Oil pastels – In 1988 I lived in Chicago. I started training as a massage therapist and I found a group of people who wanted to teach about Death and Dying. I attended a certificate program from a group of caring people called The Center for Education on Death and Dying. We met for 8 months and learned how to walk with, be with people who were dying, and how to be present with the family members. They taught that in order to help others with death and dying, we had to learn to express and take care of ourselves around the same topic. I remember how the feeling in the room changed and it seemed we were all holding our breath as crayons and paper, and oil pastels were tossed on the table. I loved the invitation of trying to “speak” in colors as I was not very confident at speaking in words! I still integrate oil pastels in my acrylic paintings.

Photo collage – I make personalized photo collages from magazine images or calendars or cards and arrange them on poster board. My only guidance for this project is writing on the back what my vision or goal is for the moment. I usually make them at the beginning of a new year or when I need to “see” my way through a challenge at work or with the world. I lead individuals and groups to do this insightful activity as well.

Acrylic paints on canvas with a variety of textures – such as rice paper, cloth, acrylic medium textures, glass beads, and yarn or threads. Painting has become my favorite method of art today. I knew little about how to paint, and I say I can’t draw a straight line but that has not stopped me from exploring color and texture and shapes. I often draw birds or wings without realizing it until I step back and reflect on the images. Painting on canvas is the most common way I have created commissions for others, knowing only the colors they wish to see in their home. The paintings unfold with messages and images created thru me and for the customer.

Stained glass mosaic. I saw a friend make a stained glass piece in a picture frame on clear glass. She filled the spaces with grout instead of led or foil. I love the richness of the color of glass. Sometimes I am able to create an actual picture instead of abstract shapes, but either way they show the passion I have for speaking in color. I also use metals on top of the glass to act as accents. I also design with agates, crystals and unique rocks.