top of page

February 23, 2015


                                                                                                     Artist Statement


            My work consists of two-dimensional black and white prints, as well as charcoal drawings with pastels added. Each series of my work focuses on a different theme: one is on recovery, another on feminism, and the last is about expressing anxiety. The inspiration for the work comes from a desire to connect to people by depicting intense emotional experiences.  The emotions portrayed in each series are inspired by my personal struggles. Although they are based on my struggles, they also appeal to a broad audience by portraying emotions that are universal to many. These are expressed using abstraction, realism, color, and symbolism, depending on the series. Because people have different lives and experience, they will not all feel the same way about the pieces, and the viewer will be able to find their own meanings.


            The series “Likeness” is based off of someone who is very close to me. Although we are close, I learned much more about her state of mind at the time. I do not believe that portraiture is taking someone’s face and re-drawing it realistically. I believe a person’s portrait is about capturing their heart and mind, whether their face is in the scene or not. When creating portraits I find ways to create their likeness and to show their feelings. The series does contain two portraits, but also contains pieces with a focus on certain body parts. All of the pieces have a main focus on her life, interests, struggles, and passion. They are drawn realistically with a combination of abstraction with the media charcoal and oil pastels. Abstraction helps the portraits emotions while the realistic aspects help portray the overall idea. Some meanings are more hidden than others, but all describe the person greatly. I looked at several artists for inspiration but was impacted mostly by Gerhard Richter. In his oil painting, Reader, it shows a realistic portrait of a girl reading. This piece inspired me because not much of her face was show. With her stance and concentration, the audience can feel what the model was feeling and doing. Richter’s artwork Self-Portrait Three Times (oil on gelatin silver print) shows his body in three locations in the room faintly. The piece concentrates more on his space, rather than his actual body. Both pieces are unconventional portraits that take the heart and mind of the person to portray their true self.  


           My anxiety-related pieces are a series of portraiture using facial expressions and minimal color to express different stages of anxiety. Each piece began with charcoal on 300lb watercolor paper. Then I put a mixture of denatured alcohol and shellac on the board before adding the pastels. This way the two medias do not mix, and a small amount of colored pastels can be added. When it comes to artist’s inspiration with contemporary artists, I mainly look at the styles of their work and change it to fit my own particular meaning behind the pieces. Käthe Kollwitz was an inspiration for all my work because of the expressive faces in her portraiture, in addition to the harsh blacks and marks in her woodcuts and the intense mark making in her drawings. My portrait style was also inspired by Alice Neel, who has a lot of portraits with bright but still muted color and expressionistic facial expressions, and Oscar Kokoschka for his use of his color, which can be a little more random and his use of smearing in his work as well.

            My Recovery series is more abstract and is portrayed in a series of black and white animal prints (a fish, bull, whale, and a bird), with each image representing a stage of recovery.  The pieces are etchings, with all but one aquatinted. Because each piece within the series is a more realistic interpretation of the animal, I used a combination of photography as my influence. The titles (Denial, Depression, Anger, and Acceptance) help them portray the true meanings of the pieces, which the viewer can interpret for themselves. 


            My feminist art criticizes the media and company slogans that make many women feel the need to change themselves with makeup in order to be beautiful. Both pieces are done with woodblock prints. The high contrast is bold, just as the statements behind each piece. It also lets me create text quite easily. The art compares makeup to an addiction by depicting eye shadow attached to handcuffs and lipstick in a cigarette box. Each topic is relatable, and people will relate in different ways. Some of my work goes a long with feminist movements and Feminists artists, such as Barbara Kruger and her use of bold text to change the meaning of the pieces. In end, I have tried to use similar methods to all of the contemporaries to emphasize my ideas and the meaning behind the pieces.  

bottom of page