As a child I was greatly influenced by my artistic maternal grandmother, Dora Cooper Chandler. What amazing canvasses she created! Portraits, animals, scenery, pure forms, and birds-how she loved birds!
To this day her portrait of a young girl with a cat moves me more than the Mona Lisa-sorry, Leonardo. She spent hours with me in gardens, with pencil or crayons and paper in hand, pointing out parts of flowers and birds, sharing what she saw in form and color, and drawing with me. And how we laughed together! She always praised my efforts; I recall no criticism. Perhaps that is why I fearlessly tackled a portrait of Will Rogers as an adjunct to my book report in the eighth grade. Or why I made most of my gifts to family members on birthdays and Christmas and felt that they would be valued. Or, why when faced with significant hearing losses at the age of forty-eight and the loss of my twenty-eight year career as a speech/language pathologist, I naturally turned to visual art, which requires no hearing. After two years of pottery classes I seriously considered returning to college and graduate school to obtain an MFA. I was accepted into institutions in the USA and Australia, however was unsuccessful in obtaining financial assistance. Instead, I pursued study with artists whose work I admired and was able to support myself while doing so. This proved to be an excellent method of learning for me as I had maximum freedom of choice and could progress at my own pace. I continue to do this when I need to and the right teacher appears.
I have studied ceramics since 1996 and sculpting, primarily figurative, since 1999. For single edition sculpture I prefer stoneware or porcelain (plain or paper clay). For multiple editions I prefer plasticine for the original and bronze or hydrostone for the castings. I have recently had the fortunate opportunity to study with several master potters of Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Mexico. Their major influence both personal and artistic will be with me forever.
All of my inspiration comes directly from the natural world of which man is a small part.
I wish to dedicate this website to Dora Cooper. In so doing, allow me to introduce you to her by sharing some of her sketches done when she was a teenager and before she had any art training.