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paint from your heart

As a painter, I have to ask myself where these images I paint come from – emotionally. I think it starts with our life changing move as a family when I was 5 years old. We moved from the vibrant modernism of 1960’s Southern California to the isolated Sandhills ranching community of Valentine, Nebraska. I am sure my teenage sister and brother were in shock, but as a little kid I thought it was quite marvelous – just like moving to a John Ford western.

Not only was I exposed to life locked into another era, I was also prone to pour over our family photo albums, the black and white images of times before I was born. I would try to understand all the stories in the faces and environments. Later in my life those family albums moved on to another family member, but I find I still long for them like an old friend.

These two emotionally rich triggers have led me to seeking out old photos from the families of my friends, from eras that remind of my time in Valentine, and from days when hard work meant something different than it does today. My soul understands emptiness and aloneness from living on the prairie. My life there helped me know the stolen moments of joy that come long days of hard work. Like those archival photos of the Dust Bowl where the strength and fragility of humans comes across in a single frozen moment. I seem to always be aware of the people, just over my shoulder, that laid the foundation for the lives we live today.

As an emerging artist I have so much to learn, but every painting moves me forward in ways I could never predict.

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