I have always described myself as a doodler and a dabbler, but my childhood love of art was largely put aside for the 35 years I spent raising my sons and fulfilling the demands of a career as a counselor and casework supervisor in the Illinois Department of Corrections. I sustained my creative leanings with a bit of doodling, sewing and writing when I could fit it in. Retirement in 2008 allowed time and opportunity to fuel the growing passions for all things art.
Since then, I’ve experimented with many things but have taken a particular interest in creating original, one of a kind art dolls utilizing polymer, paper and epoxy clay, wire, sticks, foil, yarn, beads, fabric and found objects. I delight in bold features, colors and expressions and am often surprised by the faces and figures which emerge from somewhere deep within. Over the last year or so, I’ve also been interested in creating colorful collages using hand painted papers. Birds are a favorite subject. I’ve been experimenting with painting and hope to get back to an old favorite – metal working/jewelry making this year. I plan to offer some classes in doll making as well.
A move to beautiful Colorado in December 2014 to be near family and allow me to be “Gramma Kat” to my wonderful grandchildren has turned out to be an exciting adventure and I am thrilled also to have found such a warm, welcoming and encouraging home in the Longmont Arts Community. I love volunteering with The Firehouse Art Center and Arts Longmont and being a member of the eclectic Kay Carol and Priscilla Co-Op Gallery and Art Bar. I participate in the Firehouse poetry groups and the new “Word Wednesday” at KCP. I was fortunate to create dolls for the FRESH event the last two years and am eager for other projects and collaborations.
There are not enough hours in the day to delve into all of the rich opportunities that Longmont has to offer. My own art dolls and collections of paintings by friends and others have taken over every room of my home in dizzying splashes of color. A jar of disembodied heads waits by the TV. Eyes wink and watch from every nook and cranny. Medicine dolls stand guard. My basement studio contains a chaotic mix of materials, paint and overflowing bins of fabric, yarn and miscellaneous bits, keeping me mostly prepared for middle of the night whims and inspirations.
I call my house/home/studio “hilARiTas” in the spirit of the Roman goddess of rejoicing and good humor. I don’t think it’s a co-incidence that “ART” is hidden in her name. I hope that this air of affirmation and celebration lights my work and brings a smile to the hearts of those who experience it.