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Making art is a contemplative practice for me, my lines and patterns emerge from processing what goes on in my daily life. I consider my work as a type of story telling some are vignettes of the goings on in the world around me.
Although my work has many layers and goes through several stages, drawing, painting, collage and mixed media, the fundamental of what makes my work uniquely mine, is that I draw each of the lines and patters as they come (impromptu), without forethought or planning. . In my formal training, I have studied at the Art Student's League in New York City drawing form and anatomy. I have also taken classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC in illustration design and Fundamentals of Design course at NOVA in Alexandria, VA. All these have influenced the evolution of my techniques and my work. However, it is only after the spontaneous and Divine creativity has been completed that I get to deconstruct and recreate. It is fascinating to me what becomes of my original works. At times a single piece will morph into three different ones.
I loved to draw since I was little. Perhaps the first spark began with coloring books as I recall spending hours with rapt attention.My father also loved to draw and was a talented portrait artist. When I saw his sketches and showed a great deal of interest, he bought me my first oil painting kit. It was impressive and intimidating at the time. Overtime, I found that drawing is my passion and in college I began to make posters and collages. My work is primarily in pen ink but overtime it expanded to include acrylic painting and mixed media.
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I attended a private English school until completion of my secondary education. Then came to the US and obtained my BA in Sociology from Washington State University in June 1972. Briefly I worked as a Social Counselor for Job Corps in Astoria, Oregon where I coached, mentored and supervised young adults. I returned to Ethiopia and remained until April 1981; primarily due to the policies of a Socialist revolution, I was prohibited to continue my graduate studies abroad. My father was executed by the military junta and my mother went to prison for more than two years. I was immersed in my work conducting participatory research of peasant communities throughout Ethiopia. It was a time of immense personal challenge but the intimacy with which I got to know Ethiopia remains a wonderful memory to this day.
I find joy in what I do and hope that I will bring laughter and joy into the homes of those who like my art works.