I am from Jamaica and was educated at Presbyterian-Methodist-Episcopalian girls’ schools, where art and embroidery were taught every day. This was not something I treasured at the time, but those useful and creative skills have remained with me. I am truly grateful to my teachers.
I was introduced to the art of silk painting over thirty years ago by an amazing French silk painter. I thought the exquisite scarf she gave me was too fragile to wear, but I soon found out that silk, however finely woven, is more resilient than most people think. To this day, I embrace the challenge of working with this exquisite fabric and exploring its myriad facets. I view silk painting as a spiritual experience, one in which I can become lost in the process very easily and often have to remind myself to return to earth. In 2009, I was honored to be designated as a Signature Member of Silk Painters International, an organization of which I’ve been a member since 1999.
I’m always asked what inspires me..Thanks to the art and embroidery classes in my youth, it was an easy transition to working with silk and dye. Being from a tropical country fostered my love of vivid, brilliant color. I seek inspiration in the natural world; flowers and landscapes seem to draw me to them.
As an artist, I am influenced by my multi-ethnic ancestry and drawn to bright, vivid colors. I think art should give respite to the eyes and create an environment of peace in the soul. I paint with a “what if” attitude, and my compositions sometimes take on a life of their own. By adding hand and machine stitching, beading, and other embellishments to my silk works, I experiment with the fluid effect of dye on silk and create works that reflect my views and philosophy of life.
Once I’ve touched the brush to the silk, I’m committed. There is no changing my mind, no backtracking. Brush, dye, silk, the path is unforgiving. This immediacy allows me to flow with the moment, to be completely present. An apparent error becomes a different choice, a different commitment, a different path. And an initial vision, which at first seemed to be mine, becomes its own mistress.
“Experiment and Grow” is my mantra!
Unless noted otherwise, my photographer is Marcia Ward, The Image Maker in Denver, Colorado. Thank you Marcia for making my work look so fine!