I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up; a teacher possibly, a musician since I had some gifts in that direction; maybe a librarian, since I loved to read, except that our local grouchy librarian was a discouraging role model. I didn't think too much about art, although I distinctly remember reading a Life Magazine article on Jackson Pollack when I was about ten. Strong encouragement from home put me into Home Economics - a safe choice for a minister's daughter in the ‘50s. I wasn't a sterling student, neither prone to following directions nor tying all my threads.
One of the BS requirements was 2-D Design where I discovered that I had been using basic design concepts for years and I that I really enjoyed mixing paint. Much of what I knew about music seemed to resonate with the visual exercises. The class was located next to the small college gallery where I experienced a show of Abstract Expressionists as well as an extraordinary collaboration between John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Somehow art seeped into my soul during that time, mixed in with the dreaded home management house ("housework is love made visible") and stealing time for music. A lot more life happened before I chose to pursue fine art, and textiles in particular. I received my MFA in Mixed Media around the time I turned 40, honored as a University Scholar at Northern Illinois University.
I teach workshops for adults and have participated in residencies all over the world. One personal goal has been to help the field of textiles be recognized as a major part of the art world. This particular goal has generously been repaid, opening doors and providing opportunities and friendships with colleagues in many parts of the world that I could never have predicted.
I write about my field, and have learned much from the artists who have been my subjects in both magazine articles as well as in my book Celebrating the Stitch: Contemporary Embroidery of North America (Taunton Press 1991)