Sometimes I wonder how it is I came to be so interested in making handcrafted ceramic tile, ceramic sculpture, and stained glass windows. Growing up, I remember spending hours in my room, completely immersed in creating various art and craft projects. I loved listening to the top 40 radio station, (and keeping copious and precise notes on the artists and song titles). My mother calling me for dinner. I would reluctantly eat, and then continue the drudgery of homework assignments and other annoying obligations. In short, even at that young age, my world was focused on creating a more favorable and friendly world of my own.
By the time I was a teenager, my parents were so deeply concerned with my introversive proclivities, that they brought me to a number of psychologists. This only left me feeling more weird and out of place and uncomfortable in my skin. I graduated from high school a year early, and started taking art and yoga classes at the local JC. I was in heaven.
I continued on to University of California at Santa Cruz, and this was another absolutely heavenly experience, with the kindest teachers and fellow students one could hope to meet.
After dropping out because the loveliness of it all freaked me out, I moved f to NYC and traveled. I eventually graduated and moved to Oakland. There I cleaned houses, and became very involved in the AIDS movement, as my best friend was HIV positive. I had a great warehouse space in Oakland, and exhibited my work frequently, and showed regularly with the Catherine Clark Gallery.
After Michaels’s passing, I was accepted on full scholarship to UCLA, and made the scary move to LA. I earned my MFA, and set up my studio in Inglewood, California. I showed some more with CC gallery, as well as some international venues. Although I was showing and selling my work regularly, I never felt really confident about securing sufficient financial returns from my artwork.
I was working 3 or 4 jobs, and my studio time became pretty limited. The practical side of me prevailed, and I decided to put my energy for a while into working hard at my teaching jobs and saving money for a house. I saw what was ahead of me, and as a complete introvert, with absolutely no aptitude for networking or knowing how to advantageously position myself.
I bought a falling apart house in West Covina. The restoration turned out to be a huge art project. And I loved, well liked, WC for its psychic neutrality and its innocence, and affordable housing (since changed). It was an unassuming and sunny place, and I had a 1903 house on a gigantic lot, and this was to be the start of my new creative life (and for the most part, the end of actively showing my work in commercial galleries.)
Along with working on restoring the house (OMG endless toil!) and setting up a studio, I have created a magical sanctuary in my backyard, a large sculpture garden full of outdoor ceramic garden sculpture of animals, angels, fairies, and mermaids.. I happened to see an exhibition on the history of California's rich and varied tile traditions, and I taught myself everything I could about making handmade ceramic accent tile. I also, just for fun, took an adult Ed class in stained glass and started making custom stained glass windows. I feel in love with the medium, and learned the medieval technique of glass painting.
Fortunately, I have always had the good fortune of being involved in art education, teaching art at Los Angeles County Jail. This has been a very positive experience.