Artist Statement

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1966. At the age of seven, I knew I wanted to pursue a career as an artist after winning an award for my self portrait in crayon. My mother insisted that I take art classes after school and I became hooked. My grandmother had quite a collection of antiques, so as a child I enjoyed going to her house and setting up still lifes with her ornate treasures. As a teen I did a few commissions for friends and family. I graduated from Converse College in 1988 with a BFA in studio art. From 1988 - 1990 I went on to graduate school at University of Georgia where I received an MFA in drawing and painting. As a graduate student I attended a Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy which greatly influenced my work. The layers of history and the difference in culture were very motivating to me. While in school at Georgia, I met my husband, Garrett Speirs, also an artist.

The still life image has been a popular image for me for most of my time as an artist from the trompe l'oeil paintings on furniture and walls to the boards and canvases I paint today. After extended travels in Italy and France, the love of the region's local produce and flora has become a central theme in my work. Since moving to Santa Barbara more than 21 years ago, I've been inspired by the area's organic objects just outside my studio door and at our local farmer's market. I now strive for the magnified view of a vegetable, fruit or succulent pointing out the exquisite details in the lines, forms and colors one may overlook. Chickens, cows and hummingbirds have moved into my array of subject matter. I strive to portray a "portrait" of each of my subjects. Painting the beauty of the somewhat mundane object is an inspiring challenge for me. Everything that I paint once had a life and continues to in my oil paintings.

Experience

Education

Master of Fine Art

University of Georgia, 1988-1990

Bachelor of Fine Art

Converse College, 1984- 1988 

Studies Abroad Program

Cortona, Italy, 1988

Teaching

Art Teacher

2014 - 2016
Santa Barbara Middle School

Publications

The Complete Book of Floorcloths  Lark Publishing
Southern Living 1994
Voice Magazine 2017
Noozhawk 2017
Santa Barbara Magazine 2018
SB Seasons Magazine 2018
SB Independent 2018
SB News Press 2012, 2018 and 2019

Exhibits
  • 2019 “Survey of Succulents” solo show at Porch, Carpinteria
  • 2019 “Peak Summer” juried show at Carpinteria Arts Center, honorable mention
  • 2019 “Love is Love” juried show at Porch, Carpinteria
  • 2018 Santa Barbara Visual Artists “Pop Up show” 
  • 2018 - present exhibition at Roost Restaurant, Santa Barbara
  • 2018 “Seed” Show at Porch, Carpinteria for Thomas Fire Benefit Auction
  • 2017 Art Heals Juried Show Gallery 113
  • 2017 Menelli Tile and Design Pop up Show
  • 2017 "20 Love Collage Show" at Santa Barbara Tennis Club
  • 2017 "Beauty" juried show at Santa Barbara Tennis Club
  • 2017 "Spring" Palm Loft Gallery
  • 2017 "Crows, Owls and Animal Familiars" juried show at Casa Gallery"
  • 2016 Palm Loft Gallery Show
  • 2015 "Wings" juried show at Santa Barbara Tennis Club
  • 2015 "Eye" juried show at Santa Barbara Eye Institute
  • 2015 Featured artist at Hummingbird Store for Carpinteria Artist Studio Tour
  • 2014 Westmont College 12 x 12" show
  • 2014 Cheri Bibi Salon exhibit
  • 2014 "Bouquet of Hot Women Artists" Palm Loft Gallery
  • 2013 "Twins" Santa Barbara Tennis Club
  • 2013 Solo Show at Lola Boutique, Santa Barbara

-

  • 2012 "Faces" Juried show at Carpinteria Valley Arts Council
  • 2012 "Study in Color" Juried show Carpinteria Valley Arts Council, Honorable Mention
  • 2012 "Two Artists, One House" Architectural Foundation
  • 2012 "Painting Haiku" Palm Loft Gallery, Carpinteria
  • 2012-present Hummingbird, Carpinteria, CA
  • 2011 Westmont 12 x 12 show
  • 2011 Juried show at Jodi House
  • 2011 Pierre Lafond 1st Thursday show
  • 2011 Juried "Food" show Carpinteria Valley Arts Council,
  • 1st place award
  • 2011 - 2013 Atelier Gallery, Charleston, SC
  • 2010 - 2011 Plum Goods
  • 2010 Group Show at Montecito Frame and Gallery
  • 2010 Solo Show at Architectural Foundation
  • 2009 Hawthorne Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC
  • 2009 Group show at Carusso Woods Gallery
  • 2008 Juried Show at Palm Loft Gallery
  • 2006 - 2008 Juried Show at Santa Barbara Natural History Museum's Art Walk
  • 2007 Solo Show at All Saints by the Sea
  • 2004 & 2005 All Saints by the Sea Holiday Show
  • 1999 Volunteer Mural at All Saints by the Sea nursery
  • 1996 Commissioned mural for Furniture Market Showroom, High Point, North Carolina
  • 1995- 2000 Fiber Company, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • 1994 - 1997 Gifted Hand, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • 1992 - 1996 By the Yard, Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1992 National Gift show, Atlanta, Georgia