Thanks to my mother, Corrinne Berquist, our inner city Chicago home was filled with a love for the arts. Musicals and ballets filled the air while she was drawing and painting or designing and creating ceramic dolls. During that time, I began drawing. I have fond memories of my mother giving me advice on perspective in my drawings - advice that I often preferred to ignore. As I continued drawing well into my 30's, I discovered Matisse. I loved all the patterns that filled his work and realized later that I was drawn to his work precisely because his work was not in perspective.
Never considering an art career, I became a gradeschool teacher. While it was rewarding, I often found myself turning class assignments into art projects. One day I remember thinking to myself that I wished I were a student in a class like the one I was teaching. It took over a decade, but in 2006, I signed up for a pottery class at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts under instructor Lee Percell and that decision changed the course of my life.
For 8 years I perfected my pottery techniques, but I yearned to create expressionistic and abstract paintings. Having never formally studied or mastered realism, I did not believe I had the creative license to abstract. But,
in 2014, with encouragement from a fellow potter who suggested that taking an abstract painting class might inspire some new glazing ideas, I jumped at the chance and have never looked back.
After a class with abstract art instructor, Ellen Richman I was hooked! I stumbled on both my style and technique when I was attempting to stretch the amount of paint I had mixed. I took whatever was left on my palette paper, ran a texture tool through it and then applied the paper directly on the canvas. I loved the spontaneous shapes, designs, textures and combination of colors. Over the years, I have changed some of my paper and canvas techniques and am constantly growing and expanding my style. After four years I realize that only recently has my abstract expressionism begun to flow into my pottery glazing.