I use symbolism, the language of our collective unconscious, for anchoring in society’s shared history and the human condition we all experience. Careful, tender rendering of those symbols speaks to each individual. I often see animal symbols emerging in my paintings, and a favorite has always been the monkey. Honest in a way that we humans rarely are, their rawness is allowed expression. We quickly identify with the emotions of our primate relatives, and accept them as a wilder, freer self. Similarly, the fish is psychologically relatable across cultures, most importantly for its environment. Swimming or being suspended in water represents our ability to navigate our own reality as we create it. Our minds are constantly changing and yet inescapable; whether we see that as imprisonment or supportive depends on subconscious residue.
Pattern making, itself symbolic of our habits and social programming, has become a form of meditation for me. A pattern may offer soothing regularity or chaotic repetition, a map to the roots of forgotten memories or blossoming addictions. In my most recent work, they grow and expand from simple written words—deceptively simple, because language is incredibly complex and abstract. Working automatically within constraints, my mind is released from habitual overthinking. Each mark or color determines the next, colors blend and break up, and lines form and bleed away. While I work, tangential ideas coalesce, and problems that I’ve struggled with for months suddenly find their own solution. Doubts and anger evaporate, and compassion soars. All the while, art happens.
I grew up drifting across the US and abroad, until art school snared me in Orlando, Florida. Initially interested in computers and graphic design, I later fell in love with painting during my undergraduate studies. A foreign exchange program with Edinburgh College of Art introduced me to stained glass, which continues to influence my love of pattern making today. My graduate program in New York City broadened my approach to painting, in large installed environments and minutely examined paper fiber studies. However, disillusioned with the institutional feel of the art scene after graduation, I turned to writing and submerged myself in a burgeoning, lively indie publishing scene, where my background in computers served me well. Personal tragedy soon brought me back full force to my beloved painting. I’m currently working on my newest book: a course in healing through creative expression.