The perfection of the still-life to me is that everything means everything. Because of the still-life’s simplicity, every subject matter, every composition, every stroke, shadow, and highlight become allegories for the world around me.
My subject matter is books and laundry. I paint wadded and tied up laundry to represent my conflicted feelings about motherhood. I paint blank-out books to represent my memory loss from treatments I received as a result of a mental health diagnosis. I paint both with as much beauty and pain as I can muster. For me, art comes not from the easy times in life, but from the hard times. Beauty is the balance of pain.
The paintings are composed by intuition. A placement in a corner has a tender or shy feeling to me. A placement on a center axis has a open and direct feel. I strip my still-lifes of their surroundings — even their horizon line, and often their color — until only light, form, and shadow remain.
I paint in both watercolor and acrylic. I paint in watercolor on paper in order to represent fragility of thought and emotion. Through careful painting, the white of the paper is activated to become light. The light destroys the form of the still life. It is in this visible space of destruction that emotion is conveyed. The form hovers between materiality and immateriality. The shadow provides visual and emotional weight, darker and heavier than the form suggests. I paint in acrylic to capture energy. My paintings are a confluence of my own energy and energy that flies through the ether. If I am painting well, the energy can come through my thoughts and my paintbrush, and I am able to transform paint into emotion.
Through paint, water, and patience, the still-lifes become an external product of an internal process, shoved out into the world, my explanation of life.