When I reflect on my creative life, being open to possibility, and having a great sense of play are ways of being that helped me find my path into a lively art form that has captured my imagination. The beauty of puppetry is that it is grassroots and very permissive: anything goes and it can be made out of anything. Imagine an art form where you get to wander in hardware stores, fabric stores, alleys, thrift stores, loading docks of appliance stores. It is a beautiful material world where things can be transformed! I draw, sew, sculpt, paint, hammer, give voice to objects, and move them.
I have created a few puppet characters who are the center of my work. Ollie McNutt is a 7 foot tall puppet I have animated since 1980. Jack the Dog has been sniffing out adventures since 1999. The stories I create are particularly for these characters. Movement grabs me. I am practiced in the world of bringing objects to life with movement, voice, and spark of spirit in the moment. I believe that my creations mirror the generosity of life, and, as an artist, it is this that I want to share with others.
Spring 2011, I fulfilled a dream of making a vibrant full-length puppet show, Diggity Dog Days starring Jack the Dog. I also teach children and adults many forms of puppetry in residencies and workshops, with a particular focus on puppet movement. I received an Artist Initiative grant in 2011 from the Minnesota State Arts Board. I have been a self-employed artist for over 25 years.