I am a self-taught artist, and my painting style could be described as dream-like surrealist, dark art.
I always remember drawing and listening to music as a child. My Dad had a huge record collection from rock, ambient, singing whales, all genres. I would pick out a record and listen closely, read the lyrics and study the album art work. That’s when he started calling me Mono, because I loved his stereo so much. He still calls me Mono.
I have a couple family influences that propelled me through the years. My Aunt Brenda and Uncle Bob Pepper are very talented illustrators living in Brooklyn, NY. They are very successful and their art was used in books, book covers, album covers cards, games, magazines, etc. One famous game my uncle did was the artwork for the 1979 game Dark Tower. I always looked up to them and they wrote me letters encouraging me and gave me advice.
Then there was my Great-Grandmother Jo Snider of Whidbey Is. WA. She was an oil painter who painted the sea, birds, flowers, still life, mountains, and garden scenes. She gave me lessons on how to use oils and we painted together. I was young then about 10. She took me to her local Greenbank art classes, many artists painted in those classes. Her artwork is in homes all over the Puget Sound. She was a huge influence for me.
When I was 19 I attended the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle for a short period, but long enough to really give me the art bug permanently. I had an oil class where we focused on figure drawing and then went into actually stretching our own canvas, gesso, and painted something abstract. To me that was the best thing I have ever done! I thought there is no stopping me now, I can stretch canvas! I spent all my birthday money and any gift money that came to me on art supplies. By the time I was 22 I had a pretty good collection about 35 pieces that I really liked. On Friday May 1st the Rodney King Riots arrived in Seattle and my apartment was hit with a Molotov cocktail while I was at the Rock Candy watching the band Red Cross. Funny because I ended up going to the Red Cross for help afterwards. I lost all my art and I didn’t paint for about a year. I lived on Summit and John on Capitol Hill and actually worked in the salon below my apartment, so I lost my home and job. A local punk band called Sore Jackson did a benefit show for me at The Store Room and gave me the proceeds. That was so cool. My sister was working at a resort in Cooperlanding, AK. I decided to leave the city and start over. In that time I fell in love, had a baby, got married…. and finally started painting again.
I have two boys (22 and 25 now) named Max and Summit. I have lived in Washington, Alaska, Utah, and now reside in a small town in Montana. I have a studio up the West Fork where I have resided now for 17 years with my husband. We own a restaurant called Little Blue Joint where my husband is the chef and my art hangs. We also own a bar called Sawmill Saloon in a historic building downtown Darby MT. The Sawmill Saloon used to be a bank and the vault is used for a beer cooler. I also run the Airbnb above the bar called Sawmill Saloon Roadhouse, Where I hang a few pieces of art also. I am pretty busy with everything, just the drive to work is 25 minutes. So when I get to stay home, I turn up my music and paint....... that is my treasured time.
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