A client asked why do I garden. Without hesitation I said, "Because I find beauty and magic in nature and am compelled to recreate it, big or small. And I've always been drawn to Japanese and Chinese art and philosophies."
I began learning about bonsai and miniature landscapes in 2004, and found a teacher in Tom Kedrok at Five Stone Gardens. In June 2010 he invited me to build a Japanese garden with him, complete with water features, rock work, Japanese-style pruning, and the design philosophies at the heart of the tradition. Over the entire summer I assisted in all phases from site prep and excavation to final placement of stone, plants, architecture and ornaments.
This apprenticeship served as a springboard for me to design and build water and rock features for a handful of enthusiastic clients part time until 2015. For the last three years I've created several gardens, inside and out, under the name M-scape Design. Becoming Twin Dragon Studio and Landscape was part of my response to emerging themes and directions in my art and practices. I continue to study the masters by amassing a library of technical, philosophical, and visual resources, some of which I can't read.
My professional life began with degrees in history and in natural resources management, followed by working as an interpretive naturalist and environmental educator for many years. I gained an intimate knowledge and understanding of diverse natural landscapes. Creating a garden requires the skill to recognize the essence of an inspiring locale; the art lies in representing it in a space the size of a yard.
I added a degree in English and Creative Writing in 2004, and then found myself embarking on a career as an exhibit developer and designer for nature centers and museums. I went to graduate school for Cultural Heritage Studies and Museum Studies. Shifting sands in the economy led me to design and build sets for commercial photography and television. And now I sculpt earth to nestle boulders in such a way that they seem to communicate with one another, as if they've always been there, speaking...