My Story

I am a painter, printmaker, a teacher, a dog-lover, a wife and mother, and an enthusiastic traveller with over 40 years experience as a professional artist.

I studied a degree in Printmaking at the University of Santa Cruz, California, before training at the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute. I also have a Masters in Drawing as Process from Kingston University. For many years, I was a portrait painter, mainly of humans, but also of their canine companions, and I still happily take on commissions.

But most of my work now is about capturing a sense of place.

Originally from California, I’ve been privileged to live overseas for most of my life and I love to travel. I draw  inspiration from the world around me and try to distill my experience of people and places in my painting.

Based in Bahrain for 8 years, Lebanon, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Israel and Palestine, the Emirates, Fujairah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Egypt and, most poignantly, Syria were all on our doorstep. Not much farther were Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Ethiopia and Kenya.

I explored them all with my sketchbook and camera, and was almost overwhelmed by the visual stimulus, the beauty and the colour. But more significantly, I was welcomed so warmly by people who live on so little and whose lives are so full of joy and dignity, and I was deeply moved by them. Also, people whose histories had been torn apart by conflict and political upheaval, who simply get on with life.

If there is any purpose in my work, it is to highlight this humbling experience and to show respect to people like the camel herders of Ethiopia or the mango sellers in India, whose lives are so rich and who leave such a small footprint on the earth.


Now that I am living in England again, Richmond Park , the south downs and the south coast are huge inspirations to me. I believe that artwork can be a force for good in the world. Both through doing it and seeing it, it can change perceptions in tiny but powerful ways…

Education:

MA, Drawing as Process, 2001-2003, Kingston University, London

BA, Fine Arts, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1975

 

Exhibitions:

Sussex Watercolour Society, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

“Visions”, Bahrain Art Centre,2009 ,  2010 and 2012

"In Celebration of Women", World Beat Gallery, Janabiya, Bahrain, Oct/ Nov. 2011

"African Sanctus", Crowne Plaza Convention Centre and  Sar Art Space, June 2010

"7 Days in Kerala", Albareh Gallery, June 2010

“A Beautiful Mess”, Al Riwaq Gallery, July, 2009

“Arthouse” , Banyan Tree, Bahrain, May 2009

“Jazz”, Upstairs, Downstairs, Manama , May 2008

The Malden Centre, New Malden, UK, 2000, 2002, 2004

Bahrain International Garden Show, 2006, 2007, 2008

“O Fortuna”, 4 artists response to music, Seef Mall, May 2007

“Torr, Mallen, Maddison”, The Old Post Office Gallery, Wimbledon, UK, 2007

Kingston Open (juried show) 2002, 2003, 2004

Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston 2003

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London, 2001, 2002

"A Year in Richmond Park” Pembroke Lodge, London 1999

“New Printmakers”,San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

And numerous group shows in California, Washington, DC, and the UK.

 

Participated in Open Studios and Artists Open houses in San Francisco, Washington, DC, Bahrain, and  London and  Brighton in the UK .

 

Murals and Public Commissions:

 “Bahrain International Mobility Center” mural,  Isa Town, Kingdom of Bahrain, 2019

“The Bottle-Top project”, Doha, Qatar. A 36’ x 8’  awareness-raising mural made entirely of plastic bottle tops, depicting the ecosystem of Qatar.

"The Peace Tree", Moda Mall, 2011  A piece to for Bahrainis to reflect on what peace means to them, during the Arab Spring uprisings.(temporary installation. All other works are still in situ.)

"The Reading Tree" Pakistan School LIbrary, Bahrain, 2011

“Medico Dispensario de Dr. Ernesto Guevara”, mural for a clinic in a community  outside Tijuana, Mexico, 2008

“1001 Arabian Nights, a Literary Landscape” Redwood City Library Mural : 2006

 “The Mer-Angel”, New Malden Art Center, 20 foot long mural commemorating a beloved swimming teacher. 2004

“Women of Kingston”, The Shiraz Mirza Pavilion Mural: an 18 foot long painting celebrating the borough of Kingston, its first Asian mayor, and the wonderful women who inhabit the borough.  2003

 

Portrait Commissions

Portraiture had been a constant theme in my work for about 25 years, often to the exclusion of all other work. I have been privileged to paint members of both the British and Bahraini royal families, Members of Parliament in the UK, actors and directors of import and best of all, many happy families, children and even their dogs and cats.

 

Teaching

Since 1990, teaching painting and drawing has been an important and inspiring part of my artistic practice.

 1990-2003 :  Kingston Adult Education College. I taught drawing, life drawing, watercolour and acrylic painting..

2003-2005: Kingston University, I ran workshops for other MA students in experimental drawing, and taught life drawing to under-graduates.

 2005-2013: Upon arriving in Bahrain I started AwaliArts, a small independent art school, specialising in figurative arts through drawing, watercolour and acrylic.

2009-2013:  Lecturer in Art and Design, Bahrain Polytechnic

2010-2013: Odyssey Art at Sea instructor, teaching painting classes on  4 Cruises of the Crystal Serenity

2014- present: run workshops and courses independently in California, England and Bahrain

2017-present: Part time tutor for the Santa Cruz Art League

 

Currently, since the Covid-19 restrictions, I have been teaching two classes a week online in watercolour and mixed media work to an engaged and enthusiastic group of artists from all over the world.