Please allow me to share a few personal details about my life.
I grew up in Urbana, Illinois, a small, charming city of cobblestones, supercomputers and cornfields, where 9 nobel prize winners since 1956 were born or lived.
I’d like to share with you a few of my nostalgic places there; places that are objectively great, stand out in my memory or have loads of character.
The best deep dish pizza of all time: Papa Del’s Pizza
Where you can view a Rembrandt alone in a peaceful, intimate space : The Krannert Art Museum
A hopelessly out of fashion and splendid Bavarian-style hotel where I’ve eaten posh lunches and sang karaoke: The Jumer Castle Lodge.(Now the Urbana Landmark Hotel) Note: In a curious twist of fate, the old hotel was saved when a new Chinese buyer from California bought the failing landmark in 2010 with plans to remodel and reopen. Due to various circumstances, the initial investment money did not prove sufficient for the planned renovation and the hotel is currently in an odd state of limbo.
Where I got my early start at figure drawing and oil painting: The University of Illinois sponsored Saturday Drawing classes for the community- established in 1964 and still going.
My Educational Background:
After graduating with a BFA at the University of Illinois, I received most of my instruction in drawing and painting from Anthony Waichulis, Studio Incamminati and the Angel Academy of Art . The method of this kind of training is modeled after the traditional atelier. In the modern day “atelier” style school a complete progressive curriculum in drawing and painting is developed by one main instructor and transferred by demonstration and work from instructor to the student. It is similar in this regard to an actual atelier, where the apprentice would receive the highly individualized techniques, recipes and aesthetic perspectives of one master of the atelier or workshop where they were employed. In the instance of a true apprenticeship contract, there is usually a commitment through the complete duration of the training and for a significant amount of time afterward. The specificity of this style of training often has a notable influence on the artistic perspective of the student, thus the emphasis given to the “lineage” of the artist. This is very different from the buffet style selection of short term classes from different teachers that many art schools offer today.
If you are interested in reading more about this, please leave a comment below as there is a lot of information out there that I would be glad to link to. At any rate, I’m very grateful for the quality of instruction that I received and the commitment that my teachers made to keeping this method of instruction alive.
See below for the direct “lineage” of each of my instructors/schools to better understand how my art was influenced and from which style of painting my methods originated.
Anthony Waichulis/ Trompe L’oeil———–>Anne Schuler————-> Jacques Maroger/
Studio Incamminati———–>Nelson Shanks———–>Henry Hensche/ Impressionism————>Charles Hawhthorne/
Angel Academy of Art/ Classical Realism———–>John Michael Angel———–> Pietro Annigoni/
If you want to see a cool chart that traces the connection of students and teachers of painting from 1935 all the way back to the 1435, see Timothy Stotz’s Flowering Staircase.
Currently I live in Los Angeles with my talented husband Adrian (a fellow oil painter and portrait/figurative artist) and our amazing flame point Siamese cat who plays fetch.
We live in an area of LA called Elysian Valley (affectionately nicknamed Frogtown by the locals).
It’s a community of artists and families who enjoy the central location (just north of downtown), the uncrowded neighborhood and the large warehouses next to the LA river that are being rehabbed into some great spaces. Our studios are located in one of those buildings where we enjoy high northlight windows and are able to paint during the day with ideal indoor natural light. By the way, our neighborhood hosts the annual Frogtown Art Walk that is always a fun event where you can get to know the artists in the neighborhood.
Here is a picture of part of my studio: (very messy right now, I did not tidy up before the photo).
My outdoor potted garden including plants I adopted after painting them.
Lately I’m buying the cut flowers from Trader Joes which are incredibly long lasting if you use plant food, trim the stems, place them in a clear vase and keep them in sunlight. My last roses lasted for 3 weeks (no kidding!) and they even started growing additional shoots. I was able to get two paintings from them:
I will probably paint them again in death because there is something very graceful and dignified about them in their current state. Besides, I still feel very attached to them now. Thanks for reading. In my next post, I will write about why I’m an artist. Please feel welcome to comment or check back!