I am a visual artist who makes paintings and drawings, and enjoys playing around in other mediums when given the opportunity. I have been keeping journals and sketchbooks since I was a child, and consider daily writing or sketching to be a crucial part of my practice. My work uses observation of patterns as a framework for considering attention, embodiment, and communion.
What is art for you?
Art is learning to see more clearly, and responding in a generative way. I think about “learning to see” in the senses of honing my skills of observation, growing in the ability to remain connected to the present moment, and of paying attention to reality in the world and in myself, even (particularly!) when it’s difficult. For me, this is a spiritual practice.
What/Who/Where inspires or motivates you for your artistic practice?
This week, I’ve found inspiration in: cherry tomatoes ripening in our container garden, the book “Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women and Faith in Action” by Carol Lee Flinders, colleagues across the museum field who continue to call leaders to account for institutional racism and unfair labor practices, writings on pregnancy by Amy Bornman and Caitlin Metz, and conversations with a dear friend about the false divide between art and craft.
(details) Perfect in Weakness, diptych, 36×24″, ink on paper/acrylic on paper, 2019
While working on the painting portion of this piece, I considered the way that small pieces (of the composition, of life) can feel out of place or broken, especially when observed from a place that is close-up and contained. With a more spacious point of view, there can be a perfection in observing the way things fit together that wasn’t previously apparent.
This drawing is 19th in a series of textual meditations I’ve been making since 2014, and was selected to be part of the exhibition Visual Thinking at the Ronald L. Barr Gallery at Indiana University Southeast. Methodical and meditative, these drawings have proven a constant over the past five years, and I imagine will continue to be so in the years to come.
I first saw this phrase of Louise Bourgeois’ in an exhibition at MoMA which include, among many books, paintings, and sculptures spanning her career, the fabric book Ode à l’oubli. (Here‘s a photo of her piece in the exhibition Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait.) Her prolific body of work fascinated me, and her mantra offers hope that I too might return to openness from areas of repression.
Rediscovered the fun of playing around with watercolors in my sketchbook – it’s been nice to work with paint a bit more while still keeping it quick, intuitive, and fairly contained mess-wise. The smooth brushwork feels like a natural progression from the drawings I’ve been making lately.