I’ve always wanted to be an artist. But I wanted it in the way that little girls want to be fairies or mermaids. It never occurred to me that it was a career I could actually pursue. Calling oneself an Artist was something reserved for a completely separate magical breed of people. So, instead I was “artsy.” I did theater, I wrote poetry. I rarely drew, never painted. Not because I wasn’t interested- visual arts looked like some sort of magic to me- but because I was certain I couldn’t. I didn’t even realize art was a craft that I could work at and improve upon. My attempts to bring out what was in my head were so embarrassingly bad I didn’t even want to see them myself.
Meanwhile, I was also fascinated with human beings and how our minds work…why people do what they do…the push and pull of relationships. Now that seemed like a reasonable area of study. And it was. I loved studying and observing. But here’s the thing- study people and their hurts and foibles and triumphs long enough and at some point it’s going to start sinking in that these are real individuals. Not abstracts or theories. Think about that long enough and the beauty and sadness of how we connect and how we hurt is going to break your heart a little. And that’s what had to come out in paint.
So I started painting. First with cheap acrylic paint in the broad sweeping strokes of a palette knife, then, once I realized I do have a talent for realism, in depicting little, often overlooked everyday objects that are so much a part of these poignant little lives we lead, to now and the study of people. I think I’m finally to the point where I can do what I’ve always wanted to do- examine people and their stories and experiences; find the beauty, eccentricities, and nuances in them; let them know they’re seen and understood. Then, in creating a picture, bringing them into the light where other people can say, “I know that feeling,” and we can all feel a little more connected in this beautiful, tragic, lovely world we share.