I see paintings as embodied beings. They present their face to the world and have an interior life, just like we do.
My paintings are imaginary, composite portraits of girls and women. Centering girls and women as subjects who gaze directly at the viewer or outside the frame, I depict them in varying states of visibility and transformation. Based on the faces of people I know, vernacular photography and women artists from art history, I combine fragments of different faces to create a new identity, one that is animated and present, imperfect rather than ideal. Contrasting interior and persona, the paintings explore vulnerability, the circularity of time, and the nature of how and what we see. These themes are through-lines in my work over the last twenty years.
The paintings are process-driven, juxtaposing gestural figuration and geometric abstraction against atmospheric fields of color. The viscosity and flexibility of oil paint and the flow of water-based paints facilitate different effects of surface and depth. Intermittently sanding and scraping paint down to the wood panel, I leave visible traces of previous marks, building a visual history of the painting that in turn creates the image. Everything is in flux until it’s not. I paint until a specific presence emerges through the process, not a particular likeness. The act of creating a portrait becomes a metaphor for the act of painting, and vice versa. My influences include family and work life (teaching at a women-centered university), as well as the political climate where women's autonomy is under attack.