I’ve always been fascinated by driftwood. Something about the smooth, bleached, bonelike quality of the wood appeals to the senses. And if you step into a gift shop anywhere near an ocean or in my case, the Great Lakes, you will see that many artists and craftspeople feel the same.

These are some photographs that I took during a recent vacation to Lake Superior, at Park Point Beach in Duluth, MN.

When I returned from my vacation I decided to start a painting without a specific goal in mind. I started laying down brushstrokes, and they evolved into a body of water with a horizon, and then a sunset. Finally I painted driftwood, swirling around the axis of the sun. driftwood_web.jpg

Driftwood 20 x 28 in. Acrylic on stone paper, 2016



I traveled to Shanghai, China January 3rd – 13th for the ArtShape Mammoth Symposium and Art Exhibition. Vera Sun, who lives in Shanghai, was our curator, interpreter and guide.

Special thanks to Vera, Amy and ArtShape Mammoth for all of the planning. And to all of my generous friends and family who made the trip financially possible through an Indiegogo fundraising campaign. I also received funding from a University of Wisconsin – Barron County Professional Development grant.

Thank you Chen Qiang, Que Fengguo, Pan Wei and Huang Yuanqing for letting us tour your art studios and for sharing in the art conversation, the Vanke Center and curator Polo for hosting the 5×5 event, and the East China Normal University Art Department.

The art exhibition was held at Gallery 203 at 50 Moganshan Road, which is a popular art district in Shanghai.



Visiting Artist Lecture at East China Normal University. My lecture was titled, “Mountains to Forests, How Nature Influences Art”

A conversation between 5 artists from the U.S. and China at the Vanke Center:

Art around the city:

The Bund:

Yuyuan Garden



I have the chance to go to China in January to show my artwork at the Mingyuan Art Museum in a group exhibition with 6 other artists. I will also visit artist studios and galleries in Shanghai, so I need to raise some funds for my travel expenses. Please check out my Indiegogo campaign, this is a great opportunity to acquire some of my original art for a great price! Please share with your friends as well to get the word out.

Here’s the link:

Help me go to China to Exhibit my artwork!




Check out my interview for 365 Artists/365 Days!

365 Artists | 365 Days

Fractal Digitally printed fabric, steel wire 36 x 36 x 5 in.  2015 Fractal
Digitally printed fabric, steel wire
36 x 36 x 5 in.

Briefly describe the work you do.

I explore geographic formations and organisms that are found in nature through acrylic painting. My process begins with photocopy transfers of digital photographs, then I change the reference points and surroundings. Terrain is composed of fractals, so without a frame of reference it can be nearly impossible to determine scale. 

I allow spontaneity and chaos to play a role in my paintings, as a way to connect to disorder and entropy. This involves spraying, dripping, and applying color with wide hake brushes onto an absorbent panel. An otherworldly element is added as I contort and manipulate the illusion of space on the painted surface, intuitively working in layers. Pours, drips and blooms of pigment speak to gravity and help to create an illusion of deep space or surface tension. 

Tell us…

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Since I am a new lecturer of art at University of Wisconsin – Barron County, I had the opportunity to hang a show in the campus gallery. This is an exhibition of works on paper from the past two years. Some of the paintings were done during my time in Montana, others from the Anderson Center in Red Wing Minnesota, and the Golden Foundation Artist Residency in New Berlin, New York. I have to say that this is the first time that I have displayed my paintings in the presence of a grand piano and suit of armor. 

I’m looking forward to classes starting next week. I will be instructing Intro to Drawing, Intermediate Drawing, Two-Dimensional Design and Women in the Arts.

I would also like to share a link to a Studio Visit by Fresh Paint Magazine. 

Fresh Paint Magazine

Last week I drove to Bozeman, Montana for art exhibitions, catching up with friends, and reuniting with the outdoors. I missed the mountains A LOT and I know that a part of me will always think of Montana as home.

One of the reasons I went to Montana was to install and attend an exhibition at the Danforth gallery in Livingston. Here’s the show postcard:



Images from the opening:

I also had work at in opening at the Collage Gallery in Bigfork, Montana. The opening was the same night as the Danforth so I wasn’t able to make it.

My drawing a day project continued throughout the week, now I’m in the 200’s. Here are a few of my favorites.


Also… Goats


In January I started a project to complete one drawing a day for the entire year. This summer it has been a lot of fun to draw outside. Here is a selection of my Plein Air drawings from North Dakota.

Words that will make it into my artist statement: Chaos Nature Change Harmony Balance Climate These paintings are as much about paint as they are landscapes. Paint to me is a natural element, because it is a manipulation of light, absorbing and reflecting to create a broad spectrum of hues. The way that that pigments interact within the poured element provides an element of controlled chaos, creating unexpected effects that often change the direction of the piece. My most successful work comes from an organic process, where I am unable to predict how it will turn out in the end. Geothermal is the first of a series that juxtaposes photo elements and painterly gestures, pours, and linear elements with a tinted ground. In the past I have worked on unprimed watercolor paper and white gesso exclusively. The transfers are from photos that I took during hikes or backpacking trips in the wilderness, or from everyday life. This paintings has photos from five different locations. [caption id="attachment_889" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Thaw Cycle Acrylic, transfer on panel 20 x 24 in. Thaw Cycle
Acrylic, transfer on panel
20 x 24 in.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_890" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Warming Trend Acrylic, transfer on panel 12 x 12 in. Warming Trend
Acrylic, transfer on panel
12 x 12 in.[/caption]    

I recently moved to North Dakota (my home state) and set up a new studio. I’m loving having a space in my apartment so that I can work whenever I want to. It is especially convenient to stay indoors, since there have already been four blizzards in one month. I am calling this time of transition after graduate school my Tundra Residency. In fact, as I write this post Blizzard Era Bell is giving us 50 mph winds and -45 degree wind chills. (The Grand Forks newspaper names the blizzards after local residents).

I’ve also started a drawing-a-day project for the year of 2014. I will be posting photos of these soon. 

Here are two of my most recent paintings in my new series based on snow piles in North Dakota. All of the “mountain ranges” that you see are actually photos of snow taken out of context and presented without scale indicators.


Grand Illusion 16 x 20 x 1.5 in. Acrylic, photo transfer on panel




Transience 8 x 10 x 1.5 in. Acrylic, photo transfer on panel



 My studio in a state of disarray.