In 100 words, tell us everything about who you are as an artist and where you’re from without using the phrase “my work.”
I was raised in California, on the Central Coast, between small no-name farm towns. My parents were the archivists of our family, never throwing anything away. I was surrounded by old books, turn-of-the-century photos, and Swiss folklore. I spent 10 years writing graffiti, a great deal of which was commentary on my personal struggles with having my son Cody at 16. I studied illustration and printmaking at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and then fled to Portland, where my son, my fella, and I are currently planning a hostile world takeover.
What are the challenges of only using found objects as your canvases? What made you decide to take this approach, and what is the weirdest thing you’ve incorporated into your art?
Making art on and with recycled materials at first came out of need for me. I couldn’t afford to go to the art supply store for years. Being a dirty little punk rock girl, dumpster diving has always been comfortable for me, and I have never had a problem finding great stuff to paint on. Taking a note from my folks, I hate throwing away something I think I can use. I have found countless illustration/typography books, paint, fine hard woods, plywood, inks, some of which are really high end. To be honest, the biggest challenge to working this way is keeping my diving spots secret. I like to share, and that has gotten several spots blown up before. The weirdest thing that I have ever used is asbestos paneling. I didn’t know what it was, but it was smooth and square, so I brought it home. The only remaining piece from that series is the original artwork for the band Southerly’s record, “The Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist.”
Describe your process.
I start my pieces with wood soaked in coffee and ink, and let the background set over night. Then I do illustrations on paper, in ink and coffee, and cut them out and adhere them to the wood. Often times I will just paint on the wood, but I am really getting into doing more work on paper, and adding that extra layer to the pieces.
Why do you think your subject matter seemingly gravitates toward a mix of dark childhood imagery and typography?
My work tends to lean toward a lot of childhood imagery due to my heavy influence of old illustration, and its focus on innocence, the loss of it, and the hope to regain it. When my son was born, I was and still am greatly focused by this. I also use a lot of typography and words in my pieces. Even though I am retired, I love graffiti, letters, and old sign painting. The only things I write on now are mine, and I can’t get in trouble for that.
Who are your artistic influences?
I am heavily influenced by Frieda Kahlo, John Tenniel, Donald McKay, Fritz Krendal, and Tyler Stout.
Do you tend to listen to music when you create and, if so, what do you typically choose?
Currently am listening to Neurosis, Gardening, Not Archetecture, Southerly, Jared Mees and the Grown Children, David Cross, Slayer, Ramona Falls, Menomena, and Minor Threat while working.