I don’t consider creating sculpture to be part of my job. Whether it was carving animals out of soap as a child, trying to capture the personality of my fiancée in a clay portrait while still at art school, or carving building scraps into decorative elements for the house my husband and I designed and built in a Redwood forest, sculpture has always been something I have done for the pure joy of it.
It wasn’t until computers put an end to my successful 17-year free-lance career, designing and hand-lettering for logos and packaging in the San Francisco Bay area, that I realized that I could actually make sculpture a career. Luckily, I also enjoy the “job” part of this career, which includes working with foundries and sub-contractors to produce the highest possible quality bronzes of my creations, and seeing to it that my sculpture is seen by as many people as possible through galleries, advertising, juried and invitational exhibitions and public placements.
Animals have always held a special place in my heart, from a childhood where stuffed animals and animal figurines took the place of dolls, and recurring nightmares of being stalked by big cats evolved into wonder-filled dreams of friendly encounters with them, to my present love of my own cats and passion for mingling with the magnificent creatures on safari in Africa or in our own wild areas of the American West.
Now I create sculptures of animals. They depict the life force of the animal, in all of its visual splendor, rather than a realistic depiction of outward appearances. Although I keep the animal’s basic form true to reality, it is my interpretation of that form, motion and inner spirit that is my art. Though I work directly in clay without preliminary drawings, I use line, released from two dimensions into three, to express the beauty, grace and power I see in the animal form. I call this “Interpretive Realism”.
My style has been described as hard-edged yet soft, sensitive yet powerful. It is a combination of my great appreciation for the wondrous qualities of beauty, power and profound innocence that I sense in the animals, and the blending of realism and abstraction in my visual interpretations, that imbues my sculpture with these qualities.
In my heart, I cannot understand the insensitivity of so many to the treasures we have in the animals. To do them justice, I must make each sculpture a treasure, a jewel, an inspiration to others to cherish these creatures as I do.