Q. Introduce yourself — who you are and what you do?
A. I am an American gestural abstraction painter, working in mixed media painting and collage overtop raw textile grounds. As a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist, I paint to escape a world of precision, finding respite in abstract forms, textures, and tones. Interspersing pigment and collage layers of varying translucency over rough, nubby textile grounds, my paintings are gritty and tactile up close, with small imperfections, but melt into ethereal obscurity and subtle tonal variations when viewed from a greater distance. The duality serves as a reminder that things are not always as they seem; and although things may not be what we want, even flaws and imperfections can set a foundation for something cathartic and transformative.
Q. What is your background?
A. Introduced to painting by an artist grandmother even before I was old enough to attend school, I created paintings and collages throughout my childhood, winning frequent awards, but I ultimately pursued an early professional career in law and finance. In 2014, I left that career to pursue an interior design side-hustle full time, and I eventually started painting large-scale abstract artworks for use in projects. Within weeks of posting a few paintings to Facebook, I was invited to sell artworks in an upscale home décor boutique, and from that unplanned, very unintentional start, my art practice quickly grew.
Q. How do you work?
A. I employ gestural abstraction methods to intentionally silence my perfectionist, detail-oriented tendencies. The respite I experience while creating has become so cathartic for me that I rarely experience painting as work, but rather a blessing that enriches my life. As a gestural abstractionist, I approach every artwork with flexibility and fluidity, starting with little more than a loosely defined concept or color scheme. I rely on intuition and happenstance to shape the ultimate composition.
Q. What art do you most identify with?
A. I tend to sit on the fringe, drawing influence from several different movements, but most prominently color-field painting and lyrical abstraction. I also incorporate collage elements into almost every artwork I create.
Q. What artist(s) inspires you?
A. Georgia O-Keeffe is the first artist I remember deeply admiring as a young child. She is easily the longest-running influence in my practice and one that has remained constant even as my style has evolved. Other heavy influences include Helen Frankenthaler, Rita Ackerman, Jeremy LeGrice, and more recently, Richard Diebenkorn. I also adore Cy Twombly, and although free-spirited scribblings feature prominently in my early layers while finding my flow, they seldom show through to my final layers. Most of my paintings are mounted to panels, but for ones that aren’t, you can usually see heavy scribbling marks and stains from behind.
Q. What is the best advice you’ve received?
A. In late 2019, I had the very fortunate experience of being introduced to the curatorial director for one of my favorite galleries. He offered to critique a mixed media piece that I was still working on, calling out points of interest and strength. He favored an area with some unique tonal shifts and encouraged me to “live in that space,” to find ways to explore and repeat that in future paintings. While it was incredibly intimidating to share an unfinished work with someone of his caliber, his words were the impetus that prompted me to hone my craft and focus my efforts at a time when I was seeking to refine my signature style.
Q. When you are not working, where can we find you?
A. When I’m not painting or working on any of the one-thousand tasks required to run an art business, you will usually find me working on the restoration of my 110-year old home. I also find great inspiration when traveling to other cultures and landscapes, so I hope to resume international travels in 2022.