Can you kindly tell our readers how you choose your subject matter and why you are drawn to painting nudes?
If you had asked me that question a few years ago I could have given a simpler answer. I have always chosen to paint women that I am in awe of, women that I respect and believe should be celebrated. I’m drawn to women at ease and radiant in their own skin, owning their vulnerability as well as their immense power. Painting these women has brought me closer to understanding our complexity, how we see ourselves, and the absurdity of cultural perspectives. Why nude? Because the work is seeing and celebrating women as they honestly are, without pretense or embellishment.
Then the socio-political shockwaves of the last two years sent me on a new quest. I am compelled by the questions, ‘who are we’ and ‘how did we get where we are today’. I needed to open the lens beyond seeing dynamic individuals in order to begin to understand our connectivity and complicity. I backed up and started close to home. The Generational Tapestry series excavates the lived feminine experiences of my foremothers. It is my way to begin to understand the lives of my grandmother’s, how they informed our mothers generation, what we now carry and how we in turn pass this legacy on to our daughters.
Please speak about the many physical layers you surround them in and how you choose your background imagery.
The foundation of each Generational Tapestry panel is an assemblage of my grandmothers personal handicrafts and keepsakes; cherished items they held onto for decades, long after their usefulness had past. These icons, that clearly defined aspects of their self identity, begin to tell a story. Each panel addresses, often with the convergence of strange bedfellows, a unique aspect of their lived feminine experience. A surface is raised above each collage to support the figure of a young woman. She is literally built on the legacy of those who came before.