Talk about the work on view. What would you like people to know about it?
The purpose of my paintings is to create a space where viewers can get lost exploring. My work is centered around mental health, specifically depression and anxiety. Painting is not only a process for me to express my emotions but to also create environments that allow myself and my viewers the opportunity to forget about everyday struggles and to find solitude through discovery.
Describe your creative process. How often are you painting and where is your studio?
My paintings are never drawn out beforehand or really thought about at all. The environments develop as I paint and I think that really captures the wildness of nature. On a good week I try to be in my studio at least 10 hours. Ideally I would like to spend 15 hours a week in my studio.
What influences your practice/works?
A couple artists that really influence my art are Claude Monet for his use of light and color, Joan Mitchell for her compositions and natural flow of her brush and Lillian Garcia-Roig for her thick natural paintings. Plants are a big influence on my work. I love looking through gardening magazines, going to horticultural centers and even just taking walks through local wooded areas. The Redwood Forest is also a big inspiration to me. I visited there some years ago and it just felt like a special, magical place. I found myself wanting to crawl through the underbrush and get lost in the misty atmosphere.
What areas of your work or personal development are you hoping to explore further?
I would really like to push my paintings to more abstraction. I'm wondering if I can provoke the same emotions and feelings without building an obvious environment. Can an abstract painting still give the sense of exploring the dense parts of the forest floor? I think abstraction will also help me loosen up and not worry about composition so much.
What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?
I have been particularly inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's movie The Secret Life of Arietty. It is a movie based off of the book The Borrowers. Essentially it is about a girl and her parents, who are about an inch tall and live underneath a human's house. They are scavengers and have to find or make everything they eat or own. Being that small, Arietty often goes outside and runs through the grass and gardens. I think it would be beautiful to see the world from that perspective and it really allows me to think in the sense of painting with a goal of exploration in mind.