The paperwhites in a pot on my dining room table lean hard toward the window; I can see them reaching for the light in the angle of their stems and their blossoms. And don’t we all reach for the light? Flowers connect us to the natural world, they elevate the everyday, they remind us to grow toward the forces and sources that sustain and feed us.
My paintings are studies of the flowers before me, and they are a conversation about perception, struggle, and the passing of time. I come back, again and again, to the bright colors and repetitive shapes and something slightly askew. I come back again and again to the light.
I started painting in my thirties. Once my children went to school, painting became a way for me to see the world. I paint in oils and acrylics on paper and on wood panel, and I make encaustic monotypes on rice paper. When I approach my subject, whether it’s a landscape (I like to call them horizons) or a still life or something else entirely, I tend to deconstruct the material so that I am referencing rather than recreating it.
I am captivated by light and color – as a child, I used to collect paint chips from the hardware store, and today my studio is full of charts and clippings of colors I use in my painting. For me, the magic is in the bright pink blossoms of the tree outside my daughter’s bedroom window, the color of the sea as the plane is approaching the coast, the inside of a beet, new growth on the trees in the springtime.
I paint in layers, which is also how I see the world – I make paintings on top of paintings and sometimes on top of words. Whatever we see in a given moment is simply the surface, there’s always something underneath – an emotion, a story, a memory. I am interested in what’s beneath the surface and in the spaces where the light shines through. I often scrape wet paint from a work in progress to reveal something that had previously been hidden.
And I’m only ever trying to capture my own experience of a moment in time.
When I’m not painting, I’m chasing the light with my camera or taking pictures of my lunch, I’m baking brownies or walking my dog. My inspiration comes from nature and travel, and from new adventures no matter how great or how small.
I sometimes write about my creative process and about my life on my blog, shining egg (www.shiningegg.com), and I co-founded and continue to co-curate a collaborative photography blog, habit (www.habitblog.com).
I live near Baltimore City with my husband, our two children, and a chocolate labradoodle named Felix.