Back at it again…

It has been a long time since I have finished a painting. Life gets busy and it gets hard to spend time in my studio. I let myself make excuses and I find myself believing them. Without a hard deadline, I just get stuck and can’t quite finish a painting.

So, I decided to find a call for entries (because it would have a deadline) and force myself to enter a new painting. I haven’t painted in so long, so in order to meet the criteria of the painting being made in the last three years, it was going to have to be something new. I set this goal several months ago…and then I procrastinated.

I couldn’t decide what to paint, but I had plenty of time and it would come to me. It didn’t. So, with one week until the deadline, I went into my folder of old reference photos and decided to re-do an old favorite.

When I was in school at RMCAD, I painted a close up of my lips coated in black lipstick. At that point in time, I didn’t spend very much time prepping my surface. That painting was actually the turning point for how much time and energy I put into the layers and layers of gesso and sanding. I loved how the painting turned out, but the canvas was kind of bumpy and could have looked so much better. This was my chance for redemption for that painting.

Today was the deadline for submitting artwork to the call for entries. I was up last night finishing my painting, and I filled out the entry this morning. It feels good to have finished an artwork. Now, I need to spend some time finding the next opportunity and set a new goal/deadline.



The Quiet One – Oil on Canvas – August 2019



Untitled (Black) – Oil on Canvas – August 2013


Paper Fashion 2017

Where to start…?

This year my wonderful paper fashion team and I decided to create not one, but TWO looks for the fashion show! I thought we were going to go totally crazy, but it ended up not being much different than any other year (in other words, only slightly crazy). We decided to create a high-fashion, avant-garde look and then use that as inspiration for a ready-to-wear look. I took the lead on the first look and my wonderful brother and sister-in-law lead the ready-to-wear design.

The first look, titled “The Guardian,” was my vision of a guardian angel. I wanted to create something that combined grace and beauty with fierceness and strength. Inspiration for this look began with my memory of seeing the Winged Victory of Samothrace at the Louvre ten years ago. I remember coming up a staircase, turning, being completely taken aback by the sight of this sculpture. Of all of the art that I saw that day, she was the one that has stayed with me all these years. Because of this, I began with research on the goddess of Victoria, which revealed that she was the symbol of victory over death in all endeavors. Images of winged women were seen all over the Roman Empire, and after the Christianization, those figures evolved into Christian angels. This discovery lead to further research on depictions of angels throughout art history. I pulled inspiration from Byzantine mosaics showing large gold circles representing halos, Italian Renaissance paintings which had softer more ethereal portrayals of angels, as well as other images of angels, goddesses, and warriors. This all came together to form my vision of “The Guardian.”

Our second look, “Guarded,” was inspired by the process of professional designers, many of which create extravagant looks that walk the runways, then interpret those ideas in to ready-to-wear garments. The lead designers for “Guarded” utilized textures, colors, and techniques from “The Guardian” to create our team’s second look. This look came together as a perfect out on the town look that had clear inspiration from the other design. The two looks together were everything we envisioned and more.

After all of our hard work and problem solving, “The Guardian” earned the Second Place Overall award!! It was all very exciting, and a great way to wrap up another Paper Fashion Show.

Planning Makes Perfect

Planning is and has always been a HUGE part of my art practice. For me, planning is about 50% of my process. This includes the initial brainstorming that sparks the idea, research, sketching, experimenting with materials, mock-ups, and a lot of writing. It may seem strange, but my ‘sketchbooks’ are more writing than sketches. It is just the way I think and process things. I want every piece that I create to have careful consideration behind each and every decision. I am not a fan of making things and then trying to figure out what they mean later…at least not as final pieces. I believe that the greatest artists spend time carefully planning and researching so they can manipulate their media into exactly what they intend to. That is what I strive for, and that is why I plan…excessively.

Entering the final stages of planning for my 2016 Paper Fashion Show design.

planning for my 2016 Paper Fashion Show design

I started the planning process for this year’s Paper Fashion show about a year and a half ago, and yesterday I picked out the swatch-book of paper that I will be using. So, now it is crunch time for planning. I need to come up with a final sketch of my design and select the colors of paper so I can get my order placed and can get started on my design.