Briefly describe the work you do.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I am a native of the midwest, born and raised in Massillon, Ohio. Five years ago I came to the southwest for graduate school and fell in love with New Mexico. The landscape and culture are so different from where I spent most of my life. The boldness of the light found in the southwest has affected the aesthetic of my work. I feel attached to bold and bright colors, much like you will see in New Mexico on a hot, cloudless day.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
Most of my work is made in a traditional studio setting. The pieces that I make are very time consuming. I use traditional processes, including oil painting, that require long dry times and layering of materials. That being said, most of my work begins outside of my studio. Photography is integral in my creative process. Much of the inspiration for my current pieces comes from nature. I spend a lot of time hiking, and taking images of the landscape.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I see myself as an inventor and sometimes scientist. Experimentation plays a big role in my practice. When I first started making art, I just wanted to know the ‘right’ way to do things. I didn’t understand that the most exciting part of art was inventing my own way to create things. A scientist, in the broadest sense, is one who engages in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. I feel a true artist is one who creates a practice through which knowledge is the ideal goal.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
I try to keep myself on a set schedule. I think one of the hardest things about being an artist is not losing the momentum that you have when you are creating. When I get out of the practice of making art, it can sometimes be difficult to get started again- sort of like exercise. I feel better when I am creating.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
Over the past five years, I have experimented with a lot of different materials. I have always had an interest in mixed media, and in the past year I have learned to embrace it. Conceptually, my work has also taken a turn in the last year. As a young artist and woman, I was interested in depictions of the body, and how our culture defined femininity and beauty. In recent years, my interest has shifted. I am still interested in definitions of beauty, but I am thinking about it in a broader sense. I am exploring the complicated relationship we have with beauty, both in nature and in the figure.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.