip”. From then on I was challenged to see how I could combine other fruit and vegetables into new and unusual “mindscapes.”

Water Circus Series

The water circus series developed as I approached retirement from teaching art at Brevard Community College in 2006. I was inspired by the development of several paintings that evolved from anthropomorphizing manmade objects into imaginary characters. The characters suggested imaginary environments that were developed while listening to classical music and from looking at plant life found on my walks.