I use photography to see the world in a different way and show others. Mary Oliver’s quote sums up my philosophy about it best. “Instructions for living life. Pay Attention. Be Astonished. Tell About it.” Every photo I take usually has a story or life lesson within it in my own mind. Capturing the temporary moment that is usually overlooked or to see something so plain and ordinary in some extraordinary way is what fuels me.
I approach art like an experimental process. I’m always curious how certain mediums will react to others and I am completely fascinated by depth and layers and texture. Because of this curiosity, I work with many different mediums with a main focus on acrylic paints, alcohol inks, modeling paste, gold and mirror leaf, and resin. Sometimes I combine all or I may use them independently. And I also use a variety of substrates from canvas to even old windows in some cases.
Whatever I am working with – it is always a true collaboration between me and the paint. It’s sort of like raising kids – each creation has a mind and purpose of their own. I may start with a hope or a certain vision, but the end result may be very different than I had imagined. It’s always a thrilling surprise to see what it becomes. And the less I try to control or overthink the process – the better it turns out. It’s like a courageous active meditation.
The one thing art has taught me is how much courage it really takes to do it well. Staring at a blank canvas can sometimes be overwhelming. Making that first mark is so brave and exciting! It’s getting back in touch with the courage we had as kids to just attack something without overthinking it. Right around 8-10, we lose the freedom to just be. Self-consciousness kicks in, fear, expectations, etc. It is stifling. The more adulting I manage to un-do for myself, the better my art becomes.
The other thing art has taught me is how much more beautiful our world is when we not only accept and tolerate our differences but actually embrace them. I demonstrate it in my work quite frequently – the beauty of many colors blending into each other – just enough to not completely lose each other or become a muddy mess, but to come together and meet in beautiful, harmonious, and unexpected ways.