Introducing "Beauquets", May 2017, current exhibition at hall/spassov gallery.
I am one year into motherhood for the first time. Mother is a title, woman is a state of mind. Here I've tried to put on canvas the endless confusion, the surprising discoveries and the simple happiness my new life is bringing me.
This collection is inspired by and named for my daughter Beau. She has refreshed my water and caused me to see all things anew.
This was a self portrait, just me and my daughter Beau. Then someone asked me, "which one are you?", the guardian angel or the baby. I've been at a loss ever since, upended.
Sleep is elusive as a new parent. Sleep has always been this way for me, fraught with dreams and an anxiety that debilatates once the light of day goes away.
It's different now, sleep waits for me but i can't ever catch up. Wakeful nights with a baby are disruptive in a whole new way, the exhaustion sizzles but i find new reserves for every feeding, every repeated song, each fitful rocking.
Two dreamcatchers hang above my bed; a gift from Beau's godmother, they watch over us as i try to teach her the strange habit of rest.
My dreams in day have been realized with her arrival. My dreams at night have changed in their content. What will she dream for in life? How will I help her catch those and find their meaning. And, in fairness, will she even need me to?
Beau showed up and formed us into a family. Her arrival and subsequent planting of her place in our trio brings up more questions than answers of where her father and i come from. We look over at eachother recognizing what we bring into this dynamic from our own upbringings, wondering what we will pass on, hoping for what we may start anew.
Considering our own family dynamics brings a new awareness of our place in the community, the world at large. This piece functions as a universal family tree.
Every spring the students of my neighborhood get dolled up and promenade in our parks and ballrooms, hitting one of those milestones we dream about as kids and fondly commiserate about as adults. I love glamour, I love romance, I value the right to create memories for a full life. I firmly believe that not only do Black Lives Matter, but they matter in the daily simplicity of growing up and growing old. It's my responsibility as a citizen and my duty as an artist to create work that gives a voice to life being lived in fullness by everyone around me.
Every year I look forward to prom season which falls in the month of may and watching boys and girls treat eachother as men and women. For better or worse, from birth till death, we are all in various states of dress-up.
The current political climate looms over everything. Tensions are high as freedom gets called into question and injustices are exposed in real time. We have a planet that is physically rebelling against our own carelessness. Flat earth theory is a real thing.
It's easy to feel all hope is lost. Hell, I'm scared.
Yet, the flowers keep coming up from the earth and the rains change in scent with the seasons. i am here, trying to grow, and i continue to take your hand as the world blooms and burns around us.
I'm consumed with understanding my own beliefs of the mystical world. I feel compelled to have fair and free answers for my daughter when the inevitable questions come. But in the meantime, the simplicity of our daily discoveries simultaneously enthrall her as they comfort me. i tell her "this is a fish, this is a flower, let's make a new friend".
The softening of my heart as a mother has healed many past hurts i've carried over the years. Empathy and compassion come faster and freer now. She and I share a tenderness I hadn't known before. But her innocence brings out a solidity in me necessary for protection and guidance. She is my meadow while I am her mountain, as my mother is mine and I am hers.
I currently live in the Pacific NW, our weather is mild in comparison to the rest of the country. I've known the winters of New England, the humidity of the Midwest, the steady mild rains of Kenya. But I think i speak for many people when i say it's been a grey winter. My paintings, though, are coming up roses.