Where, and how, did you start?
I was working in the MetroWest area of Massachusetts, running a studio/gallery/event/classes and workshop/maker space for over a decade in addition to my own studio practice. I began painting small studies of pears because I love their shape and color and these quickly became a favorite of the Boston area galleries I was working with during that time.
Upon moving to Vermont in 2001 as a single mother with a 4 year old daughter, the agrarian culture that surrounds my little hamlet became the focus of my small studies. I paint the harvests of my garden and the farms and orchards that surround my home. In addition to selling the original oil paintings, I sell prints and have been using the images to create fabric designs that are used to make scarves, accent pillows, table linens, tiles and dish towels.
I bought a house that had not been updated since the Eisenhower administration. My backyard is an early 20th c. archeological dig site. But I refer to it as charming. It needed some TLC. With dogs, cats, kids, and a small farmette assembling of goats and chickens, the tired and worn floors were best covered with floor cloths, as refinishing was expensive and seemed futile against the local population. Soon thereafter, floor cloths became the cornerstone of Flying Canvas Studio. They are commissioned by homeowners for specific home decor including color preference, design and size.
I also teach floor cloth painting workshops in my studio twice a year with small groups. I include a lunch created with local ingredients: homemade delicata squash ravioli with a garlic and rosemary cream sauce over braised kale, local cheese, and a pear tart for dessert, for example. I work with each member to create a design with the components and color that work for their space. Each guest leaves with a finished 2’ x 3’ floor cloth, a full tummy and new friends, we really have a lot of fun.