For most of my adult life, Ive been a writerof memoir, personal essay, feature stories and radio commentary. Then, after taking an art workshop several years ago, I discovered collage, and I was hooked.In collage I found a creative outlet that allows me to say things I cant put into words, either because the vocabulary doesnt exist or the impulse to communicate comes from a place that precedes language. But just as in writing, the art of collage has to be explored, practiced and honed. My first collages were primitive compared to the work I do now, and I certainly hope to continue growing and evolving as an artist. I'm constantly exploring the medium and developing new technques to achieve the results I want. To learn more about this art form that seems to have chosen me, I sought guidance from excellent teachers such as collage artist Jonathan Talbot, British painter Francis Pratt at his art school in Montmiral, France, and painter and teacher Jane Filer. Personal friend and painter Joyce Ryals has also been an ongoing source of inspiration.For materials, I use acrylic paint, found objects, paper and photographs that Ive taken. The found objects may be from naturesuch as lichen, feathers, dried flowers or barkor from discarded man-made materials such as a piece of rusted metal, a glass tile or part of an earring. These objects are at once familiar and mysterious. My frames are sometimes recycled, and I have made a series of collages I call the kitchen cabinet series, because they were all constructed on the wooden fronts of discarded cabinet doors. I've sold several collages to art collectors in my area and have thus far exhibited my work in three juried shows: The Women's Center Show in Chapel Hill, N.C., 2003The Durham Art Guild Show, 2003 and 2005One of my collages, Memory of Eden, was the cover for the March 2005 issue of the English Journal.