About the Artist
A self-taught wood carver and mixed-media artist, my inspiration comes from the beauty that surrounds us here on Kodiak. The ocean, forest, mountains and beaches are permeated with the spirits of my Alutiiq Ancestors. Using found materials and my life-long experience of growing up in Kodiak have helped to infuse my work with these elements.
I live and work in Kodiak, Alaska, along with my partner, my two dogs: Gus & Mokka, and one cat - Isabelle - who thinks she is a dog.
I’ve been making art since I was young – drawing, painting and carving driftwood. My mother provided encouragement and the materials, as did my older siblings and my teachers. Growing up in Kodiak, nature has always been an inspiration to me. Today, I still use a lot of found natural materials in my work – everything from beach glass to driftwood.
I enjoy carving wood, making traditional Alutiiq-inspired masks and figures. I have carved full-sized masks, but moved to miniatures due to space and material constraints. My figures, which I call “Alutiiq Dancers” have sprung from my love of masks. After moving back home to Kodiak in 2008, I felt the masks needed a body – a ‘dancer’ to fully capture the spirit of the masks. The Dancers range in size from 6 inches to 5 feet tall. I often incorporate articulating limbs, and the bodies of the dancers are often made using found driftwood and sticks, as well as other found materials.
I have found increasing joy in making mixed media shadow boxes and spirit houses. With these pieces, I combine a background in gouache watercolor, papers and encaustic medium with miniature woodcarvings and hand-built boxes. The boxes often feature archetypal symbols: trees, birds and nests, fish – vignettes of life in Kodiak.