I moved to the Bay Area from Vancouver B.C. in 1992. Just before I left, I was a graphic designer in the publishing department of the Legal Services Society of B.C.
After a few years of working in our nursery and immersing myself in the world of plants, my eyes and hands conspired to create watercolors. I chose this medium because it seemed to reflect the light so prevalent in nature. I had also dabbled with them when I was a child.
I grew up in a large household in Vancouver, full of kids, plants, cats, art and music. My mother was a painter and musician and my father was a science educator who taught me to be curious. They both were fearless in joy and I aspire to be that way in my life and art.
As the world is changing so fast around me I find myself even more attracted to basics, such as the food we eat, the plants that provide it, and the beauty they add to my life. In an effort to extract myself from the negativity in the news, I practice being grateful for what I have. I am surrounded by the green beauty of Oakland — the farmers markets where I spend part of my weekends, the hills where I take my walks, the plants that surround me in my neighborhood, the garden I care for. All this informs my ever increasing celebration of beauty in the everyday and inspires my paintings.
My partner Peggy Kass and I own a plant nursery here in Oakland called Kassenhoff Growers. We produce edible and ornamental plants and these are the subjects I use for my watercolor paintings and illustrations. I see more and more how growing food, cooking and eating with others is so fundamental to my sense of community and how that, in turn, informs my art.
My illustrations can be regularly found in Edible East Bay, an Oakland based magazine.