I grew up in a small town on the midwestern prairie and I am still drawn to wide-open landscapes, old houses, quiet main streets, and the everyday objects my grandmothers would have used. I document what inspires me with watercolor and the camera lens, searching for a broader story in the buildings, things, and landscapes that surround us.
I live in Minneapolis with my husband and dog, and I enjoy the solitude and quiet of home, but I can also get restless. That’s when I know it’s time to go explore new places. But most days I remain a stationary rambler, transporting myself elsewhere through images, paint, and a pen.
I love watching watercolor paint move across paper. Moody photographs and soft colors. Sad songs, dive bars, and the sound of the pedal steel. Polaroid cameras, books, all things Patti Smith, and anything that reminds me of the places I’ve been fortunate to call “home”.
the high lonesome sound
I think that people who create things - paintings, music, sculpture, film - are constantly searching for words to describe what it is that they do. I struggled with this for a long time, and then one day, while listening to one of my favorite playlists, the term ‘high lonesome sound’ came to me as loud and clear as a bell. It’s a term for bluegrass and old-time country music, which can — with the sigh of the pedal steel or the relentless drive of a banjo — transform every emotion and shared human experience into songs of sorrow and redemption and hope.
It’s this “sound” — the transformation and storytelling, the link between the past and the present that echoes of memory, place, and time — that I strive to find when I’m searching for images that move me. When I leave home to wander the plains and small towns of the upper midwest or when I travel to new places and distant shores, I keep my eyes wide open, collecting and documenting what I find until I return home to transform those experiences and photographs into new images, new paintings, new connective threads. It’s my story, my own strands of meaning waiting to be gathered up and woven together. But it’s also a shared story. An old, universal, distinctly unknowable story that is yearning to be told through place and time. Spare and solitary, the images evoke — I can only hope — the high lonesome sound that calls us all to gather together, saying look at this. Feel this. Remember this.