Artist Statement


My work is autobiographical.  Through painting, drawing, and collage, I explore what matters most to me personally, notably: memory; motherhood; and mental illness.  The four bodies of work presented on this website were created over the last twenty-five years. They appear quite different from each other in style and subject matter, yet they circle around these three themes that have engaged my attention for decades.

The earliest works depicted here are acrylic paintings from 1998 to 2000, immediately after finishing my Master of Fine Arts degree. They explored my feelings about the depressions with which I had struggled for years, and the depressions that I also saw in family members.

I gave birth to my first child in 2000 and to my second child in 2002.  I turned to pencil and sketchbook for the next few years.  I drew my two small boys in the middle of the night when they were asleep.  For a brief time during these years, I also painted their portraits.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when my children were six and four years old, around 2006.  Throughout their school years, I fought to balance parenting and some part-time teaching with the ongoing process of finding the right combinations of medications that would allow me to function in the world.

In 2013, when my children were in middle school, I rented a studio in a local arts building and began a new body of work: dozens of small painted collages focusing on memory and the generations of our family.  I spoke about these pieces in an artist talk in 2015 at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, at an exhibit of my work.  The transcript of that talk is available on this website.

I left that studio in 2016 and rented a much larger studio in a converted warehouse.  There I was able to work big, creating a body of oil paintings on canvases that ranged from two to eight feet tall.  These works employed images of sunflowers in various states of growth and decay as a metaphor for mental illness.  I spoke about this work in an artist talk in 2019 at George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania, at an exhibit of my work.  The transcript is available on this website. Most of these paintings have been sold and are in private collections across the United States.

I am exploring milkweed pods now, as a metaphor for my current stage of life: menopause and my children leaving home.