I love working with natural objects, Mother Earth provides us with such vast amounts of beauty. The subjects and styles I choose are mixed-media gourd sculptures. There are absolutely no two gourds alike so each gourd is a completely new canvas. I integrate designs from nature, different cultures and the gourd itself having its own unique "spirit" will at times lead me in the direction of whimsy.
I am most often inspired by the shape of a gourd, but color plays a big part in my art. Although at times leaving the gourd largely unadorned speaks louder than the most riotous color. I am inspired by other artists and yet I maintain my individuality. I find that my greatest challenge is to bring out each individual gourd's special quality or spirit. Sometimes I will have a gourd for a year or more, picking it up from time to time..........when it is ready to be made into a piece of art, then and only then, will it speak to me.
After five years of creating gourd art, it still isn't effortless for me, but I do see a progression in my abilities. If I make a mistake, it is sometimes difficult to undo, but if I go with the entirely new course, pieces take on a life of their own. Often times when a piece doesn't turn out exactly the way I had in mind, it will get put in the back of the closet until, much later, I bring it out and am newly inspired into creating with it again.
I walk through hardware stores looking at rubber washers, wire, nails, plastic pvc pipe, copper and this and that..... and my mind is always working on how I can use it in the gourd sculpture. Quite often I use found objects that I come across while taking a walk in the woods, or across the filed behind my home. My husband is a hunter and will save me feathers from his hunts. I will also use bottle caps, corks, jar lids and various other times that might be around the house.
Creating with gourds makes me happy. Seeing the gourd's transformation from one unique form into something else altogether fills me with a sense of accomplishment. It is my hope that those examining my art are able to get as much pleasure as I feel when creating it and just maybe get a sense of who I am because so much of me goes into each piece I create.
I want to thank the one person in my life who has encouraged me and supported me in my efforts to become a gourd artist....my life partner and my very best friend ever, (and now my husband) Gene Riegel. Also my other four biggest fans, my children - Angie & Eddie, Luke and Tyler. Thank you all for supporting me and loving me.