People who don’t know me well are often confused by me because the stereotype of an artist is a person who is flighty, flaky, absentminded, disorganized and disheveled, but in reality my personality is the opposite of this. An online personality test called me “the reliable realist,” as I am extremely organized, down-to-earth, focused, determined, dependable and loyal.
At the same time, I am an artist to my core. So I constantly see this dichotomy within myself—the reliable realist exists alongside the passionate dreamer who is always up in her head, envisioning and creating. The cerebral works alongside the intuitive. Because this is the way I am, I tend to meditate on the concept of being grounded in the earth while simultaneously flying in the sky.
In my work, I am inadvertently drawn to play with scale, both visually and in my choice of subject matter. My paintings are of unfathomably large things, highlighting the smallness of the viewer. With my choice of exaggerated angles, my trees zoom dramatically into the sky higher than the eye can see.
My work also brings to mind the scale of time. Ancient redwood trees are rooted in the past and will outlive us all, but even so they are impermanent as any other life on Earth.
This imagery is designed to give perspective, to place us in the rest of the universe as the tiny specks that we are. Our lives are fleeting and our size is so small as to be inconsequential. On the other hand, every individual is connected to the rest of the universe. Each of us is an integral part of an infinite universe and therefore that infinity—the essence of the cosmos—resides within each of us.
The mind can expand and contract depending on our perspective. It can be as small as our physical bodies, or it can expand to include all of life, space and time. Somehow humans have the ability to be grounded in the physical while simultaneously open and connected to everything else. As we grasp an inkling of how infinitesimally small we are, at the same time we realize that we are part of something mind-boggling. I want to capture the experience of being simultaneously present both in our distinct, tangible bodies—grounded—and in our mysterious, limitless minds—flying. We can access this state through time spent in nature.
As a tense, goal-oriented person, often confronting burnout, I’m interested in exploring the idea of balance. Finding the perfect balance means being fully present amid chaos, yet maintaining a state of peace. This is the question I ask about the human experience—how to get to that state of peace. I find my answers in the trees and the stars.