I fell in love with oil paint at thirteen when I visited the Louvre. There I stood, in the middle of a room of master portraits, in complete awe and a feeling of knowing that this is what I want to do. Portraiture became my obsession, and in art school I took every opportunity available to become a better figurative and portrait artist. I enjoyed painting portraits for commission for nearly a decade, when suddenly I felt a major, and surprising, shift.
I had taken a year off to have my second child, and when I returned to the easel, suddenly the representational work I had so loved felt tedious. I found myself wanting absolute freedom to express. And the colors that I had always been infatuated with were now on my mind constantly, as if they were nudging me to pay attention to them. So I started painting those colors. I was going through canvas after canvas, trying to figure out how I wanted the color to be represented. The shapes all felt distracting, as if they had a message that was not part of what I was after. And then one day, not sure what motivated me, I splashed some paint on the canvas. As I watched the paint drip I was intrigued by the meandering lines and shapes left behind. So varied and unexpected; far more interesting than anything I had preconceived.
At the same time I began meditating regularly and was opening up to deeper understandings that seemed to be reflected back to me through my work. I was now being led by my inner, intuitive self and had to be fully present to feel my way through the process. My artwork was only as good as my ability to be in the moment. The word that kept coming to me was flow.
I was being guided to let go of trying to control the outcome, in life and in art. And through this process I came to see the beauty in imperfection. And that for a color to be seen in its best and most beautiful light, it needs to be off set with darker, often more muted, colors -- just as I was learning to love the darker or more wounded parts of myself. In this way, abstract painting became the doorway for me through which I could then access a much deeper understanding of who I truly am.
Now, I feel myself in the midst of another shift. I still love painting abstractly, and as my technique is constantly evolving and offering me new insights I love it even more. I’m excited about portraiture again; eager to incorporate what I have learned through abstract painting and see where it goes . What is important to me is to continue to create work that is inspired from within and infuse it with the joy and peace that I feel when aligned with my authentic self.