I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and moved to San Francisco in my early twenties. Seattle was a great place to grow up, but I didn't handle the weather well and felt a need to "strike out on my own," so moved to my favorite city. I have now lived in the Bay Area for 30 years. Seattle is still instrumental in my life; I have family and numerous friends there and I visit frequently. Its landscape is dear to me and it appears often in my paintings, though the viewer may not notice. It feels like my 'homeland.'
The artists who went before us in the previous 100 years were my first inspirations; the images they made stunned my eyes and my consciousness, carved out the entryway to this massive forest that is artistic expression. I studied art for a few years at the University of Washington and since then have taken art classes or workshops at various venues. I renewed my focus on art in the early 80's and became serious about painting (I had to overcome the fear that Francis Celentano had struck in my heart years before!) I found a mentor in artist/teacher Michael Cookinham at the DeYoung Museum Art School and continued critique sessions with his MICA group for 10 years thereafter. He showed us how to look at painting-our own and others- and to think about what is happening on the canvas. Since then, I have found my greatest teacher to be uncharted time working alone in the studio, analyzing what I've done, reflecting, then back to work. Friendships with fellow artists have also been instrumental in my growth, with special thanks to Joan Stuart Ross.
My studio is located at the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco. This plain, rough, quiet, industrial area is perfect for the art process. Here I can focus, sink in to that level of consciousness just below the daily surface, become absorbed in painting, and receive the revelations and the beauty, that it offers. Open Studio is held at Hunters Point Shipyard twice a year, the first weekend in May and the last weekend in October.
“The stuff of thought is the seed of the artist. Dreams from the bristles of the artist’s brush. And, as the eye functions as the brain’s sentry, I communicate my innermost perceptions through art, my worldview.” - Arshile Gorky
“….the thing is, a person who wants to explore painting naturally reflects: ‘how can I in my work be most expressive?’ then the form develops.” - Franz Kline
"Passion lies between one mark and the next, and also within all of them." - Howard Hodgkin
"....to paint out of my own landscape and find it." - Joan Mitchell
"If I know what I am doing, then I should be doing something else." - Lee Mullican
"Talent is simply a step one requirement….it only promises but doesn't usually deliver. What delivers is being at your station, being there, present to do the work." - Richard Ford quoting Raymond Carver
"Art is purposeless play."- John Cage
Joan Snyder’s “paintings are essentially narratives of both personal and communal experiences. In her paintings, each brush stroke is like a character in a story, pulsing with emotion and vitality.”
"Sometimes I return to the studio the next day and I see what I have done and I ask myself: did I do that?" - Philip Guston
"If you don't make your poems (read: paintings), who will?" - Mary Oliver
"You can waste a year worrying about it or you can get it over with now. (What are you, a woman or a mouse?)" - Annie Dillard
"Just keep working….” says the kind and stony gaze of George Tsutakawa peering out of a photo in my studio.