I was born on a houseboat in Utrecht in the Netherlands where I lived until my family moved to the area of Munich, Germany when I was seven. There I went to school and later attended the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich where I received my BA in art education. I married and moved first to Maryland, then to Oregon, where we lived for eighteen years. I taught art classes at the Maude Kerns Center, and later at Lane Community College as adjunct faculty. When the marriage was over, I decided to move to New Mexico to go back to school. At the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque I first received my Masters of Fine Arts, then my Masters in Art History. The dual degree allowed me to teach art and art history at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska, as an Assistant Professor. However, in 2018 I took early retirement to move back to New Mexico where I settled in Lama and since then spent my time being a full-time artist. I am currently represented by two galleries in Taos, the Magpie Gallery, and the Wilder-Nightingale Gallery, as well as the Artisans on Main Gallery in La Veta in Colorado.
I am working on a novel technique, a hybrid of drawing and painting on wooden cradled boards. An under-painting of acrylic Payne’s Gray and Burnt Sienna paint creates a vibrant, rather dark ground on which to start drawing with acrylic inks. I work mostly with a metal nib and a small round brush. My colors change with the seasons; the topics often do, too, but some of them are political or personal.
Working with a pen and nib is slow work, but living the slow life is my mantra. It makes for a very meditative work approach. I am able to put in all the tiny things I observe on my daily walks, the patterns of weeds, the patterns of gravel, and the ever-changing cloud shapes above me. My dog Ellie is usually represented, sometimes our four cats, the casita where Julie lives, and the cabin up the hill. Sometimes I put in one figure, sometimes thirty. The figures are always in action, just like in the genre paintings of the 17th-century Dutch painters: Daily life with lots of details including a “moralizing” note. Although not religious, mine pertains to nature, the real hero, the entity with the most power, daily stronger due to climate change.
Homesteading puts me in close touch with the soil, cultivated, and wild foods. Working with nature, instead of against it, was implemented long before the idea of permaculture was hatched. Acequias, ponds, orchards, and gardens, all of it can be found here, built according to Native American and Hispanic precepts. These facets are actually connecting me with my childhood of spending summers in the hinterland of Austria. The same precepts, the same values of taking care of the soil, animals, and human needs. It’s old, it’s new, and it’s against consumer culture and the environment.