“It’s impossible to fail if one doesn’t know how the end should look. And it’s impossible to succeed. But it’s possible to enjoy.” — Sarah Manguso

Enoughness, 2022, watercolor on paper, 11"x14"

May, 2022

I painted this while listening to a conversation about reimagining a world without profit — what it would mean for our lives, and the ways this model is already beginning to happen.

As an artist and a parent, it is so obvious to me that people work and create for reasons that have nothing to do with generating profit. It feels energizing and vital that there’s more and more conversation happening about reclaiming our deeper human needs — to sleep, to eat, to feel belonging with the people we love, to move our bodies, to feel at home in the natural world, to work together to solve problems — and more and more recognition that we have been caught up in a system of exploitation that would have us believe making money and pursuing individual comfort or status, even at the expense of our fellow beings and the planet, is our purpose.

I’m here for the reimagining, for the messy exciting work of stripping away the false priorities and remembering how to feel fully alive, together. 

Reimagining, 2022, watercolor on paper, 11"x14"

May, 2022

Through yoga and somatic practices, I’ve become aware of how differently I often perceive the left and right sides of my body. At times, it feels like all the aliveness, awareness, sensation, and movement is stuck in one side — and sometimes my yoga practice becomes about working with that.

And though it can get oversimplified (“I’m a right-brained person”), I’m fascinated by the research on the two hemispheres of the brain, with their distinct and complementary roles. 

Assymetry between left and right continues to be a source of energy and excitement in my paintings. Often, the left side of my paintings (which would be the right side of the face) is darker, heavier, shadowed, and the right side has more space.

That’s where I’m at with it: just a lot of curiosity and ongoing questions.

Waiting no. 7, 2022, watercolor on paper, 8.5"x11"

April, 2022

Part of a series of seven (so far) versions of the same face, based on a photo from the New York Times of a woman in Ukraine waiting for a train to flee the country.

In this series, I was interested in beginning from a real inspiration but then abstracting it more and more; partly because there is this heavy awareness in me that we can’t assume we know what is going on for someone else. I didn’t want to project my own story on the woman in the photo, but I did want to connect to the universal human experience of uncertainty — of waiting for something that hasn’t arrived yet, leaving behind something you will never return to in exactly the same way.

Gaze, 2022, watercolor on paper, 11"x14"

March, 2022

There’s an edge I’m often playing on when I paint these faces: to be bold and loose and take risks and make messes but also preserve moments of precision or clarity amidst the chaos.

Watercolor is a compelling medium for me because it is so time-dependent. Wait too long and the dry color won’t bleed and bend the way you might want it to; or be too impatient and the spot you wanted to stay separate bleeds into total distortion.

I’m still newish to this medium and there’s lots I don’t know, but I love playing right at the edge of texture and form, structure and chaos. This one felt like it landed in a sweet spot.

Blue, 2022, watercolor on paper, 11"x14"

March, 2022

Another in a series that plays with these black lines atop a bed of color. It keeps feeling interesting to me to work with color, texture, and emotion in these layers.

Worthy, 2022, watercolor on paper, 18"x24"

March, 2022

A thing I am trying to learn is that bodies need rest.

A thing I am trying to unlearn is that feeling energetic is worthier than feeling tired. (#internalizedableism)

A thing I am trying to learn is that humans have cycles and rhythms all our own and that we do not easily sync to the external demands of deadlines and weekdays and alarms.

To heal a concussion, you have to learn something called “planning and pacing,” which involves *actually* making peace with your own cycles of energy — understanding what depletes you, what recharges you, and how to build your capacity without overly aggravating your symptoms.

The thing is, I think *all* people need to learn this about ourselves; concussions just make it more obvious, because the symptoms of not listening to yourself get louder.

Another thing I’m trying to learn, when the energy allows: to make bigger paintings. Here’s an 18×24 from the studio today.

Cave of the Heart, 2022, watercolor on paper, 18"x24"

March, 2022

Sometimes paintings emerge as attempts to convey a somatic experience that can’t totally be conveyed.

At times, in pain, I’ve been aware of a feeling that there was a deep empty place where my heart should be.

What I’ve learned (and what keeps being really hard and inconvenient) about feelings is that denying, suppressing, arguing with, or telling them they don’t make sense or shouldn’t be happening is… unfortunately not helpful.

What seems to be helpful again and again is to slowly allow them to be known without judgment, to be met with kindness. They seem then to transform on their own, the way rain always does manage to somehow become sunshine again, then rain once more.

My hope is that this painting will remind me to be compassionate with pain and confusion wherever I encounter it, in myself and others.