I'm a self-taught collage artist, equestrienne, teacher,
wife and mother. I love books and movies. I'm married to a NASA engineer (an actual rocket scientist!) who still
plays with trains, is a human GPS and loves toast. My 16 year old daughter is a high school junior, competitive swimmer, artist,
singer and all around cool kid. She inspires me every single day.
I own a 15.2 hand, off the track,
dark brown bay Standardbred named Rudy Valentino. He's fabulous! I ride Dressage and trail 4 or 5 days per week. We have
two cats, MungoJerrie and RumpleTeazer, a tabby and a black short hair. They were rescued ferals and are the love of our lives.
I work part-time as a school-based sub at an elementary school. I love my job! Where else can you work as the PE teacher,
music teacher, Spanish teacher, Kindergarten teacher, 1st - 5th grade teacher, or librarian (sometimes all in one day!)
This article ran in The Washington Post Magazine on April 18, 2010.
Tell us about a time when an artistic endeavor led to an unpredictable result.
While my daughter, Devon, was in middle school, I started feeling sad that my little girl
was growing up so fast, and I wanted to find a unique way to remind her that I loved her. I remembered that when she was younger
we used to do art projects together, cutting out pictures from magazines and gluing them onto paper to make collages. So,
I decided to surprise her every weekday by creating a collage small enough to fit into her lunchbox.
Enthusiatic, I threw myself into my projects, staying up late each night making the collages. I used
found objects such as bottle caps, buttons, glitter and images and sayings from old calendars, magazines, and books. Eventually,
however, the nightly effort became too time-consuming, and I cut back to a couple of times a week.
Devon’s lunch buddies loved my art, and I showed the collages to some close friends, who encouraged me
to share them with the public. Their reaction to my work surprised me. I had never considered myself an artist, and I wasn’t
even the crafty type. I was just having fun expressing myself with scissors and glue and making gifts for my daughter.
I had visited Artomatic, the annual monthlong D.C. arts festival, in 2008 and recalled the
mix of exhibits by established artists and newcomers. So, I decided to give it a shot at last summer’s festival and
set up my own exhibit with about 70 collages. The response was overwhelming, and my guest book was filled with positive
reviews. Some of the comments were very moving, including one from Julia, who wrote about the power of a mother’s love:
“... no one told me what it would be like to experience such endless love. Perhaps it is better expressed by art than
words.” I sold my first major work at Artomatic and have received more commissions.
What started out as personal messages to my daughter has become a life-changing endeavor for me. I
stopped putting the collages in Devon’s lunchbox when she became a teenager — messages from Mom aren’t so
cool in the high school cafeteria. But my gifts to her have also become a gift to me: I can now call myself an artist.
North By Northwest
Some Like It Hot
A Streetcar Named Desire
West Side Story
Wizard of Oz
A Wonderful Life
Slum Dog Millionaire
Wee's Big Adventure
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
O Brother Where Art Thou
Waking Ned Devine
Lars and the Real Girl
Eternal Sunshine of the
Being John Malkovich
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Old Man And The Sea
The Grapes of Wrath
The World According to Garp
The Kite Runner
Peace Like A River
The Sixteen Pleasures
Where the Heart Is
The Secret Life of Bees
The Red Tent
Balzac and the Little Chinese
The Book Thief