Finding MY Way
I am sitting here thinking about the direction I want to go with this work and what I am trying to say. And how I am going to get there.
So many people ask me why I do work like this. I have no answer. I am compelled. I cannot stop. I take a mental health break every once and a while and explore color theory, then something happens to drive me back. I have spent the last four years afraid and angry because of my lack of control to stop any of it. Those are feelings I am not comfortable with.
I am a female artist. I am a disabled artist. I am an artist with children. These children are the very center of my universe and I felt like the last four years were an assault on their future and every lesson I taught them on their way to becoming responsible, compassionate, and humble human beings.
I developed bruxism from clenching my teeth while I slept. When I could fall asleep. At times I went from the insane highs of anxiety to a depression so deep it was hard for me to find the inspiration to create. After the uncontrolled spread of Covid, my anxiety was at times what drove me, and my fear kept me a prisoner both in my mind and my house. I started waking up in a sweat and my thermometer became my life raft. Until I realized I was having panic attacks. The minute I opened my eyes, I was having panic attacks. Good lord, what a way to live.
So much time has been wasted this year. Wasted waiting for leadership, compassion, common sense, and a cure. So much time wasted waiting for people not to be assholes. All of that wasted time really pisses me off. So, in addition to all the above, I am also a pissed off artist apparently. I am pissed off at the absolute bullshit behavior of white people, and for the sake of transparency, I am white. I have watched family and friends embrace an ideology I cannot even comprehend. I like so many others, have had to watch the worst humanity has to offer all in the name of “whiteness” or “white American” whatever the fuck that is. We have witnessed the absurd in the name of White Christianity, White Nationalism, White Privilege and White Greed, White Patriarchy, blah blah. Watch it and be horrified by it, while lacking the resources to stop it.
That is what my current work is focusing on. The horror, absurdity, the characters, and my reactions to it all. I have a lot to work through. I think we all do. I want to create a space for people to do that.
With all the chaos and noise of the past four years, I think we have stopped listening to each other. I believe when a conversation becomes ineffectual and the words to painful to say, images can speak for us. They can force us to look at ideas or outcomes that make us angry or uncomfortable. I want this work to do that.
For me, finding my way forward can only be achieved by exploring my emotions of the past year.
Gaslighting Out Loud 2018. Acrylic on Canvas.
Dee and Dumb . 2019.
Who's (Really) In Charge Here? 2019. Mixed Media
Trust Me! 2018. Graphite & Colored Pencil
Zip A Dee Do Dah. 2020. Watercolor/Collage
Can be seen in Las Laguna Gallery's Exhibition, Political Discord
Fortunately, I Know A Little Magic. 2020. Watercolor/Collage
Political Anxiety is Real and Lives in Me
Hi all. I want to thank you for stopping by and looking at my work. This is my very first blog, so be patient with me. I am not used to sharing my inner most thoughts with the world. We are in turbulent times and some of my work reflects that. It is a way for me to blow off steam, work through some anxieties and diminish those that try to diminish us.
I started my political caricatures in 2018, as I was dealing with overwhelming anxiety and fear for the future of my children, myself, and my country
As I felt our country was falling farther and farther down the rabbit hole, I used the theme of Wonderland to express my insecurities and anxieties, while giving Sir John Tenniel’s iconic illustrations a modern-day twist. These works were less a deliberate slam and more an attempt to explain the way I saw the world unfolding. It was a gateway to give the viewer permission to feel this same fear and a safe place to express it. While this was on display, I was amazed at the number of folks, many young women, who were feeling as anxious as me, yet felt too afraid to express those feeling out loud, so we did it together. We laughed, cursed, some even cried, but we left the space feeling lighter and with a sense of camaraderie.
My newer work, the watercolors were a result of my election anxiety. I do have to thank Holbein Watercolors for their vibrant hues as well as the never-ending parade of hypocritical, nasty, inhumane republican congresspeople for giving me so much to work with as. You might even recognize my inspirational villains. (Sorry Disney).
I get that some of this work is a bit difficult for certain people to view with an open mind. I don’t really give a crap. This is mine. My mind. My heart. My anxiety. My fear. As a woman artist, I have been told by some male counterparts that this type of work is a little unusual, even aggressive. There was even a suggestion that I, “tone it down a bit”. Nope, not happening. I own my shit, the good and the bad, and I will express it how I see fit. As women, we all need to do that. It is freeing in a way that I cannot even begin to explain. Being nice, quiet, differential isn’t in my nature. This baby doesn’t sit in a corner, and if you’re reading this, I suggest that you don’t either. It is our time. Our time to yell, stomp our feet and paint in big bold strokes.
If you have some art stories of your own, or even stories of inspiration. I would love to hear from you. We can get through this together!