I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas and in 2004, received my Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, with an emphasis in drawing, from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In May of 2005 I moved to Denver and quickly fell in love with the area. After 14 years in Colorado, I made the decision to move to Wahoo, Nebraska, with my husband and children, to be closer to my parents due to my mother’s dementia diagnosis.
Back in Nebraska, I found myself missing Colorado and to ease that longing, I purposed to connect with my community and put down some roots. At that time, I clearly remember coming across a passage by Christie Purifoy, which spoke to my situation. In her book, Placemaker, she writes, “What is placemaking? It is deliberately sending your roots deep into a place, like a tree. It means allowing yourself to be nourished by a place even as you shape it for the better…whether we intend to stay or know we’ll be moving in six months”. That was it! Allowing Nebraska to nourish me was making all the difference. A year later, the pandemic hit and my interactions with friends and family became fewer and farther between. I often walked around my town, observing the historic buildings, wondering what stories they held, and I started seeing them as portraits of people, in their own way. So began my series of architectural drawings and watercolors and a deeper relationship to Nebraska.
I also carve out time for creating playful whimsical artwork, which brings me right back to my childhood imagination. I think it is important to make time for play because, besides nourishing the soul, it keeps me from taking myself too seriously. Since I was very young, my mind has enjoyed escaping into magical miniature worlds, especially as I go on walks through natural landscapes. A milkweed pod becomes a boat, an acorn top makes a lovely bowl, a chunk of bark might create the perfect roof, and so on. Often, I’ll come home from a walk with such little treasures in my pocket. Recently, in collaboration with UK photographer Simon Dell, I’ve been working on drawings and watercolors inspired by his playful “George the Mouse in a Log Pile House” photos. What I often tell my children seems to be true, “you can never be bored with a good imagination”.