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Artist's Statement

Making art is not just a creative outlet. It is therapeutic; a way to release my bottled up emotions. I am introspective and an introvert. I focus on my inner thoughts and feelings and often feel a need to withdraw after interacting with people. Being both a deeply emotional person and reticent, I choose not to share myself with people.

I enjoy creating abstract oil paintings on large canvases. The colors I choose and the gestures I make are indicative of my emotional state. The large size of the canvas and the bold colors demand attention, something I shy away from in social interactions. Small paintings don’t take up much space and are often not noticeable unless the viewer has an eye for art and details. One must step closer to observe, otherwise the art is lost in its environment. Large canvases command attention, especially when taking up a sizable portion of the wall. They are one of the first things one sees when entering a room. My invisibility disappears as the viewer is engulfed in chroma, gesture, and sentiment. These paintings are my diary entries, on display for the world, but only if one is intuitive enough to discern.

I love the process and freedom of applying chromatic paint. The raw boldness of complementary colors attracts me. I prefer the thickness of oil paint which can be applied with harsh brush strokes, smoothed and blended gently with a brush, or scraped on aggressively with palette knives. My paintings are not loose renditions of anything physical. Rather they are insight into how I feel. Looking at my art, one is left to speculate about the experiences in which I speak without words.

In contrast to my abstract paintings, I enjoy the challenge of drawing realistically with charcoal pencils. I am intrigued by eyes, the windows to the soul. Eyes are where I begin rendering a portrait. It is a concentrated focus on values and lines, absent from color.

Art needs to be enjoyable for me. Subject matter is important to me, as is the absence of expectation. I do not create art to match one’s couch, nor do I draw or paint portraits of people I don’t know for one to gift a loved one. Everyone has an expectation, an assumption of how one feels I should behave, perform, and respond, either on the job or in relationships. To create art for another person is to conform to their expectations of me, which is a binding process. Having to do what someone else wants me to do in my free time, with my creativity, diminishes the indulgence of autonomy.

Where I do enjoy requests for art is in creating pottery. Making three dimensional, functional art is a gratifying tactile experience. I like feeling the clay form in my hands, sometimes doing what I want, and other times being surprised by what develops. Being new to ceramics, I find it challenging in that I have less control over the clay and colors of the glazes. I have learned to be pleasantly surprised by my efforts, and am sometimes naturally disappointed. What is satisfying is holding a mug of coffee in my hands and knowing that I am the one who made this mug. It is my creative efforts that I can enjoy. I relish not only the creative process, but each time I drink from my mug or eat from my bowl, I savor my efforts and accomplishments. Knowing other people enjoy my art is pleasing as well.