I “awakened” to art in a general education course at Indiana University. There were two reproductions of paintings in our text that actually brought tears to my eyes—“The Sleeping Gypsy” by Henri Rousseau and “The Blue Window” by Henri Matisse.
I lived in Bloomington, Indiana for 17 years and would probably still be there if I hadn’t run out of things to do. I earned degrees in psychology and anthropology and then worked as a research associate in the Psychology Department, simultaneously enrolling in art classes. One semester, when the classes I wanted were filled, I took weaving. I loved it and earned an M.F.A in Textile Design.
In 1973 I left Indiana to become an assistant professor of Related Arts in home economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I didn’t fit in too well and was therefore “relieved of my employment” in 1977. Worried about what would become of me, I needed to do something practical—but, instead, I began my first embroidery, “Fear, Laughter, and the Unknown”.
Luckily, I found another fiber arts position in the School of Art at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. I finished “Fear...” in DeKalb, where I have lived, taught, and made art ever since. I live with my husband whom I met in DeKalb, David Wagner, a historian who looks like Santa Claus.