Throughout my childhood art served as an important aspect of my development. My mother made sure I took early childhood art classes. I could be found drawing pictures and making wood and glue sculptures in my father’s office while he taught at the university, and every year during high school I could be found in art class. My exploration of various art forms continued in my higher education and I graduated from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC in 1995 with a concentration in Environmental Education.
The first four years of life after college found me traversing the country. I taught school aged children in Brevard, NC about the natural history of the Appalachian Mountains while we hiked, backpacked, canoed and rock climbed in them. Outside of Boiling Springs, PA, I facilitated adjudicated kids on 30-day Wilderness therapy courses, including an all-girls winter course. I also did plenty of volunteer work during that time, spending one winter in Yellowstone National Park as a naturalist and three seasons in SW Colorado as a community organizer.
When the roaming lifestyle started to wear on me, I planted myself in Boone, NC and oversaw the gardens at The Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis for three years. It was during this time that I was exposed to batik again at the Eugene Saturday Market in Oregon on a trip. I asked the artist the basic how to’s and where she got her tools and went home to NC ready to experiment. That was in 2000 and I haven’t looked back since. Besides this initial introduction, I am completely self-taught, learning through trial and error.
My time since has been a balancing act of being an artist and homeschooling my daughter. The shows I’ve been a part of and the people I have met have been such a blessing. My involvement with the Ashe County Arts Council in West Jefferson, NC has helped to facilitate my development as an artist. Displaying batiks in the local gallery and pushing myself to do work that I would not have done otherwise has been invaluable to my growth. I have also had the opportunity to teach batik to children at camps and adults through the Craft Enrichment program at ASU. I was also fortunate enough to win an Honorable Mention in the Cheap Joe’s Winter Art Contest in 2016 in the Professional division.
Over the years, my style has evolved, though my attention to detail and intricate design has been steadfast. My repetitive design becomes meditative for me, my freestyle wanderings allow for something new and unknown and my round mandala batiks keep me centered, literally! I continue to feel fortunate to be doing something that I truly love. The words of Joseph Campbell can sum up my experiences, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”