In 2016, I enrolled in an informal art class and made drawings and paintings where I experimented with acrylics, charcoal, and graphite. It was the first time as an adult that I discovered a dormant need to create and experiment.
I joined a painting group that primarily painted classical realism style still life paintings. Many were masters of the trade and I discovered that I had a lot of learning ahead of me. It was intimidating and thrilling and I realized that I needed to spend more time in the studio to practice.
My first still life paintings were based on objects I found at the MoMA store – a folding wood robot and an anime-style porcelain bunny cookie jar. Finding objects that I wanted to paint had its limitations – the cost, time, and effort to hunt at tag sales, consignment shops, or online. Often, I found that I don’t have any connections to objects old and new that inspire me to paint.
I had to figure out how to find compelling setups for my still life paintings. I decided to embark on creating my own objects and enrolled in a ceramics class. What better way to practice and learn how to paint the structure and form of things then to have it in my hand and physically build it first? Some ceramics I have made are abstract shapes that lend themselves naturally to explore abstraction in my paintings. Other ceramics have become the subject matter of my still life character paintings. It’s a slow process from start to finish, but it feels very personal and honest, with room to grow.
Currently, I have an art studio in the Ossining Bethany Arts Community in New York.