I was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but spent most of my “formative” years in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. While growing up in a small town seemed like a struggle at the time, it has made me who I am: stubborn, curious, and with an intense love of anything unusual and diverse. Growing up, I was never sure whether I would rather be a writer or an artist. Although I have taken the path of the painter, I enjoy writing and researching to help me understand the topics I’m interested in and find that narrative, whether subtle or more distinct, often influences my work. Today, I make St. Louis, Missouri, my home.
Largely, my early body of work were figurative pieces, with themes often exploring ideas of identity, gender, and how one is perceived by or perceives others. In the last few years, I have also experimented with using process and pattern to develop more graphically influenced abstract pieces. Currently, fairy tales, folklore, mythology, and complex textile and tile patterns from around the world inspire my pieces, which are primarily mixed media encaustics. I layer patterns and images, with an eye to formal design, hinting at narratives that are both familiar and exotic, occasionally appropriating images from art history, antique prints, and other artifacts to add context. Heat sealing each stratum with luminous natural beeswax, I employ collage, transfer, print-making and painting techniques using ink, oil and spray paints. Some pieces are directly inspired by specific stories, others are amalgams of imagery from various tales.
I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and graduated cum laude with departmental honors from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1997. In May 2010, I attained my Masters degree at Fontbonne University and my Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting at Fontbonne in May 2015.