What drives my artmaking is a feeling of connection to a person, place, or thing, and I prefer to paint from life as much as possible. In observation, whether it be of a landscape, floral arrangement, or portrait, I get to know my subject and develop a bond. The more time I spend with it, the more intimate the relationship feels; by the end, I finish a painting feeling like I have communed one-on-one with the subject.
My interest in visual art began with black and white photography. I picked up a camera as a kid and learned how to use my SLR camera to communicate mood and feeling. I believe this initial interest in photography is why I prefer to paint portraits with black and white paint today. In college my focus changed to painting, which excited me to be more hands-on with my materials than before.
I am grateful for memories of nature walks and gardening with my grandmother and dad. My dad also supported my early curiosity for photography. These memories are what have informed my art practice as an adult. I could lose myself in a bouquet of flowers in my studio or an empty, wide-open landscape; I think of my paintings as dispatches from an inner magical world. And when I paint a portrait, I come away from the project feeling as if I have made a friend.
Although I infuse my work with my own personal experience, I believe the loose gestural paint gives an opportunity for viewers to find their own experiences and interpretation. I use multiple media in my studio and travel paint kit: including acrylic and oil paints, watercolor, ink, and pastel crayons. The painting mediums and methods are simply tools that allow me to paint expressively. I like to push boundaries and have fun with my materials!