I grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (b. 1973), a small, pretty town just north of Chicago, where the local library’s rotating exhibitions and annual competition got me hooked from early on. Though I made great attempts to study something more practical than art in my college years at Lawrence University (Appleton, WI), an art history class convinced me elsewise. I embarked on a three-month overseas program in Florence, Italy in my final year, and through it I attended a figure drawing course at Charles H. Cecil Studios. I don’t know if I will ever be able to express the way in which that course shook me, robbed me of my good sense and gave me permission to pursue the abstract world of beauty.
I returned to Florence in 1998 with a suitcase and a one-way ticket, and thanks to the Studios’ scholarship, support and excellent teaching, it all worked out. After completing my studies, I took on a space in Piazza della Repubblica to teach and paint. Subsequently, I accompanied my soon-to-be husband to Israel during his post-doc assignment, and there I explored the genre of interiors to escape the heat. We moved to Napoli in 2012, where I put my painting on hold to start a family. Now that my second child has reached school age, I have resumed my work. The break has been essential for reassessing my artistic direction and for familiarizing myself with my new home in this beautiful, faded, crumbling city.
My first instinct upon arrival in Napoli was to contribute in my own small way to continuing its historic pictorial tradition of artists who have come through and painted its grand vistas and streets. I dare any artist to come to this city and try not to paint Vesuvius; I am sure they will find it impossible, even if it feels kitsch. Its presence defines the city’s vibe.
Napoli, however, and more specifically livingin Napoli, is en endless collision of delight with color, texture, pitch and chiaroscuro. The city itself is like an ancient yet still intact tapestry, with the sea salt, flicks of light, grime, pigments and fantastical legends woven densely into its haphazard, fragile lines. Living in this city means understanding my small place amongst these beautiful connecting threads and trying to find ways to pictorialize the feeling it gives me. As such, I rarely edit the landscape or compose a stillife, as I feel that the way it somehow fell in front of me is already appropriate and a gift of life. My paintings are mostly about communicating the essence of the thing that stopped me in my tracks and made me instantly ache to paint it, which is usually a very moody response to place, distance, edges, light quality, and colors that sing together. Above all, I strive to be genuine in my work, remembering that it is a privilege to be an artist and to paint from life.