"As a native Iowan who’s lived a great bit of my adult life in other states, Ohio, West Virginia, and for 20 years, Colorado, I’ve returned to my home state with a curiosity about my environment that has become heightened by ‘contrasts.’ Contrasts not only in those formal concerns painters address routinely in their images — light and dark, color, line, shape, etc.– but in the core ways of seeing I had grown accustomed to in growing up here. It was in moving away from an environment I’d been so familiar with, that i realized I hadn’t been seeing it, or at least hadn’t been studying what I was seeing with a positive and critical eye. Addressing unfamiliar, (and uncomfortable,) places led me to really look at what I was seeing and drove me to study it, even as I was studying my own place within new contexts. Where once I had been a figural painter, autobiographical in those figure studies, it became necessary to address my environment in an equally autobiographical manner. Thus I became a landscape painter, however non-deliberately.
While it may never have been a mission of mine to paint ‘trees, grasses, mountains, etc.,’ studying them visually makes me better able to understand my place among them. I learned fairly early on that I see my environment differently from how my male counterpart does. While men traditionally have been trained to view their environments with eyes of “manifest destiny,” exploring the wide panorama, my perspective has been acculturated through intimate spaces of home and garden, the traditional realm of women for centuries. In knowing this, I’ve become fascinated with contrasting expansive spaces with the easily over-looked, ordinary spaces I inhabit. The contrasts of vision parallel the contrasts of experiences in my life, such as the clarity of light I witnessed living at altitude with its thin air, versus the subtleness of light and the heavier air of the Midwest. From that foundation, fascination with my place builds and grows. Capturing some of it visually helps me continue to grow and learn as well."