I worked as a nurse and then a restaurant manager until a near death experience 25 years ago, when my life took a very different turn and I began a period of serious soul searching. I did not grow up in any religion but was finding great solace in visiting churches at this time. I saw my first icons when I walked into a Ukrainian Church and was absolutely taken with the beauty.
I began visiting the church every day, sitting for hours in the presence of the icons. Eventually, I met the priest, who asked me if I would like to meet the man who painted the icons. We met and I began an in depth study of icon theory.
I did not go to art school; the handling of egg tempera paint and the craft of water gilding fine gold are self taught. Because I have not had religious or art training, I find the research of the image and literary histories of my subjects fascinating and inspiring. I also love the craftsmanship involved in working with pure gold and natural pigments - which are both challenging and rewarding mediums.
Mostly, I love icons, and had I not wandered into the Ukrainian Church that day, there is a good chance I may not ever have seen one. I don't think icons belong exclusively to any particular culture or religion, and I would like to see them remain relevant and available to anyone experiencing their attraction.
For this reason, while respecting traditional methods, materials, theory and images, I do strive to create icons with a fresh, contemporary appeal. There are so many wonderful stories, symbols and insights in iconography, it gives me great joy to work with them and to see them received and appreciated in these times.