I approach painting and floral work in much the same way. I am always drawn first to color. I have my “favorite colors” like everyone does, but the longer I work with color, the more interested I have become in odd parings, in seeing something work out unexpectedly. I don’t like hot pink, for example. I may even despise hot pink. But, there it is, next to something all lavenders and creams or in a peach toned piece and, tucked down in the bottom, it elevates the arrangement. I like seeing these surprises. In the same way, I like to paint something that will surprise me a little. I like to draw a character that makes me laugh, or I like to lay water out and coax color in a direction, not sure of what will happen. The feeling of having a conversation with my work is vital to me. This is where I draw the line between being a traditional florist and being a traditional artist. I have found my place somewhere in between these two definers. I relate to both and I cringe at both. I think of myself as someone aiming to be as free as possible while creating visual emotional content. Floral artist? Maybe. I haven’t decided yet.

For both painting and arranging flowers, I take my main inspiration from the outdoors. I spend a lot of time outside and this is where my steam comes from. I love to work with large branches in a sculptural way, I love to harvest the tiny, weedy, speedwell flowers from the lawn. I am passionate about sustainability and the environment. I am excited about anything local grown and use as much as possible. I use a kenzan or chickenwire mostly and I like old vessels. For painting, I use 140lb Arches hot press paper, graphite and Schmincke watercolors. If works are framed I have used found frames collected from second hand shops and estate sales. This form of reuse is important to me and again, brings an element of conversation into my practice.

Here, I bring in white poplar foliage from the yard. I love a “yard haul” best!

Here, I bring in white poplar foliage from the yard. I love a “yard haul” best!