A Portrait of an Artist

Me somewhere in the Pyrénées in 1987

I grew up in a bicultural household. My father is American and my mother French. French was my first language and I learned to speak English in kindergarten. I remember the very distinct feeling of not knowing what the heck was going on while sitting cross legged on the classroom floor. We moved around a lot: from Maine to North Carolina, to France where we lived in Montpellier, the suburbs of Paris, and Tours, and back to North Carolina. Then I made my way north through school: undergrad in Virginia, grad school in Delaware – studying studio art then focusing on painting in grad school. After falling in love with cycling during school, I met my future husband at a bike race in Pennsylvania and moved in with him in Philadelphia. While working as an artist, I also worked in adventure travel, raced bikes, taught yoga and art as an adjunct. We moved to Australia where our son was born, then back Stateside to North Carolina where we settled in Winston-Salem.

Throughout all the moving around over the years, the constant has been art-making. I have figured out that I am my best self when I regularly sustain my artistic practice. I have a visceral need to create. It’s how I connect to the world and how I make sense of things.

on the way to Bodega Bay in California… Photo Credit: Rebecca Falls

I have juggled many jobs, but over the last 13 years I have balanced two careers, one in the adventure travel industry and one as an artist. In 2005 I had been out of grad school for a year, was teaching art at University of Delaware and working at a bike shop when I first saw a Trek Travel catalog. I looked them up and saw they were looking for new guides. After a notoriously grueling hiring process, I got the job. It has taken me 13 years to figure out how to successfully juggle my work with Trek Travel and my art career. I started as a guide and now work primarily as a Trip Designer, allowing me to work mostly from home, where I also maintain an art studio. The outside spaces I’ve been lucky enough to work in over the last decade have been perfect fodder for my imagination and are a constant source of inspiration in my artwork.

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