Welcome to my studio website, and a heartfelt thanks for reading! To begin this journey, I wanted share a bit about the three women in my family who greatly influenced who I am, and continue to help me focus on who I want to be:
In the beginning, there was my great grandmother, Grace Cosgrove Gale (aka Mimi). Though I never met her in person, she lives on in my home, my cousins’ homes, and in the hearts of all the people who had the pleasure of meeting her through her artwork. She was a prolific artist around the turn of the century, teens and twenties in Evanston, Illinois. The family lore I have learned was that she attended Pratt Art Institute in NYC, and was an oil painter, a water colorist, a ceramic artist and needlework artist (just to name a few mediums). I've also learned that she often took people into her home for long stays to help them out, when times were tough. I am always amazed at the amount of work she produced, all while taking care of many other people.
Next was my grandmother, Sarah Marian Barnes, (aka Sally to adults, and Ranny to us kids). She was also an oil and watercolor painter, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Together with her husband, my hilarious grandfather Chuck, she created beautiful furniture pieces in a Shaker style, complete with lovely stencils and artful embellishments. I loved visiting her home, studying her box of paints and brushes, and hanging out in my grandfather’s workshop. Pure creative joy!
Then along came my mom, Gale Barnes Schlitt, who always painted, doodled and drew house plans. She is probably the reason I became an architect! She loved surrounding herself with other artists, whenever she could. She was also an avid gardener, and I think her palette was her gardens, carefully curated with specific textures and colors. My mother died in 1994, but when I think back to her happiest times I can still hear her wonderful laughter, while with the people whose creativity and joy reflected hers.
I’m so lucky to be a part of this amazing, creative group of women. With everything I paint or draw, I offer up a grateful nod to these women, and honor them.