Willow Oak Studio
I have a passion for the symbolic & abstract. My creative inspiration is primarily drawn from Celtic mythology & art, medieval & primitive art, Russian & Greek iconography, and the natural world. As a mixed media artist I utilize a wide variety of forms, vibrant colors, textures & “found objects” in my work. Early I developed a love and respect for recycled materials. That, combined with creating and weaving my own fibers, taught me not to fear mixing various types of materials; a lesson that has proven invaluable when working in a variety of mediums that include two & three-dimensional collage.
Like many of the artists I greatly admire, I have spent my creative life striving to be free from barren traditions that often stifle creativity. Over time, many exceptional artists, teachers & mentors have taught me the basics of their craft. However, the most important gift they gave me was the creative courage to follow my own instincts and to be true to my creative passions. That mindset has opened the door to infinite creative possibilities for me.
My work is available year round at Point of View Art Gallery in Burlington, NC (www.PointOfViewGallery) where I also serve as Gallery Director. I also have work currently on exhibit at three area medical facilities; UNC Family Practice, Hillsborough, NC, UNC Urgent Care, Chapel Hill, NC, and at the Duke-affiliated Burlington Medical Practice of Drs. Maureen Andreassi and Michael Blocker on 1248 Huffman Mill Rd., Burlington, NC. My work may also be seen at selected exhibits, galleries, specialty shops & fine craft/fine art events throughout the Triad/Triangle area.
In the early 1960’s I studied art history and design at the University of Cincinnati. I continued independent study throughout the 1960’s, focusing on Greek & Russian iconography, Celtic art and metalwork design and primitive art with a special focus on African-influenced figurative art and Australian aboriginal cave paintings. I also began developing a line of Bohemian-inspired jewelry and bodywear using recycled jewelry that included complementary metal and wood elements, stones, shells and feathers.
In 1969 I began studying weaving with an instructor at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. In 1972 I learned hand-spinning from Miss Carrie Bright of Dayton, Ohio & Maysville, Kentucky using a traditional large wheel and an Ashford treadle wheel from New Zealand. In 1975 I began working with a weaver in Dayton, Ohio who taught me to think in 3-D rather than 2-D when using fiber. She also taught me to incorporate knotting into my weaving.
In 1983, after moving to Raleigh, NC, I took intermediate & advanced basket weaving through the Durham Arts Council as well as a course in hand-dying so I could dye my own fibers and reed. In 1992 I studied Ikat weaving at the Duke Crafts Center. Soon after that I began creating small collage items and continued developing my line of Bohemian-inspired jewelry utilizing recycled and natural elements in my work. Soon I began working on large collage pieces. From the early 1990’s on I have relied on independent study to perfect many collage and weaving techniques that I continue to use to the present day.