Drawing was my earliest artistic expression. My mother (Doris Burn) wrote and illustrated books for children. When I was five, she began giving me instruction in drawing, for which I showed some aptitude. During my adolescent and young adult years, I studied with great instructors at various art institutes, colleges, and universities until 1979, when I felt powerfully and undeniably called to turn my attention to writing. Since then, I have occasionally used drawing as a means to earn money and as a way to delve into pattern formation. Recently, I have begun to use color in painting with oils.




Aaron Dumas
Silkscreen, 1970


Patterns in Wood
Pen & ink, 2000

Artist Statement

I have always been intensely interested in how simple lines, arranged in a pattern, convey essential identity. In creating these visual artworks, I sought to learn and gain insight into how pattern replication communicates and characterizes the basic essence of a person or tree. When I created the portrait, Aaron Dumas was Playwright in Residence at Black Arts/West, Seattleā€™s first black theatre, where I sometimes acted in white female roles. Black Arts/West mounted productions from 1969 to 1980. To those who knew the playwright then, the portrait is immediately recognizable. The pattern of white & black lines captures his soul essence. Likewise, the grain patterns replicated in the Patterns of Wood triptych are immediately identified as a Douglas fir gnarl, fir bark, and a juniper branch. The visual artworks allowed me to work out my ideas regarding the correlation between pattern and identity.