My art is an extension of myself. My paintings are all stories, sometimes they are well loved tales, sometimes they are records of my life or fables of my own crafting, but they are always stories.
When I was a child my parents bought me a beautiful, illustrated book of Grim’s Fairytales and began to read it to me before bed. My mother stopped halfway through The Goose Girl, shocked by how dark and brutal the stories in the book were. My parents decided that Grim’s Fairytales were too mature for a girl of six and the book was put up on a high shelf. My parents quickly forgot the book but those dark, beautiful tales have stayed with me all these years and are the deepest influence to my art as an adult.
My biggest mission as an artist is to write and illustrate story books that can reach out to all ages of people, children and adults alike because although fairy tales are now the domain of the little ones, the genre was originally written for grown ups. I want to bridge that gap.
I am inspired by many modern fairytale authors such as Juliet Marillier, Tamora Pierce, Charles De’ Lint and Robin McKinley. I am also influenced by the works of visual artists like Arthur Rackham, John Bauer, Audrey Kawasaki and Charles Altamont Doyle.
I work primarily in water-color or oil and with my pieces the narrative always comes before the painting because the story’s need to be told is the reason for the painting to be created. I always start with several sketches, each more refined, before moving on to my watercolor paper or canvas. With watercolor I draw a very precise sketch and often use ink before I begin to apply paint. With oil I tone the canvas with a neutral color that will fit the mood of the painting and then I begin sketching the composition by wiping off the paint with a rag..and it is all downhill from there~