You Were The One (Who taught me What I Don’t Need), 2012, oil on stretched canvas
I paint because I was convinced Bob Ross worked magic as a child. Because my therapist said that it’s a better hobby than jumping off of bridges. Because I love color. Because I feel sexy covered in paint. Because oil paint smells good. Because paint brushes are beautiful. Because I get closer to inner peace with every painting. Because it scares me. Because I can.
Radiance (1 of 4 panels), (2011), oil on hardboard panel
But most of all, I paint because I want to. I paint for me.
I’m not out to change the world. I’m not trying to convince people to believe or change things. I’m not out after some deeper philosophical meaning or to communicate ideals. My work isn’t altruistic or political or religious. It’s small scale, on the level of the individual. When it comes to my painting, I don’t give a damn about your movements, your social justice, or your large scale big picture.
Raise Your Glass, (2011), oil on unstretched canvas, 22 x 42 in
I paint for selfish reasons.
I paint because I love it. Because it’s easier to address and understand what I’m feeling and dealing with when it’s on canvas in front of me than it is when it’s inside my own head. Because creating something beautiful inspired by pain makes the pain easier to deal with; it makes having to wake up and deal with the pain worthwhile. Because I’d rather create something than wallow or whine. Because it’s more satisfying than cleaning. Because my brain shuts up when I paint. Because my heart is lighter when I work. Because it’s teaching me patience and acceptance and zen and other life lessons I’ve not been able to learn other ways.
I wish you loved me, (2011), oil on hardboard panel, 24 x 24 in
I paint for me.
I paint, and that is what matters most to me. After the paint is dry, when my work is done? The meaning, the implications, the motives, the effects? That I leave to the critics, collectors and historians. I’m just the painter.
Push, (2012), oil on unstretched canvas, 22 x 46 in
Peonies, (2012), oil on hardboard panel
Change Your Mind, (2012), oil on stretched canvas
Secrets, (2012), oil on stretched canvas
Skies I: Wild Clouds, (2011), oils on hardboard panel, 12 x 24 in
I’m still alive. That’s usually the first thing I want to know when I find a new artist, as most of them tend to be not-so-alive, so that’ll be the first thing I tell you here. Beyond the still alive thing, I was born in 1983, and share a birthday with George Washington. (Yeah, I know – I’m not that old yet. A close friend jokes I’m still a minor.)
I come from a huge family. I have four younger siblings, all talented in their own right, and have two brilliant and talented parents. There are a couple of presidents in my family history, and a famous mathematician, among other very interesting people. Why it took me so long to figure out what I was good at with that kind of background no one knows, but I bounced around for a good long time between the sciences and liberal arts and humanities before I finally decided I was going to stop being afraid of painting and give it a try. Even then, I’m pretty sure there was a span of about 6 months between my first few paintings on canvas paper and when I finally got semi-serious and switched to real canvas. (I still have that painting, my first one on canvas – it’s just this little red ball on a brown and white background. It hangs on the wall next to my desk, with my other favorites.)
I’ve moved around a lot – enough so that when I tell people the number of times I’ve moved, they ask if I’m joking. Nope. My dad just liked to go new places, and then I married a man who joined the military, so I did more moving then. Let me tell you, an international move with three small children is one hell of an adventure. (Infants do not particularly like long international flights, and neither do I, for that matter.)
As far as experience, I’ve played with a bit of everything. I’ve done photography, digital editing, digital art, 3D modeling, digital photography, fiber arts, bit of jewelry as a kid under the supervision of a jeweler, bead weaving, I can spin my own yarn and own what was a functional spinning wheel, until the kids broke part of it.
Currently, I live in southern Florida, often in my tiny screened-in-porch-turned-studio, with one paint-averse husband, three kids who think paint is awesome and one dog that tries to lick the paint off of the canvas.
It’s entertaining, this little circus, if nothing else.