Many of my previous paintings reflect the experience of a young woman grappling for self-knowing in a hostile environment. These new paintings reflect the same woman remembering her former self and also ripening into motherhood and middle age. Human reactions to bodies and other textures range from abjection to lust. My work is an intentionally shameless dive into the landscape of psychology and power around bodies—especially women’s bodies.
“The Naming” is a phase of artistic development coined by Judith Burton in which children make marks or shapes. Then, upon examining what they’ve made, they perceive a recognizable image and name it. My practice relies heavily on that creative skill I developed three decades ago. I begin a project with images and forms that mysteriously resonate. Through painting I learn the personal and cultural significance of these mysterious forms. I might not know what the painting is about until I’ve completed it. It may even take me three or five paintings to discover its meaning.
I have based these oil paintings on a series india ink drawings, hoping to transfer that urgency and spontaneity into the tactile layers of oil painting. I integrate imagined and found textures from memories, magazines and google searches. I continue playing with the textures, form and gesture through paint until the figure takes on her own presence, and is fully “born.”