This is where it all started. At the time I had been in college studying nursing for seven years and was working as an RN in a hospital for four years. My plan was to continue my nursing education but I desperately needed a break. I decided to take a semester off to rebalance my soul and during this time is when I began to paint. I enrolled in an open studio oil painting class at the Goggleworks in Reading Pennsylvania. My instructor's name was Dan Gorman. I really wanted to paint a portrait in this class. I felt as though a portrait would be the most difficult kind of painting to paint and I wanted to take the opportunity to try it while I had Dan to guide me. I wanted to paint Abraham Lincoln because I love his face, he is my favorite president, it was a few days before Lincoln’s birthday and I am related to him. It was a joy and a struggle to paint this portrait. There were times that I wanted to cry because I was so frustrated. But then one day I stepped back and looked at my painting from across the room. I couldn't believe what I made. The first portrait that I ever did was amazing. My painting came to life and I was high on art. It was then that I decided that I did not want to continue my nursing education. I wanted to paint.
My self portrait was the second painting that I made. I don't think that I could ever part with it. My mother thinks that I look scared in this painting and she is partly right. I was afraid but I was also empowered at the same time. The tree could be looked at like it is strangling me but I see it as I am part of the tree. It represents growth, connection to nature and knowing that we are all a part of something much bigger than ourselves. There is a song that I wrote a few months before I painted this piece. It is called Go Do. I think it compliments this image perfectly. I think that the song and the painting communicate that possibilities are endless.
This painting came to me with a song called Winter. The song and the painting is heart wrenching. The painting actually comes across as curious and peculiar. This painting is very odd looking so I would like to explain. That strange creature perched in the tree is both my ex-boyfriend and my parakeet. My heart was broken after a ten year relationship came to an end (for the last time). A couple of weeks later my bird flew out the door. It was the craziest thing because my bird, who walked on the floor most of the time and occasionally dangled from a curtain, was tricking me. He came across as a stupid bird who liked flying into walls. One day when the door was cracked open my bird flew across two rooms and straight out the door without running into anything. I couldn't believe that had just happened. It was a snowy day in March. My white parakeet blended in with the snow. I chased him until I could not see him anymore. I knew he would not survive but I had hope. I left his birdcage on the porch with the door open for a long time, hoping he might just come back. He never did and neither did my ex-boyfriend.
This is my best buddy Bianca the pug. She follows me everywhere I go and she wants to help me with everything that I do around the house. I painted her out of things from the kitchen because that is where we hang most often. Her fur is painted with coffee, the floor is turmeric, the wall is arugula and her bone and collar is raspberries.
3rd Blood Moon of the Tetrad
Although this painting is not one of my bests, this painting saved my life. One night I was being buried by my misery and feeling rather desperate. I could have let this negativity completely swallow me but instead, I painted. This is the first portrait that I painted where I did not use a reference photo and I did not sketch it out. Painting a picture was an emergency on this night. I frantically began to paint because of my despair. It is not one of my favorite paintings but it is special because it saved me. It distracted me from my sorrow for the time being and it also came with a song called Sweet Misery.
Pig & Pug
Bianca and her friend blasted into space. This was fun to do because I used and old board that had some interesting grain that I wanted to bring out. I love to dilute acrylic paint with water and use it as a wash on wood. The painting just kind of happened naturally. I wanted it to be funny. I don't remember my thought process as to why I put them in outer space but I love the way this one turned out.
I met Jay in 2015 and we fell in love instantly. I felt like I knew this man forever. He is a very spontaneous and adventurous fella. I will also add intelligent and loving to the list of adjectives that describe him. Two years later we ended up getting married in the Himalayas as we were trekking to the Mount Everest base camp. He sees beyond the world as we know it and he dreams big. This painting that I call Jay's World was a Christmas gift I made for him in 2015. He calls this painting Perfect World. The magical thing about this painting is that I painted it before we ever had the thought of going to Mount Everest and getting married. Mount Everest is part of a massif together with Lhotse and Nuptse. If you look at pictures of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse it closely resembles the mountain range in the distance of this painting. I believe this painting was a premonition to our marriage. One of the songs that I wrote about Jay is called Hang, and here we are just hanging in this painting.
Commissioned portrait of jeaneen
This made it official. Jeaneen paid me to paint her portrait. I felt like a real artist. It was scary to take the job. What if it didn’t look like her? What if she didn’t like it? What if it sucked? I worked past my fears of painting commissioned pieces and I took it as a challenge. We were both happy with the way it turned out.