Growing up in a rural community has many challenges for artists. Access to art courses, materials, studio space, and experienced instructors creates a gap that many see as too difficult to create a successful career from. Even with these hardships, I challenged myself artistically and continued to pursue my artistic education. Throughout highschool, I strove to create work that pushed boundaries. Ceramics and sculpture became my two creative outlets, but I would need an education to bolster my artistic talents. Graduating from Montana State University as an Environmental Design student allowed me to bridge that gap. After returning to my hometown to start a graphic design and sign making business, I realized that I could not only be a successful artist but I could utilize my expertise to better my community. Through public art projects, volunteer work, mentorships, and involvement in multiple community boards I have shown that art can be a phenomenal tool to create lasting, memorable, and community strengthening experiences. Proof that art can be a legitimate career and have a positive impact- even in rural areas.
My art has always been inspired by my love of nature and my ability to creatively problem solve. With my background in architecture but a penchant for landscapes and animals, I utilize the skills I learned to create realistic pen and ink drawings as well as watercolor paintings. Composition, color theory, and realistic textures all play a large part in my work. From painting animal skulls, to burled wood, to old vehicle parts I incorporate a 3-D framework with 2-D painted compositions. My newest venture into using gouache has broadened many of my artistic pursuits and with it I have started a series of native bird paintings as well as documenting and journaling about the many historic fire lookouts in our area- some soon to be dismantled. With all of Eastern Oregon at my fingertips, it is my joy to express the majesty of environments but to also highlight our local flora and fauna. Our pocket of Oregon seems a desert to some, but to those who live here we see it for what it truly is- Mother Nature’s greatest inspiration.