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In the 1970’s, I had the privilege to teach elementary school on a Shoshone Indian Reservation in a one room school. I lived on the reservation in Indian Housing built many years before by the BIA housing program and I had no running water for my two year tenure in Duckwater, Nevada. It was a remote area, with no infrastructure other than the housing and trailers and a Tribal Hall which doubled as a school. I was one of two teachers and I supervised a preschool, ran the “library” and taught grades K-4 in one room. The other teacher taught 5-8 upstairs. It was an amazing time.
Living with the Shoshone tribe, going to their homes, teaching their children and becoming a member of their community was one of my most treasured experiences and one that inspires my love for their culture and respect for their spiritual and tribal values. From this experience and my personal desire to paint that which was close to my heart, I began to research and develop an artistic vision that incorporated my years on the reservation with a desire to celebrate this culture, its diversity and its history in color on canvas.
When I moved to Sedona, Arizona, it became a reality. I was once again living in the very place the Pueblo, Tewa Navajo, Hopi and many other tribes still reside. The community was art friendly and the Sedona Arts Center a place that offered mentoring, classes, workshops and a wonderful opportunity to make my dreams come true
Over the past twenty five years, I have painted in many mediums and worked tirelessly to perfect my techniques. I have also spent hours researching and collecting information on tribal history, dress, and ceremony. I have studied the faces and clothing found in old photos taken during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. My paintings capture the beauty and dignity of a people who still live beside us and once inhabited this land.
Process
Each of my paintings combine some of the old and some of the contemporary elements of native culture and art. I use photographs from the frontier photographers to design the face and costume. I use symbols and drawings from pottery, rock art and spiritual geometry that was employed to decorate vessels, walls, clothing and artifacts. I use color and image in a modern and sometimes abstract manner to emphasize the original colors and dyes that have faded over time.
My paintings are oil, acrylic, canvas, paper, board, and anything that enhances the work. Each piece is lovingly created. My style is modern with bright colors and unique backgrounds, textures and stylized figures, faces and designs.