Laced

Mixed Media on Reclaimed Wood

Signed and Titled on the Back

“Out of the way! We are in the throes of an exceptional emergency! This is no occasion for sport- there is lace at stake!” (Ms. Pole)”” – Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford

The Laced Series is based on the marriage of two simple and beautiful materials: reclaimed wood and antique lace.

 

Each piece in my Laced Series is created using authentic antique lace that I seek out and collect wherever I am in the world. Once I’ve laid the pattern onto the reclaimed wood canvas, I sand, glaze, and burnish the image using traditional hand finishing techniques. I love the way the delicacy of the lace plays off the rusticity of the reclaimed wood, and the honest, quiet collaborations that result.

Swiss Wood Sheds

Mixed Media on Reclaimed Wood

Signed and Titled on the Back

The Swiss Alps are one of my most favorite places in the world to visit; I’ve been there as a wandering college student, on my honeymoon, with my parents and my husband’s parents, pregnant, and some day soon I hope to travel there with my son.

The Swiss Wood Shed Series is inspired by the many woodsheds sprinkled across the mountainsides of the Swiss Alps. Each original painting in this collection features a reclaimed oak canvas, the perfect rustic background for this simple subject. The hand-painted sheds are sanded, glazed, and burnished to well-worn perfection using traditional hand-finishing techniques, and allowing the texture of the reclaimed wood to shine through as a primary component in each quiet composition.

 

When I look at these pieces, I can almost hear the sound of cowbells and an alpine horn blowing across the valley. And don’t get me started on the cheese. Or the chocolate. Okay, now I’m hungry.

Winter Tipis

Mixed Media on Reclaimed Wood

Signed and Titled on the Back

 

Simple dwellings such as houses, sheds, and barns, continue to make appearances throughout my work, so it was no real surprise when I found myself drawn to the simple functionality of the tipi. Also, I like triangles. They’re one of my favorite shapes, along with squares and nonagons.

Blocks of Time

Mixed Media on Reclaimed Wood

Signed and Titled on the Back

“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.” ― William Martin

The Blocks of Time Series is inspired by a tattered old book of antique quilt patterns I stumbled upon at a flea market in Down East Maine. I wanted to offer a contemporary riff on the time honored tradition of quilting, and to bring warmth, comfort, and a storied history into the home, much like a hand made patchwork blanket would.

 

Once I started creating my own “quilt blocks,” I began to think about how each component of the block patterns reminded me of all the small moments we experience throughout any given day, and how, when combined, they form a larger whole; minutes that combine into hours that combine into days. I think it is important to relish those small moments, and so I tried to relish every small painting within the larger painting, trying to make each a world unto itself, while also integrating it into the pattern as a whole.

Piecemakers

Mixed Media on Reclaimed Wood

Signed and Titled on the Back

“Blessed are the Piecemakers.” – Old Quilting Adage

The Piecemakers Series explores my ongoing fascination with quilting and quilt patterns. Here, each painting stands alone as an individual quilt block, which is then “stitched” together with other paintings of the same block pattern. The process of creating these pieces is time intensive, requiring precision and patience, much like the process of creating a real quilt. It is also calming, therapeutic, and extremely addicting. This is an ongoing series I continue to return to because, as those wacky quilters like to say in their inner circles, “Before Prozac there was quilting.” And no one wants to see me come unraveled.

Sister Ships

Mixed Media on Reclaimed Wood

Signed and Titled on the Back

“I’ll never know and neither will you of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.”” – Sugar (Cheryl Strayed)

Sister Ships is a series of mixed media paintings based on the irrevocable choices we all make in our lives, and the consideration of what our lives may have looked like had we made a different choice. In an article written for The Rumpus, Cheryl Strayed speaks of these “sister lives,” providing clarity for me in a time when I was struggling with which path to take in my life. The haunting and beautiful image of a ghost ship passing in the night stuck with me and emerged, seemingly out of nowhere (as ghost ships are wont to do), in this body of work.

The Pressures of Being Normal

Mixed Media on Reclaimed Wood

Signed and Titled on the Back

“Societal pressures are expectations that affect the entire community, or specific parts of it, like the pressure to get married and have children. Society, which is at the root of societal, has been used since the 1500s to mean ‘friendly association with others.’” –Webster Dictionary

This series of mixed media paintings was created out of a growing awareness of the scripted and seemingly relentless series of questions we are all asked throughout our lives. When are you getting married? When are you having a baby? When are you having another baby? Do I know your work? Have you sold any work yet? Are you going to stop working now that you have all those babies? These “friendly associations” are mostly well-intentioned small talk, approached benignly, as one might bring up the weather. I am certain I’ve asked at least seven people today some form of one of those questions myself. But when I recently found myself under the scrutiny of society’s “friendly associations,” with such questions being asked of me repeatedly, and in quick succession, they began to feel like little stones accumulating in my pocket. And so I painted these paintings to try and lighten the load.