My artistic education began in London, England, where I was born and raised. My childhood and youth was full of art: I viewed the Tate, British Museum, etc, before I could even recite my alphabet, and went on to win regional art awards such as the Laffan Prize, mixing fine art with literature. After getting an honors degree in philosophy, and post-grad in education, I moved onto a writing career in the USA, covering Asian Art and Textiles for pleasure, and film production and business for money. Even here Art kept seeping in: I drew all the maps and diagrams for my book, The Sari, which is still in print after 20 years, and found myself constantly drawing or reviewing art in unexpected places. After a stint on Wall Street to straighten my finances, I’m back where began– creating Art.
Organizationally, that lead me to becoming a member of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Woodstock Artist Association & Museum, the Arts Association of Kingston, and being active in committees, where I have curated various juried and invitational shows. Artistically, my artwork has so far appeared in juried venues in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, Glens Falls, Woodbury, and Noank, CT.
I started painting in oils in 2013, inspired by the Catskill mountains in my back yard and the excellent artists at the Woodstock School of Art. I have also studied at the Art Students League, the NY School of Drawing & Sculpture, as well as the botanical art classes at the NY Horticultural Society.
My color sense is influenced by India and the Middle East, where I spent years in pursuit of South Asian art, textiles, and culture–and it is revealed in my oils and pastels. I’m not afraid of color. My love of the natural world began in early childhood in tandem with my imbibing abstract expressionism, Frances Bacon, Persian miniatures, and eighteenth century botanists. It’s the latter that kept me informed with pen & ink drawing, and my drive toward nature that attracted me to using of natural dyes as a painting medium with ink, using such easy-to-find elements as onions, walnut, and turmeric, to more artistically obscure dyes as annetto, real indigo, and dragon’s blood. I’m attracted to oils precisely because of their link to the natural world (the use of linseed oil, many earth-originated colors, etc) although I do enjoy the cadmiums!
In addition to my book (The Sari, published by Thames & Hudson), my art-related and Asian cultural writing has appeared in Arts of Asia, Travel & Leisure, Cigar Aficionado, Ars Textrina (juried academic journal), Art & Antiques, Roll Magazine, among others. I have lectured on Asian textiles at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Fashion Institute of Technology, The Textile Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Art.
Hell Freezing Over, 28×22 in., oil on canvas, a portrait of the Kaaterskill Falls, 2017
Maple Leaves in Fall – 11 x 14 in – colored pencil on paper (Oct 2017)