"I have never wanted to do anything other than art. Survival, making a living, has presented countless detours. Many of those distractions led to the work I do today. I have painted on old furniture, owned a company selling hand-decorated balloons, and created a landscape on my mother’s front door. I work in series, using found objects – anything wooden, used brushes stiff with dried paint, doll parts, animal bones, discoveries from second-hand shops. My work is strongly influenced by religious iconography. I consider myself a victim of my early Catholic education. Those eerie images from childhood haunt me today: holy cards with golden halos, the stigmata, and the Sacred Heart. These things attract and repulse at the same time. I have no illusions about talent, never refer to myself as an “artist.” My work is not extraordinary. It will never hang in the Louvre. However, creating gives me great pleasure, it is my therapy and reason to face another day. I get excited when others view my work and am so grateful to be included in this exhibit.
There was a time when I dubbed myself a “militant” New Orleanian. I claimed to have Mississippi River water running through my veins. Then “she” came, with her banshee winds, her crumbled levees, and her toxic flood. A part of my psyche drowned in Katrina. My husband and I lost our home, our business, and much of our identity in that storm. I was never able to go into my studio again, so lovingly created from an old garage. The deluge pushed my antique drafting table against the door, creating a dam of paints and canvases and water-logged work that will never again be seen. The human spirit is much like Pandora’s Box - there is always a bit of hope left inside. Later, I began to paint again. Our new home in Mississippi has inspired me with beautiful scenes and blues tunes. Much of my work has bits and pieces salvaged from the detritus of my past life. You may see fragments of rusted jewelry, shattered objects, and ephemera that have taken on an almost iconic symbolism. Like me, these elements may be damaged, but still survive. Even before Katrina, my mother accused me of making art that is sad. I disagree. My work is about finding beauty in things that are damaged, and in orphaned things searching for a home. It is quirky and offbeat. I hope it makes someone smile."