1. Over the past few years what can you say has mostly inspired you; whether it’s a color, a place, an object.
Being around creative friends and discovering new art via social media. I love how apps like Instagram have made it easier than ever to find out about what's going on in the art world, and even in my own back yard! I'm always stumbling across local makers that I've never heard of before.
2. Which color in your palate would you say best describes your personality?
I'm definitely an introvert (so it's a good thing I can spend my days hiding in the studio) and it takes a long time to get to really know me, but I do love people so maybe navy? Mysterious but true blue? Although after a couple of glasses of wine I'm likely to tell you my innermost secrets and dance the night away...which probably makes me secretly red. :)
3. Since your aesthetic is mostly flowers, which botanical garden would you say has been the best one for anyone into painting flowers to explore?
I guess the best botanical garden to explore is the one closest to wherever you are--it's always wonderful to feel grounded by understanding your local terrain and flora. I recently toured the gardens at the Baltmore Estate in Nashville and loved all the amazing varieties of ornamentals, roses, and tropical plants, but I also enjoy wandering in the woods near my home in Atlanta. I'm a sucker for native plants and especially rare ones.
4. What would you say Atlanta brings to your work that other cities don’t?
I've lived here for over 20 years so I suppose Atlanta is just part of who I am now. I love living in the south--the food and culture and people bring vibrancy to my work.
5. When did you discover your craft, how long has it taken you to develop it?
You know those "All About Me" books that you put together in grade school? I made one when I was 5 and in it I said I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. There's a little drawing of me standing next to a shelf covered in art materials. When I got to college I majored in fine art photography but my first job was as an artist assistant and I basically learned the tricks of the trade by helping other painters. Since then, I've spent all my time perfecting my own style.
7. If you could describe a perfect summer afternoon, where will it be, and doing what?
I love spontaneity and those time when I've been visiting my sister (who lives in Manhattan) and the city is full of happy surprises. Walking along the Hudson River Park or the Highline, finding great pizza, maybe a new cocktail, and hidden art.
8. What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on a series of floral collage/paintings on paper that I can use to put together a 2017 calendar. I have some good friends who host a little holiday sale and I'm honored to be invited to show some new work there. I also hope to have some prints of my paintings finished soon.
9. Is there someone you’d like to collaborate with? If yes, who?
I've known my husband for almost 20 years and we've collaborated on everything in life but rarely with our art--he's an extremely talented photographer. Tho I suppose raising our two kids is the ultimate collaboration, right? Maybe we'll be artists together once they're in college!
10. Which sources do you use for imagery, inspirations..
I used to keep a huge album of images pulled from magazines but now I find such beautiful photos on Pinterest which I compile and then I arrange the compositions myself on the canvas. Within a single painting the flowers can come from a dozen or more photographs. I still have quite a few magazines and books lying around of course for when I'm in the mood for a more hands-on experience. Sometimes we just need to actually turn a page or handle a piece of paper.
11. Would you say its easier now to get distracted on one’s own work through social media? What would be the assets you as an artist have used in order to stay focused and not compare, or lose track of your projects?
Yes, it's very easy to get distracted with social media these days. I listen to a lot of podcasts while I'm working which work to keep my right brain occupied while my left brain is being creative. It's the best tool I know of to keep me on track while I'm working, but during the rest of the day I'm inundated with the images from my social apps--which (of course) is both good and bad.
12. What would you tell your 20-year old self. What tips would you give her?
My 20-year-old self was scared to take chances and preoccupied with coming across as tough--because I was anything but! She's definitely still here in a lot of ways but I could have saved myself some time and unneeded worry if someone had told me, "Relax, enjoy yourself, and know that vulnerability is the real courage."
13. Lastly, is there a saying you go by ? How would it help you in your life?
From Maira Kalman, one of the most inspiring artists I can think of,
'In any work you do, you can be profound one minute, and then you be superficial the next, and you can be smart and insightful and then insipid. There can be room for all that.'
I got to meet her once at a NYC food market where she happened to be signing and selling her books, but I was so nervous and excited that I didn't know what to say to her. Though I did buy some books!! 'The Principles of Uncertainty' is just amazing and I reread it every chance I get--Maira's color and line have had such a huge influence on me. I wish I could be as candid, clever, and funny as she is. She's a friggin philosopher.
pictures by David Naugle