I am an artist and teacher based in Texas, USA. I am currently focusing on a series of self-portraits.
I have attended an art residency at the Old School Art House in Hrisey, Iceland, and I am scheduled to attend the Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio’s AIR program in Sapporo, Japan as well as the Metropolitan Fukujusou in Kyoto, Japan. I have also been in exhibitions at the Art Center of Corpus Christi and with the Texas Art Education Association.
My body of work that I am most excited about and want to explore further is a series of tongue-in-cheek self-portraits. While these self-portraits center on me and my individual experiences, many of the themes within them are part of a broader narrative. That is not to say I am trying to speak for others. Rather, self-portraiture allows me to process what is happening around me in a way that provides a springboard for myself and others to discuss the divergences and convergences in our experiences.
These self-portraits began in a practical manner. I wanted to paint people, and I was always available when I wanted to paint. However, once I worked past a few initial self-portraits, I began to want to experiment with them more. Odd Nerdrum was one of my early figure painting influences and his self-portraits challenged me to think about how I approach self-portraiture. I began to move away from simple self-portraits by making a few silly paintings that played with identity in a somewhat shallow sense as it relates to personality.
After a few of those paintings, I began to work with the self-portrait as a tool to portray a more specific emotion or time. I was drawn to the concept of the moment both from impressionism and the Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art. The Utsurohi and Hisashi rooms at Nagi MOCA seemed to communicate a feeling of time and moment that I found appealing. Additionally, learning about how Tracey Emin uses art as an autobiographical and confessional tool influenced how I think about self-portraiture as a way to communicate events.
As I worked, I realized that these moments I was painting about, while specific to me, are also themes that other people can relate to. My portrait “This is as Exciting as it Gets” is my first example of this shift. In it, I depict a moment in the initial COVID-19 shutdowns where I was using some extra nice skin care on a Friday night. I was struck by how this was now the most exciting thing happening in my life.
This painting also marks the beginning of highlighting my hands as part of the self-portrait. My father is deaf, and I grew up speaking both American Sign Language and English. Quite literally, this means I have used my hands to communicate my entire life. While I only occasionally paint my hands in actual signs, I often use them as a means to emote certain emotions or to place emphasis on part of the image.
Additionally, I do paint landscapes. I find that painting landscapes are a delightful way to process the world around me and draw attention to all the natural beauty that surrounds us. They also give me a break from looking at my own mug when I need it.