I have always been an artist. It first made itself known in elementary school through writing and at the time, I didn’t equate art and writing together at all, and did not feel the least bit precious about writing, so much so, that I kind of threw it away for a long time. In college, I picked up writing again and took my first art course. I was hooked at the start and stacked up art credits and studio classes like overdue library books. In time, I finished college with a BFA and practiced graphic design for several years. There were parts that lit me up inside, but many more parts of that career that deadened me, though I did not know myself enough yet to understand why.
Fast forward to a Master’s in Teaching, two children, a diagnosis of clinical depression and over a decade later and I found myself slowly wading back into the art studio again to save myself. Teaching was my new career and it brought with it misery times a thousand. I couldn’t articulate to anyone, including myself why, but the ceramics studio is where I found relief from the internal emotional pain that could not be named, for a few hours each week. All I knew was that when I was covered in mud, I felt happy. Slowly, I returned to artmaking through jewelry design, painting and collage, while I watched my babies grow.
Bringing my art together into a body of work that felt true to all the different people living inside this 5 foot 0 inch frame has been crazy-making. For eons, nothing satisfied completely, not even words. The thing is, I was trying so hard to separate everything into singular compartments that conformed to one style and one medium. And the funny thing is, the answer seems to have been there all along, right there under my nose. My new body of patchworked collage paintings are a way of bringing all of my disparate parts together in a way that lets me say yes to all the arty things I love—gouache, acrylic, painting, typography, collage and words. And I have to chuckle quietly to myself that the parts are in their own little compartments. The peas aren’t touching the mashed potatoes! So here I am. All my loves gathered up—but each element has their own story to tell. My art is a patchwork of everything that ever happened to me and also the things that didn’t, the lovely sum of this girl’s deepest fears and fondest hopes, images stitched together to tell a story full of meaning—bringing comfort and warmth in the telling of a life made up of scraps.