What Art means to me
I answer some questions of Art for the Press in the Summer of 2021. Here is my full interview.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in West Hollywood, California however my father being in the Navy at Point Magu we settled as a family in Simi Valley, California where I was raised and went to High School. It was a bedroom community with Orange Groves at the time, the 1970’s and 80’s, and had that old town feeling of the country. Little House on the Prairie was filmed just up the canyon from my childhood home and I’d often see the film crew pass on Tapo Canyon road, on my walks to school. I was a part of 4-H and rode horses in the canyons and I think this is where I found my passion for the arts. There is nothing like the quiet of nature to inspire you as an artist.
How long have you lived in Riverside?
I’ve lived in Riverside for almost 10 years now. Moving here with my husband and 3 sons who were attending local Universities. My two oldest graduating from UC Riverside and my youngest from the University of Redlands.
What got you interested in art?
As I stated in the first question, nature. But more importantly, I come from a family of artists. My grandmother and my mother loved art and it was my grandfather who instilled in me a love of the ancient masters. I was intrigued when he took me to an exhibit in downtown Los Angeles of the Tomb of King Tut. Not only was I fascinated by the mosaics and the brilliance of the gold and lapis but also the way it all told a story. Since then, an undeniable awakened appreciation of the beauty that can be translated from the mind to the artists’ craft. An artist reflects this symbolic language of the mind.
What is your education and training?
I was lucky to have had an early education with two fabulous artists besides my mom and grandmother. I started private classes with the President of the Art Association and her husband in Simi Valley at their private studio in the early ’80s. So, in grade school onward I was tutored. My training was in acrylic, pen and ink, and watercolor. I only recently went into oils, which I’m enjoying. My recent work is of an interesting process of the mixed media of Acrylic under Oil. By recommendation of a fellow Local Artist, I took an Ink Printing class and I have been amazed at how it has opened my mind to new possibilities.
What have been some of your favorite accomplishments as an artist?
That is simple. Each piece of art or project that I’m on or a part of is an accomplishment of itself. I love the entire process.
Please describe your style as an artist.
My style changes upon what I want to achieve in the particular work and the end result will depend on the tools of use. However, my goal is realism. I do hope to get better at this.
You’re also a photographer, correct? Please tell me a little about how you became interested in that, as well as what continues to drive your passion in that area.
Yes, I am a photographer. My uncle gave me my first point-and-shoot camera at Christmas one year I must have been around 11. I had already started art lessons, and this was my start in the endless world of photography. I wanted to capture memories however I always wanted to be able to achieve the look of the in-vogue magazines of my youth. I soon realized I could photograph things I was interested in as a subject of my art. As the computer age appeared and digital, I discovered editing programs and I used my skills in editing photographs. Along with equipment and use of natural light, I would challenge myself until I could achieve mastering what I was trying to achieve, and then Id move on to the next challenge. To me combining photography and editing, I could capture a soft look much like a painting right in photography. This led to the photography business and working also in the film industry as a photographer and film editor. I offered my time to photography and film work skills to the University Dance Company out of UCSB under the direction of Jany’s Antonio for 6 six years up to her recent retirement. I’m currently on staff for another short film hopefully to resume soon. However, since covid now I’m right back into painting faces again. I look at all of it as one wonderful process of different art mediums. Someone asks, “can you do this” and I say “well let me try and will see.”
What have the arts meant to you?
The arts are an amazing place to be a part of. It’s a world of creation. Whether it’s dance, painting, singing, music, writing, they are all the outer expressions of our inner worlds. Those magical flashes of inspiration, the artist is the medium to share this inner poetry.
What can the arts mean to a community?
It shares our beauty, and it also expresses our sorrows. It shares things we need to remember and what we need to work on. Art is the backbone to raise ourselves up out of darkness and holds one another up into the light. Art is the tablet of the heart, beating the needs of the community. It’s our expression, reflection, and testimony of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. If you want to know your community or a community, go walk in the land of its art, because the art of the community will reflect the aspects hopes sorrows, and dreams of that community. The artist is the soul of a community. The artist tells the story of humanity.
Is there anything else you’d like me to know?
One of the things I just love about Riverside is its art community. The more the children are involved in the arts the better the community. It gives them expression it feeds one’s soul. It heals and strengthens gives them vision. Art can be a reset button for mental health. I’m very proud to be a part of the art community. And as the years go by, I’m looking forward to watching it grow.