How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I worked for over a decade in the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, where I met my husband, Cody. When we found out we were having a baby, I left that career (because babies and oil fields don’t mix). I found myself finally able to decide what I really wanted to be when I grew up. So I revisited my life-long love of painting. Initially, I was painting for my daughter, Nevi—I wanted her world to be full of color and uplifting art. As I began honing my skills and my personal style, my little sister encouraged me to begin selling on Etsy, which I then did for about seven years. Eventually, my paintings began to filter out into galleries and I launched my website and began selling directly from my site.
Did you study art formally in school?
Nope. I’m self-taught.
Where do you currently reside?
Bigfork, Montana. My home overlooks Flathead Lake. The towering Mission Mountains are to the east, Glacier Park is a 30-minute drive away, and the village of Bigfork is an artistic little hamlet tucked beside the Swan River and behind a marina that spills out into the lake. I can’t figure out why everyone on the planet isn’t living here. It’s a dreamy place with a slow and peaceful pace.
Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
Wake up before the kids, sip Mainline coffee while I reply to customer emails, and formulate my “to-do” list (so I’ll have something to laugh at later in the day). Wake the kids for school, make a bagel with cream cheese for one, slightly “burny” toast with thin pats of cold butter for the other, tend to all special requests for lunches, pack ‘em, dress ‘em, hug ‘em, and put them on the bus. Breathe. Spend every possible moment creating without interruption. I go into a bit of a trance when I paint—texts are ignored, usually phone calls are as well, and time passes so quickly; I’m almost always surprised by the roar of the bus coming up the hill. Then, I get to hear all about kindergarten and first grade from the two sweetest little kiddos and start the evening routine. After I put the kids to bed, I try to reflect on the day and take time to catch up on all of the correspondence I missed while creating.
What are some of your own “rules” for living + working?
I try not to put too many restrictions on how I work. It seems that the more flexible I am with my process, the more genuine my paintings are. However, since my studio is in my living room, I do try to paint when I have that space to myself. I’m not very good at starting and stopping; when I’m in my creative zone, I like to stay there!
What objects have been most significant to you lately?
I never would have thought that I’d ever say this: flowers and botanicals. I’ve always meandered between abstract works and landscapes. Creating my latest abstract florals has been such a unique and organic journey. I’m also pretty obsessed with geometric shapes right now.
Please describe your last month in a word.
Can you share an as-of-yet unrealized project with us?
Yes! In the spring, I plan to team up with children’s clothing company, Couture Flower, to release a line of children’s swing dresses created with fabric from my original art.
What are you serious about?
Teaching my kids to be kind and honest. Being punctual. Following through with commitments.
What things will you never take seriously?
Anti-aging serums, Web MD, shabby chic, people who tell me their kids love broccoli, salmon, and kale.
What are some keys to balancing work and life?
It’s all such a big jumble of chaotic fabulousness that’s it’s difficult to even separate the two. An artist’s eye rarely rests so when I’m out and about enjoying the day with family, I’m the one stopping to investigate the leaves on a fern or photographing a cluster of clouds. When I’m in the studio, I love to involve my family and it’s not unheard of for all of us, my very creative husband included, to sit down for an art session together. When your job is to be creative and innovative, I think life and work naturally blend into one another.
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