When I think about art, and my life as an artist, it is hard to discern the genesis. It’s as if strands combined without my knowing, and formed a cord that caught me and pulled me along this path. A Christmas box of pastels given to me by an aunt that enchanted me. An art award in elementary school that made everyone happy. The peacefulness of the potter’s wheel in high school. The touchstone of the solitary paintbrush in the pencil drawer through the years when art was not allowed. Everyone has their story. Somehow when the story got dark, I just kept on going.

When I became a single mom, I found the thread again. Art was something I could do while raising a son and a daughter. It is the one place where I always feel at home. By then, I had pieced together a wheel and a kiln. I had the start of a studio, in the back of our lot. A class at CSULB lead me to Otis College of Art, where Ralph Bacerra became a mentor and advocate. This lead to scholarships (thank you Pasadena Art Alliance!) and earning my MFA degree. So many doors open, so many obstacles overcome. I’ve often thought: perhaps I am more tenacious than talented. I know that I see the world in a unique and particular way, yet I wonder that creativity is more a function of hard work. By now, I’ve kept on going until art/artist are no longer distinguishable to me. It’s who I am and what I do.

When I hear or read other artist’s stories, I see they usually have been to and received inspiration from many great places: famous schools, noteworthy residencies, enviable opportunities and travel. I was tied to Long Beach raising my children. Finally, it dawned on me what an amazing series of gifts it has been that the story of my life and art came to me. Right here.

Literally. Physically. I make a good deal of my art from what has come to me. These molds were made by objects handed down to me. Those molds are made from my children’s toys. Those others are made from trash that washed up on the beach a half block from my house. Still others are made from the detritus of yard sales near my home. I make this functional work from that which has largely been cast off. I also love that my chosen medium, clay (even porcelain), is just dirt. It’s all ordinary elements touched by tenacious human hands, transformed by fire, and re-birthed into beauty which goes back into the world.