“You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” -Mary Oliver
I take direction from these words – they are words for me to live in to – and they tell me what to paint. I am obsessed by color. I am a sucker for the drama of striking light. I keep being drawn to the lush fullness of fruit. I’m soothed by looking at flowers. I think food can be as beautiful as anything else. I want only the simplicity of watercolor – painting pure pigment on cotton paper. I love to make these paintings.
The deepest part of me is really girly. And I live and make art in a world where these sensibilities are overshadowed by those of the masculine. I love pink, I love softness and delicacy. But pink softness on its own isn’t complete. It needs earthiness, gutsiness. My intention is to make exquisitely beautiful art and I fear being sentimental. Renoir said that making beautiful art is worthy – there is enough ugliness in the world. His words bolster me to stay with my feminine sensibilities as I make art – and in how I live. While the bold part of me brings assertive color and a clear sense of light and shadow to bring life.
There is a completely mysterious process involved in this art. I sit with my reference photos and make shapes and analyze what’s needed to have the thing I’m painting look like itself – frequently challenging and painful at times. But then, along the way something happens and the soul of what I’m painting shines through. It seems that I paint more than pictures; these paintings are reflections of the aliveness of our world, and an expression of my devotion to reveal the feminine truth that courses through me.
I often find myself going about the other aspects of my life, including the “business” side of being an artist, feeling pulled to the painting in progress – or the one in my mind – or more accurately, my heart. Since beginning to show and sell my art, I have discovered in me the discipline to stay with the work when I get stuck. No more does work lie untouched for months. In keeping at it, I’ve learned why it is called art work. With each painting there is a point when I absolutely hate it and want to abandon it. I continue to learn and grow by finishing each painting.
I have many years in front of me in this art career – and am quite aware of the evolution that is yet to come in the work that emerges through me. I am infinitely grateful for the opportunity to make art and for the support that is carrying it forth.