How long have you been a professional artist? Have you ever seen yourself in an another career?
I took the plunge to become a full time artist back in 1999. At the time, I was working as a sales rep for the Atlanta Merchandise Market and traveled the state of Alabama calling on retailers and designers and selling them merchandise such as lamps, rugs and home accessories. I had grown tired of traveling so much and wanted to be home more so I started creating some paintings and showing them at some small art venues and charity events. I wasn’t really sure it would work as a paying career but I just decided I had to try and see if I could make it happen. It was a good decision. I have met so many interesting and talented people being an artist and have made some great friends around the country doing what I do.
Your works have taken on many identities, but they usually have a common thread. Do you have a personal favorite series?
I have created numerous bodies of work over the years. I like to switch things up and keep it interesting. I guess my favorite series has been my more recent creations utilizing found objects. A group of whimsical characters I call my Odd Fellows which utilize wooden cut outs and found items added for appendages and of course the Scraps of Memory quilt pieces I am doing now. I love repurposing old cast off items and especially enjoy the hunt for those treasures at flea markets and junk stores.
How has your newest shadow box work been received?
The Scraps of Memory quilt pieces have been received really well lately. When I first showed them, I had so many people stop to talk about the work and reminisce about family textiles or family members who quilted. The pieces really had a broad appeal to both young and old and people really responded to the juxtaposition of the sleek contemporary framing with the worn and faded textiles.
Have you kept any of your creations? If so, what? Why?
I have kept several pieces of my work over the years. I try and keep one piece from each group. There are many pieces I wish I still had but I also enjoy trading with other artists and have a nice collection of pieces from artists I’ve met through the years.
What 3 artists do you follow on social media the most? Why do you like them?
I follow a number of different artists through social media. It would be hard for me to narrow it down to just three. There are so many talented people in this world. Social media has expanded the art world dramatically. There are so many artists I would have never heard of or seen had it not been for the social media.
Is there a blogger you enjoy a lot?
Blogging is something I don’t follow on a regular basis. Occasionally I will stumble upon something interesting but there is just so much out there these days it is hard to find the time to absorb it all.
I know you are an animal person. Have you ever painted your pets? How do they inspire you?
I have three dogs that are my constant companions. My Jack Russell Simon, my Chihuahua Hazel and a rescue Pit bull named Nellie. They all have very unique personalities and are great company to have around while I’m creating.
What’s been the best find you’ve ever made from a second hand or antique store?
I have found many great things while junking, but the best thing I ever found was probably an early carved religious figure with an old rosary attached around the neck. It is a really beautiful piece that I treasure. My favorite place to go junking nearby is the Scott Antique Market. I almost always find something interesting to inspire me there each time I go.
What’s the hardest part of your art process or being a professional artist?
The hardest thing about being an artist for me is time management. I am easily distracted while working and need that pending deadline to kick me into gear. You have to wear a lot of different hats when you are an artist. It can get a bit stressful at times.
Does the South inspire you? Where around the world would you most like to go for inspiration and why?
I am inspired by the south. I grew up in the south and appreciate the simplicity and the slower pace it offers. It is an affordable region to live and work as an artist for the most part. If I could travel anywhere in the world I would probably want to visit Italy.