I was born in 1933 in the Eastern part of Poland. At a young age I was not exposed to the visual arts in particular, but there was an appreciation for beauty, nature, science and music within the family, which had an influence on me early on.
My life was idyllic until I was 6 years old when World War II broke out and both Germany and Russia conquered Poland within two weeks time. We were forced to escape from Poland and spent the next nine years as refugees throughout Europe. After the war we could not go back home as the three world powers had decided that our area of Poland would become part of Russia.
Throughout these traumatic years I found solace in nature and especially in drawing the things I loved: landscapes, trees, flowers and animals. To this day I find that beauty tends to have a healing effect on me. I have not found that expressing traumatic events in my work helps me deal with the dark side of life, although I do not doubt that it is therapeutic for others.
During the chaos of the war years my education was very spotty and there were long periods where there was no formal schooling available. My parents did their best to educate me in informal settings, often one on one with a tutor. I did have an opportunity to study privately with a few artists, some of whom taught me technique and discipline but also put a stop to my desire to be an artist. At the ripe age of 15 I decided I really did not have sufficient talent to become an artist, as I my work did not measure up to the work of the classical masters!
Six years after the war my parents and I were finally able to leave Europe and emigrate to the United States of America.
Not until much later in life, after my four children were in their early teens, did I decide to pick up painting where I had left off at a young age. I spent several years studying Chinese brush painting and attending various college art courses including dance, theater and visual arts.
While living in California I was inspired by the luminous watercolor paintings of the California school. I studied this delightful medium with several master teachers.
It was in California where I met my dear friend, sculptor and digital artist, Renata Spiazzi (featured on IDEA#5) who was a pioneer in creating amazing art on the computer. A couple of years later she visited me in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and by that time her work had become even more inspiring. I could not wait any longer to make the leap into the amazing digital medium. With her encouragement I have been at it ever since and have never regretted it.
Often I create my work right in the computer without source material as if the monitor where the canvas. Other times I use photos as a source for my work; I combine them with patterns, other images or text to create digital collages. Photoshop is my favorite software along with several plugins. I work on a Mac G3 with 1 Gig of Ram, three hard drives, two monitors, Umax scanner, Wacom tablet, a CD writer and an Epson 3000 printer. Being able to do my own prints with archival inks and fine art paper gives me the freedom to experiment without reliance on an outside source. Even though I have learned to calibrate and control color management, this seems to be an ongoing challenge.
I feel that my background in traditional painting has given me a good base for using the digital medium. It has also changed my way of creating art. Rather than just another artistic tool, the computer has become a collaborator for expressing and communicating ideas. I find that I can do so much more without the constraints of traditional media.
My interests lie in the connection between man and nature, our planet and the universe. I feel that we are at a time in our development where we are closer than ever to an understanding of these important connections.
Working with images is my way to experience, gain insights and communicate these concepts about how things work on many levels. I also believe there is much to be gained by combining art and science which reflect two particular and important facets of our human makeup.
Garden in a Cup
Light & Shadow
Soul of the Machine
28 Avenida Las Nubes
Santa Fe, NM 87508, USA