In the early 1970’s I joined a women artists’ support group in Berkeley, which proved to be a life-line, and now a lifetime later, some of us have become founding members of the BAWA Legacy Project. In those days, expectations for women artists were low and even though we began to organize to confront curators at art museums, our progress toward equal representation in the art world has been agonizingly slow. Encouraged by a Graduate Fellowship at Mills College, I learned that my art grows out of intimately felt and examined experience and that my life as a woman was a strength I could explore. Earlier I had painted freeways and Skylab-inspired topographies of Earth on large canvases, a macro view, and was told I “painted like a man.” But with new confidence in my inner vision, I began to photograph everyday objects, including my journal and sketchbooks in ongoing series of photo-collages, using illusion, text, and unusual materials to investigate what came up. After the sudden death of both of my parents, I drew full-sized portraits of friends and relatives. Later during the conflicts in Yugoslavia, (which paralleled personal conflicts), I drew and painted large-scale images of shadow-fighters, and the masks we wear as “The Other.’’
In 1996, I was invited to show this series of drawings in Belgrade at the now venerable Chaos Gallery, received a grant from the U.S. Embassy to help exhibit them, and subsequently moderated a fascinating forum held at the U.S. Embassy for artists and art historians to discuss both art in America and the problems of being an artist in times of war.
In 2011, I included flow and chance directly into my process. These "ANIMA” images begin as inkblots on vellum, folded and manipulated in my hands, scanned, then printed large scale—4' x 3’—to reveal the intricate detail of natural form. During a 2013 Artists Residency at KALA Institute in Berkeley, I experimented with color underlays and other manipulations on a computer. Now I am going beyond, drawing directly into the life-sized digital prints with dry pigment, graphite, and pastel, expanding their meaning. The ANIMA figures embody powerful and extraordinary transformations, which perhaps speak to my own metamorphosis over time. Each holds a potential energy, an intricate life of its own poised, waiting to come uncoiled. These iconic figures often scare me; that is why I continue making them.
My work has been shown nationally and internationally, is in both public and private collections; I received a Graduate Fellowship from the Trefethen Foundation (Catherine Morgan Trefethen Fellowship) and Residencies at the Virginia Center for the Arts, the Millay Colony, the Briarcombe Foundation, and Kala Art Institute.
I taught at San Francisco State University, Center for Experimental and Interdisciplinary Art, and Berkeley City College, among others. I was an early member of the Women’s Caucus for Art. From 2000-2012, I was a member of the Board of Directors of W.E.A.D., now called Women Eco Arts Dialogue.