I’m a painter from Homer Alaska, a small town flanked by wilderness and ocean. I graduated with a BFA from Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2003 and have lived and painted in Oregon, Wisconsin and California. When my husband and I moved back to Homer in 2010, I found fresh inspiration in this beautiful and quirky place. Over the past ten years, I’ve been developing work around the themes of transformation and belonging. My images are derived from personal narrative and I want to communicate the messy, lyrical, tragic and profound experience of being an Alaskan woman, an artist, and a mother.
(Dis)Entanglement, Artist Statement
I was raised in a culture of make-do, in a family of seekers and dreamers who came to Alaska in pursuit of a romantic way of life as “back to the landers” in the 1970’s. My parents built a road, a home, and a family deep in a spruce forest to become fishermen.
The reality of this dream was not always pretty, there was lack and uncertainty. We had no running water and our family used an outhouse until I was ten. As a commercial fishing family, I grew up exposed to seasons of raw hardship and idealistic hope. The cords of these experiences continue to weave through my life, and I’ve carried them through into motherhood. Being a parent is a hopeful venture marked by daily sacrifice. Being a mother is a messy knot of deep love and heavy expectations. My art is driven by the contradictory truths that life is both brutal and beautiful.
I’m drawn to the worn and rusty remnants of the commercial fishing industry, to the cyclical extremes of light and dark in the seasons in the North, and to the love and pain of motherhood. My life as an artist and a mother is a tangled knot of dreams and reality, perception and interpretation. Painting is a process of unknotting the cords of these dualities in order to examine the relationships between them. I paint to find understanding and to express the contradictions within these relationships. I want to find the beauty within the imperfect.
I work from observation, memory, photographs, and personal narrative. I walk the line between abstraction and representation. I feel focused and boundless when I’m painting, when my mind, my hands and my eyes are working in unison. I pursue multiple paintings ideas at once. I strive to keep my work fresh while adding layers of color, words, and images. I work in thin layers of paint on stretched canvas and wood panels. I begin a new painting with bold color and sketchy marks and push edges and values back and forth to define the image. Painting is a process of discovery as I disassemble and organize knotted ideas, seeking the connections between contradictory truths.
I recently embarked on a series of creative experiments, teasing out cords of ideas that have woven through my work for the past 25 years. These cords have emerged as a series of personal symbols: the bow and keel of a boat, rope, nets, fish, and the reintroduction of the human form. This process of unknotting and examining the imagery and themes within my work has culminated in a new series, (Dis)Entanglement.
I’m planning large scale figurative paintings in oil, tying together imagery sourced from personal narrative, commercial fishing, and the body. I’m using these forms to express the dualistic nature of the relationships between parent and child and between the dream and the realities of being a mother, a fisherwoman, and an artist.