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Landscapes: Natural and Invaded
Landscapes leave impressions on me. Some for their natural beauty, some for what they say about how humans use and abuse them. I just listen with my eyes and mind. Currently, I am designing a series of prints and producing ceramic plaques on this theme.
My artistic training began at my mother’s side. She worked in oils and exhibited around Philadelphia, PA, including at the Art Alliance. Both my parents, trained as scientists, were accomplished painters. My formal training began at the Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, PA, where I spent extensive time in the art and craft studios allowed to explore painting (watercolor, oils, acrylic), printmaking (etching, monoprint), clay, silver, and weaving. I was encouraged to follow a liberal arts career path, whatever that is, so I went to Cornell in 1967. After two years at Cornell University in a dual degree in Government and Theater, I returned to the art studios, now inTjaden Hall, I where I studied printmaking (silkscreen, etching) with Steve Poleskie and Arnold Singer. I managed to get a degree in Theater and received two grants from the Cornell Council on the Arts for installations on the Arts Quad during my undergraduate tenure. Several of my prints and drawings from that time were included in annual juried exhibitions at the Philadelphia Print Club. I briefly had a gallery in New York and had a drawing accepted to an annual juried show at the Everson Museum, in Syacuse, NY.
In 1983, after several years as a freelance artist, primarily working in graphic design, I joined the staff at the Cornell Plantations as a horticultural illustrator. I was a founding member of the local chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and plan to return to active membership this summer. My illustrations are still scattered around Plantations, including the signage at the herb garden; I also exhibited at the New York State Museum Natural History Conference, the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and published in magazines, brochures, and and related publications. In 1990, I wrote and illustrated a comic/activity book for Earth Day at Plantations.
Generally, I create personal artworks because I have to, but chose the slightly more secure path of a science writer for my adult career. This path led from Plantations to the Theory Center where I developed online outreach programs, specifically multi-user virtual worlds (game worlds without the games). In this arena, I co-taught several fine arts courses as a lecturer through Faculty Innovation in Technology grants. I am especially interested in helping users to release the landscape metaphor and creatively explore the medium. I continue working in virtual worlds after leaving Cornell in 2009.
Most recently, I been going in only two directions at once. I am trying to find the right medium for a suite of landscapes and I have retreated into fantasy realms. I am interested in earth spirits, exploring my personal interpretation of indigenous tribal world views (something that I began studying while in college), discovering a hidden goddess while creating a mixed media project for the Spencer Lake Arts project, and bringing out a series of goddesses based on my friends.