neldaWhile working full-time for the State of Alaska, a design class at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art sparked my interest in an art career. After experimenting with different mediums, I chose fiber and used acrylic painted silk to make quilts. Influential artists at the time were Nancy Crow, Emily Richardson and Ned Wert; also, the writings and art of Emily Carr.

My quilts were juried into numerous national and international exhibitions. Two received the Award of Distinction at Quilt Nihon in Japan. Another received the Domini McCarthy Award at Quilt National. In 2006, I was artist-in-residence at the Weir Farm Historic Site in Wilton CT. For several years, I was on the board of the international non-profit Studio Art Quilt Associates.

Many of my quilts reside in public and private collections. Numerous galleries, museums and other venues have exhibited them, including the U.S. Embassies in Moscow, Cape Town, Podgorica and the U.S. NATO Embassy in Brussels. They are also featured in the Lark Books, ‘Masters: Art Quilts, Volume 2’.

A few years ago, my work in fiber came to its logical end. Oil painting became my new medium, partly because its portability fit my lifestyle. More importantly, I wanted to create realistic images. Painting classes and workshops with established artists, as well as studying the work of other painters (especially Georgia O’Keefe and Andrew Wyeth), helped me explore this exciting new medium.

A well-received early portrait ignited a spark; I have specialized in portraits ever since. Portraiture provides an opportunity for me to examine ideas and beliefs; plus, making faces ‘come alive’ is challenging and very rewarding.