I began working in clay in 2009 when I took my first figurative sculpture workshop at Santa Fe Clay with Christina West at the age of 57. I did a 70% of full size self portrait and fell in love with working in clay. The following week I did a half size seated figure in a workshop with Dirk Staschke. As much as I loved the medium, I had no interest in doing "copies" of real people.
In late 2012 when I began sculpting my first large scale standing figure (Lillian), she was going to be an older woman in a bathing suit holding a towel up with both hands to hide her imperfect body, as if someone had walked up on her getting out of a pool. I did a small model first. Once I had finished sculpting Lillian's 54" body and head on the armature and began to work on her arms, I realized she wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed. She was not hiding behind a towel, she was proud and questioning what someone was doing invading her space. I had always been fascinated by the confidence some people portray with their imperfect faces and bodies while others pump up or cut up their faces and bodies in an attempt to achieve what they deem to be the ideal. Sculpting Lillian made me recognize my need for acceptance of my own imperfections.
I try to infuse my work with humor exaggerating features and flaws in the body to let the viewer smile and recognize themselves in my work. My "friends" are proud of who they are and how they look and almost dare the viewer to find fault in their appearances.
Two recent sculptures were portraits of the faces of a couple in their early 60s while I made their bodies much younger and more "perfect." I guess that's one way to take off the years! I love what I am doing and hope I am able to continue to grow for many more years.