May 1, 2020

Artist Statement

Art is a healing, cathartic, and powerful tool that is my refuge. The act of creating art is not only a safe and positive outlet for expression, but is a poignant nonverbal language I use to communicate when words are inadequate. The intricate meticulousness of a repetitive process offers control, empowerment, and ultimately freedom, as I delve into the subjects of healing and forgiveness. The oil and mixed media paintings I create reference the freedom and healing that is possible in the aftermath of trauma in a nonrepresentational manner. Organic, undulating, dynamic, and repetitive marks are typical of my work and become meditative, allowing me to escape reality, exercise control over a situation, and create outside the limits of direct observation. My work often manifests in forms that writhe, grow, or climb.

I believe art has the ability to reach into souls, surpass the barriers and insecurities held within, and propel elusive, intangible, inner-most feelings and experiences into the physical world. The work I create is spiritually grounded in an atmosphere of reflection, recollection, and commemoration. My work serves as both an inner-dialogue and an outward conversation. Each piece is a hope, prayer, memory, and voice.

Conceptually my process relies heavily on the acts of deconstruction, reconstruction, and the layering of tiny pieces or brushstrokes to create a whole. The cutting, twisting, tearing, and occasional burning of paper, wood, canvas, or string reduces materials to a state of devastation or uselessness; however once reconstructed through weaving, plaiting, painting, or layering, the formerly fragile materials become aesthetic, whole, strong, and healed. I see beauty and possibilities in discarded materials, such as wood chips, knotted string, warped wood, ripped fabric, and torn paper. These items are typically considered trash, albeit these seemingly worthless materials, that were never meant to survive, become transformed, reconfigured, and essential to my work. They symbolize experiences, memories, and scars that have been forgiven, healed, and recreated into something beautiful. Although the products are a concrete manifestation of my memories and experiences that elude tangibility, I find it is in the process of deconstructing and reconstructing materials that I find my voice.

Recently, I have come to realize my paintings are filled with gratitude toward an overwhelming outpouring of love and beauty that, for many years, I had been unable to see in my life. The recognition, acceptance, and celebration of that love has become an essential theme of my work.