I grew up in outstate Minnesota, where there were few opportunities to experience art
outside the school classroom. But throughout school, I took advantage of every art class offered
and upon graduation, headed off to the big city: Minneapolis. There I was inspired by the riches
found at local art museums and started taking art classes at the University of Minnesota.
Life, however, has taken many detours along the way. In my late twenties, I went through an
ugly divorce and faced raising two children on my own. Making art was something I continued to
do, but for my own gratification. Things began to shift a few years ago when my children
became adults. I rented a studio in Lowertown St. Paul and started painting like crazy.
Since that time, I have participated in several St. Paul Art Crawls and have shown work at
other venues. Currently, I live in Lowertown's Tilsner Artist Co-operative, alongside my
actor/writer husband, Joel Thingvall.
Why Does It Hurt So Bad 30x30
Tell me about your work space and creative process.
Since I live in an artist co-operative, my studio is located in my home. There are pros and cons
to working at home, but one of the pluses is painting in your jammies! Our loft has 18 foot
ceilings, exposed brick, and floor-to- ceiling windows. The room I work in has 15 foot windows
that let in lots of light--perfect for a painter!
I continue to paint with acrylics and enjoy pushing the limits of the medium. Acrylics compel me
to work quickly-- forcing me to think on my feet. My process is a bit different than most
painters--I work with my painting surface (stretched canvas or wood panels) laid flat on a work
table. I apply many layers of color and texture, using paint and mediums such as light molding
paste. Working with a palette knife or a brush, I lay down many layers of color, often using a
cloth or even my fingers to blend or wipe away colors to reveal the mystery of what lies beneath.
What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
The past few years have been a period of great growth for me as an artist. I've been participating
in a Mentor Program offered by WARM (Women's Art Resources of Minnesota). The program
pairs an emerging artist with a more experienced professional artist. I've wanted to do the
program for years and ironically, a layoff gave me the courage to do it! And it has paid off in
BIG ways! I meet with my fabulous mentor, Brenna Busse, every month and we discuss what
I've been working on, what direction I want my work to go...
Over the course of the past year, my work has become increasingly abstract in nature. When I'm painting, I feel as if I am communicating very intimately with the paint and canvas. I strive to
capture a moment or perhaps the emotion connected to a place or time in our lives. We have all experienced significant life events that burn an impression in our memory. In recent work I hope to give a creative voice to those moments of despair, terror and even joy that we carry deep within.
Currently, I am finishing pieces for a two-person exhibit to be held this summer at the Woman's Building in St. Paul.
Hit or Miss 36"x36"
How did you decide to become an artist?
I was first inspired to be an artist when my oldest brother came home from college with a poster of
a Renoir painting. I knew then that I wanted to be a painter. Of course, it hasn't been an easy
course to take. What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Trust your process... and ... Follow your passion.
Hit or Miss 36"x36" - detail
Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art. How do you sell your work?
How do you market yourself?
I took a break this spring, but have been participating in local art crawls for the past 5 years.
At this point, I am hoping to show my work in more group exhibits and hopefully soon, local galleries.
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
I have been blessed to know personally and professionally some very talented local painters,
coming up this summer at the Women's Building in St. Paul (550 Rice Street). WARM(Women's Art Resources of Minnesota) The show will open June 18th, 2012 with an artist reception on Friday, June 29th from 6-9 pm.