Growing up on a farm gave me an appreciation for nature and wildlife, as well as a love of domestic animals. The artistic bent showed up early, probably as soon as I could hold a pencil. I do not remember a time when I was not drawing, usually horses. In college, I pursued both interests, and earned a degree that let me teach both Biology and Art.
My creative designs are nature inspired; realistic people, landscapes, wildlife and pets. I have progressed from drawing to painting to carving and to needle felting. As you contemplate my artwork may you feel the spirit of love and joy in which it was created.
Drawing led to painting, sculpting clay led to carving, and the combined skills have emerged in felting. A few years ago, I came upon an ad for a book involving the craft of needle felting. Having never heard of this before, I was intrigued. I researched the craft in books and online. My discoveries led me to give needle felting a try.
Felting, simply put, is the tangling and matting of wool fibers. If you have ever had long hair that tangles, it is basically the same principle. Wool felts because the fibers have mini scales that open and close due to things like heat, friction, and soap.
My first little sculpture was a polar bear. There have been a lot of little creatures born of wool since then, ranging from a turtle to a camel, a butterfly to an owl. Wild, tame or make believe, all creatures lend themselves to this medium. Built entirely of wool, or upon a wire armature, or with joints held together with string, these sculptures can be either static or fully articulated. The joy of seeing these creatures slowly achieve their individual forms keeps me at this labor intensive activity.
Two-dimensional artworks also come alive in wool. These can be needled felted, wet-felted, or (my favorite) a combination of the two. Using dyed wool as my “paint” I can mix colors by combining fibers or adding layers of one color of fiber over another. My wool “paintings” can also be built up, similar to a bas (shallow) relief carving. It is a good way of bringing a little more dimension and life into a subject. So much so, that combined with the natural warm nature of wool, these felted pieces beg to be touched by the viewer!