I am interested in exploring the seat of the soul, and in dissecting what it means to be human. I am also interested in spending massive amounts of time playing with paint, color, and making art. Stripped down, my goal is to create more beauty in this world. I admire Henry Darger for his secretive proliferation and intimacy, Hieronymus Bosch for his twisted and grotesque beauty.
I am inspired by art that strives to be more than art-for-art's-sake, created for a larger purpose, a greater cause - Byzantine Iconography, Buddhist painting, Persian miniatures and Native American Folklore. They tell stories of battle, of honor, of life and death in known history. They create fantastic fables to illustrate great truths. In these painted stories, the body is representative of the trials and growth experienced by the inner worlds of every human. There is awe-inspiring within all of us, which poets spend lifetimes trying to describe. In my painting I attempt to depict those things that live inside and, in different ways, try to determine what they are and our relationships with those things: those things for which sometimes there are no words.
My process is very meditative (read: time-consuming). I currently work with a combination of traditional gouache, pencil, charcoal, acrylic, hand-made papers, etchings, silkscreen, fabric, enamel and found images. Most of my current work is very small, but I have begun to re-investigate the larger format. Most supports are either plywood, birch or paper.
This series, entitled “heralds”, began with the drawing she wears her demons with grace . Over the past year I've dealt with some serious stuff with different family members and it gave me a lot to think about…and what a lot of it boiled down to is analyzing, or questioning–with a desire to explore through visualization–the things people carry with them. How do past experiences, knowledge and relationships affect us? How much power do we give them in the present? Do we absorb them? Do we separate ourselves? Are they considered a part of us or results of external factors? How do these overlap for people in relationships?
I've been reading Joseph Campbell’s “Hero of a Thousand Faces,” which breaks down the hero's journey, finding similarities between the stories of Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Roman and Greek mythology and many more obscure folklore. Campbell identifies the herald as someone, or something, dark and unseemly. This figure symbolizes the call to adventure, stemming from its encyclopedic definition of "one who calls to arms." This is the first turning point in any story - does the hero accept this path, this new challenge? Those forces I initially defined as demons are in fact heralds.
the frog [from the princess and the frog], come as by miracle, can be termed the “herald”; the crisis of his appearance is the call to adventure. his summons may be to live, die, sound the call to an historical undertaking, mark the dawn of religious illumination, signify coming of adolescence. it marks the awakening of self. the call rings up the curtain, always, on a mystery of transfiguration–a rite, or moment, of spiritual passage. The herald is often dark, loathly, or terrifying, judged evil by the world: yet if one could follow, the way would be opened through walls of day into the dark where jewels glow. [...] Or the herald is a beast representative of the repressed instinctual fecundity within ourselves, or the unknown. (Joseph Campbell, Hero of a Thousand Faces)
Not only are these creatures this but they are representative of a part of ourselves, as internal forces rather than external. We live with them, choosing to either listen or ignore and thus choose our path in both the physical and the emotional world.