I am a native of Opelousas, Louisiana, but I have called New Orleans home for almost 30 years. I graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Grand Coteau, Louisiana and received my art degree from U.L.L. in Lafayette (formerly U.S.L). I spent several years in New York City after that and returned home to received my Art Education certification from U.L.L. (still called U.S.L. at that time and I will probably always call it that.)
I moved to New Orleans in 1990 to begin my teaching career at John Ehret High School in Marrero. I spent one year teaching art in the general education setting and then spent the rest of my career teaching Special Education which required me to return to the University of New Orleans to receive my Special Education certification. I taught in the Mild/Moderate and Autistic classroom settings teaching the required curriculum, but always managing to create an art project whenever possible to enhance my students learning of the lessons. I retired from teaching in 2018, but I have continued my professional art career which began in 2006.
My work has been shown in Lafayette, View Gallery in Jackson, Mississippi, Oasis Interiors in Destin, Florida, and currently can be seen at Ariodante Gallery in New Orleans, and Gregg Irby Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, some of my paintings appeared on television as part of the set design in the locally produced series NCIS-NEW ORLEANS and on the HBO series TREME.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Peaceful, calming, soothing
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
The city of New Orleans exudes creativity and has given the world well-known musicians, chefs, artists and unique architecture. This history gives the city it's heartbeat that everyone who walks the streets can hear, including myself, and that is why I choose to live and work here.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
I always start preparing for a new series by first, making sure my painting space is clear and open. It is already a small area to begin with and I don't want to feel claustrophobic when I paint.
Where do you draw inspiration?
The sky, the land, the water.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
Rothko. My whole view of painting changed when I saw his work at an exhibit in Houston when I was in college. Elemore Morgan, a Louisiana artist, is another artist whose work I admire. He taught painting when I was in college, but, I didn't take classes from him. I wish I had. I used to see him from time to time at shows. I remember he came to my very first show in Lafayette and when he walked in it was like the parting of the Red Sea. Everyone got so quiet and I got nervous, but he was so encouraging. George Marks, Lisa DiStefano, and Jill Coury Hackney are contemporary Louisiana artists whose work I like, also.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
I like a variety of music. I do have a painting playlist on iTunes which contains music anywhere from classical and contemporary classical, new age, contemporary jazz, alternative country and even music from films.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
I love to spend time with my family, friends, and my two little pups, Jeri and Daisy, reading, working in my garden and trying hard to keep up with a daily exercise routine of walking.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
I love mornings. October is probably my favorite month. That's usually when Louisiana will get it first cool spell and the gumbo pots come out.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I'm double jointed, not that it is a fun or anything. I can twist my thumbs backwards behind my hand.