The theme of water informs my visual vocabulary alternating from abundance at one extreme to the scarcity on the other.
I’ve had a life-long relationship with water in two divergent ecosystems: the Minnesota River Valley where I grew up on my grandfather’s farm; and the Sonoran Desert where I raised my daughter and have a studio.
My work explores the beauty, wisdom and solitude of water and nature.
I spent my childhood on the farm my Irish ancestors homesteaded in the Minnesota River Valley. It was this experience that started my early visual and emotional relationship to land and water. I’ll always remember the way the farmhouse and the lands looked in all seasons. On Sundays, my grandpa would take all six of us kids out to nearby creeks and rivers. It was a magical time of us all being together although I was often in my own little world exploring, observing, learning about nature.
I don’t remember ever making a decision to be an artist, but I knew I would have a life of travel, culture, and books. My mother was a teacher and she encouraged my siblings and me to venture into Minneapolis to experience art museums and cultural events. I especially loved the contemporary art exhibits at Walker Art Center.
Later, my passion for artmaking intensified as did my creative and critical thinking skills. My chosen path as an artist has brought me many gifts—meaning, purpose, enjoyment of peaceful surroundings as well as the ability to overcome life’s challenges.
Now I live mostly in Tucson spending summers in Duluth next to Lake Superior, and whenever possible, I travel to my spiritual home on the west coast of Ireland. Whatever my location, I often harvest water from rain or bodies of water and use it to paint with watercolor or acrylic. This small ritual binds me and my work to nature and a sense of place.