“That is me!” is one of my favorite phrases to overhear.
At every opening and art show men and women, parents and grandparents, siblings and life-long friends will come look at my art and see themselves. They will look at the two children in the washtub and remember their summers on the farm. They will see three “kittens” on a motorcycle and identify with the mischief and rebellion of their youth – or their friend’s youth. Someone will look at the girls in the garden and remember their mother’s gladiolas.
The simple truth is I love storytelling and history. I love how our past ties us to our future. The way we remember our youth and our relationships with our friends and relatives provides the foundation for who we want – or don’t want – to be. I am fascinated by the American Dream and what is a uniquely American experience. I seek to portray that dream in my paintings and want to show how the memories of life’s experiences still define us, touch us and move us.
In my opinion, what makes my paintings special is not their uniqueness – and they are unique – but their universality. The strength of my painting style is in its ability to touch so many, each in a unique way.
I started using family photos as a resource and reference. In the process of tracing my roots, I was struck by the scenes of the 1930s. Grandma working the farm, driving a tractor. A barber proudly posing next to his new sign. A farm girl chatting to her pet crow.
I found one of my grandmother, Elizabeth Pritchard, in a waitress uniform, standing in front of a café in Eau Claire, Wisconsin from 1932. Behind her was a sign reading, “Regular Dinner.”
It was appealing because I had been a waitress, and I wanted to know, what is a “Regular Dinner” and where can I get one?
As a self-taught, classically-styled oil painter I can, and occasionally do, paint in a traditional realistic style. However, today my style has evolved into my own uniquely impressionistic delivery: the moments are real, the delivery is my impression and the reaction is personal.