I am in the midst of a project that is part of my ongoing study of the women in my family. I’ve been doing this work for several years now and their personalities make it into my art no matter what form it takes, sometimes in word, sometimes in image.
When I do these paintings, I work big. Every six months to a year I explore my idea of conceptual portraits. But none of my work is really a portrait; it isn’t a true reflection of the person as much as how they reflect in me, echo in me or exist in me. I hear their words as I plan and paint. I see their brows furrow and feel their hands on mine. It is an eerie practice, I know, but it triggers something real in me.
As I paint, I’m able to get to know them so much better through these reflections. It ties them to me in a connection that I need to feel. Making this work is a way for me to honor them. To respect who they were as girls and women; acknowledge what they went through, struggled with and suffered during their lifetime to allow me the luxuries that I enjoy (by comparison, anyway). I imagine the advice they would give me. I can laugh at their silliness and crazy ideas. They were smart, strong and brave — and they had to be.
I am incredibly grateful to all of the women who brought me here.