Maine: When I was nine years old, my parents bought an 1880s ship captain’s house in Deer Isle Village. I grew up summering there, and have continued to spend extended portions of my year in Stonington on Deer Isle. Our family moved a great deal when I was growing up. Maine became my bedrock. It was the place where I knew people and they knew me.
Inspiration: I’m inspired by observing nature, and merging with it. Painting plein air allows me to pluck moments out of a time sequence—using the most potent cloud configuration or geometry of light to make the best painting I can.
Medium: Oil paint is my favorite: it’s luscious, can be a transparent glazing or thicker, and can be rubbed out or sanded. There is a liveliness and invitation to surprise with oil.
Artist Hero: Alice Neel, Lois Dodd, Marguerite Zorach, Joann Falbo, Jon Imber, Karl Schrag, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.
Studio: I work outside, going back to the same spot repeatedly until the painting is done. There is so much happening in the world that you cannot dream up: patterns, rhythms, junctures, unions, color, and relationships. Then I bring the painting home, hang it on walls, and troubleshoot it.
Where in Maine: Stonington is a working fishing town. Its fishermen land more lobster than any place in the country. It also is home to the world-renowned Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. The island population is filled with artists, craftspeople, and young people who wanted to stay or return, as well as summer people and those who retire here.
EducationI worked with Joann Falbo—an artistic mentor who went to graduate school at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. We met when I was in eighth grade and she became a lifelong friend. I went to the University of California, Santa Cruz, then I took classes at the New York Academy of Art in New York City. I was also married to a great artist (Jon Imber). That helps.