When did you first begin to think of yourself as an artist?
Well, I’ve kind of always considered myself an artist, because I’ve been painting since I was 8 years old. But, I guess seriously maybe college… after college. My degree is in painting from Texas State (Southwest Texas at the time). I’ve painted my entire life. My Mom owned a gallery in Dripping Springs, so I was around artists all the time. My Mom is a photographer. After she sold her gallery she went on to do her photography… commercial photography. I was just lucky to be exposed to all that and to have parents who were open to the idea of me going into the arts.
Who have been the people that you draw inspiration from?
I’ve always loved Frida Kahlo … her spirit and her work obviously. Georgia O’Keefe. Joan Mitchell. But I have a style of my own. I started out doing florals. Then moved to this abstract style about twenty years ago. I had a professor in college and he kind of pushed me toward more abstract and mixed media work and I fell in love with it. Sometimes I have an image in mind. A lot of time it’s just colors in mind. I always start with my textural aspects first. The way I put them down … I conceive where I want it and then the colors come after that.
What did you think was important to have around you to spark your creativity when you created your studio space?
I have a nice big table… several tables… because I teach out of the studio also. It has big doors that are open to the outside because I like to have the fresh air in when it’s a nice day. There is a lot of color around me. We moved into this house four years ago. There was an artist that lived there before. He was a metal sculptor and he had built this space already. So, I was super excited about it. Before I was in-and-out of one room in our house, and the garage which was not too inspiring. Before that we lived in Corpus. I did have a designated studio in that home in Corpus. But this has been much better. It’s quiet and out of the house and away from the noise of my life.
What three artists, living or dead would you like to have at a dinner party?
I think Frida because she was amazing. Then I had a professor at A&M Corpus: Bruno Andrade. He passed away a few years ago. He’s kind of the one who inspired me to follow my dream of becoming a painter. He was one who really said, ‘Go out and you can do anything you want to’.He really inspired me. His work was gorgeous, kind of Matisse-like. Beautiful, colorful… (I don’t know why I’m getting so emotional). I only had him for a couple of classes, but he was one of those professors that really had an impact on me. And that was before I was even an art major at TexasState later. There are so many people… maybe somebody like Joan Mitchell because she was so influential. She was one of the first women to do something like this… a female abstract artist back in the 1930’s and 40’s.
What’s the weirdest or funniest thing anybody ever said to you about your work?
People say all sorts of things like…. ‘I can do that’…or ‘How long did it take you to do that?’. ‘Did you copy that or did that just come out of your head?” People just say stupid stuff all the time. I feel like people think that if you’re doing abstract work that you’re not thinking about it… that you’re just throwing it down. That’s a little frustrating.