Hi, Tori! Could you describe your personal art journey?
I had the good fortune to grow up in a very creative household. My Mom and Dad were respectively artisan and architect; decorative and functional items of many types were often designed and made by hand, along with very inventive re-purposing of all kinds of stuff. I had great art teachers in high school, and went on to study equal parts fine art and illustration at Skidmore College and Syracuse University, rounded out by liberal arts. I've been a working visual fine artist and illustrator since graduation in 1979, and also done creative work on the side in visual merchandizing, gallery, framing, and culinary field; This not only supplemented art income, but was good discipline in, and excersize of, the creative process. Recently I have been doing mural work, which has provided both the liberation and challenges of working on a much greater scale, and also brought my fine art, designer, and illustration souls together at last.
What brings you the most joy while painting?
What brings me the most joy while painting are the hours when I am like a conduit through which the creative act flows like water; All accumulated knowledge becomes like second nature and everything fits together like a beautiful finished puzzle.
I have slowly experimented my way through many drawing, painting, and 3-D mediums; Each has a different strength, joy, and lesson to teach, and seems to inform the next. The current result is a combination of energetic drawing with paint, layered with glazing, on toned grounds that often include softly glowing metallic pigments. I think storytelling content of and humor in my work has been enhanced by time spent illustrating. Especially with the murals, I like to create an exotic environment with characters, where the viewer can make up their own stories from what they see; like a big rectangular picture book.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am greatly inspired by the beauty of the natural world and it's creatures, by human and canine friends and family, the work of visual artists of all kinds and periods, music, great food, film, and animation.
Where are you from and how does your background influence your work?
I have always lived near water, been by it, in it, and on it. There is big visual magic in the constantly changing relationships between earth, sky, and water; it is probably the most common denominator in my work.
"For whatsoever from one place doth fall, is with the tide unto another brought, for there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought." from Edmund Spenser's "The Faerie Queen"