“Life’s Simple Pleasures” Artist Talk
“My hope is that this work can serve as a visual reminder to focus on flourishing, see the beauty and magic in the present moment, and that the wild abundance that exists in nature is also accessible to us.”
“Life’s Simple Pleasures” Artist Talk
The Jeweled Warrior Exhibit
September 30th, 2022
Thank you for joining me tonight. Thank you, Kristin, for inviting me to share my work and for choosing me to collaborate with you on your brand and website. You are a dream client and I feel so fortunate to have met you!
When Kristin reached out I was just wrapping up my MFA, Leona, my oldest daughter was 1 1/2 (now over 4), and we were heading into the pandemic. When we were talking about her brand, she told me a story about traveling with her parents to St. John’s as a child and how they visited a local jewelry shop where her dad would purchase handmade jewelry pieces for her mom. Those early memories of watching her parents, traveling, and appreciating nature influenced the space we stand in today. I love that story because it parallels memories of my own parents. It also parallels the why behind my work here tonight—I believe wholeheartedly in getting really clear on the memories that bring you joy and leaning into things you feel passionate about. Over the last couple of years, Kristin and I have worked together to bring her ideas to life through The Jeweled Warrior brand. I’m so happy to be here, in this beautiful space, bringing our creative visions together.
Okay, so this art… I remember the moment I knew I was going to be an artist. I was doing a report on African antelopes in second grade. I drew an Impala to include with the report and I still remember it emerging from the paper as I drew it. I was amazed at how I brought it to life out of seemingly nowhere—I was 7 or 8. There are many other moments that weave together my story that aren’t directly related to drawing. My guess is that you too, can recall the memories that stand out in your mind as significant to who you’re meant to be, or how you’re meant to spend your time.
There have been ebbs and flows to my creative practice. It has always been a dedication of our most precious resource—time. And through these ebbs and flows, it’s been a journey to really hone in on my creative voice. Fielding negative comments (both internally and externally) has been a large part of learning to persist in my practice. I have listened to the doubt creep in to the back of my brain (even today) and quit on myself more than a few times, losing momentum, but I would be drawn back to the practice like a magnet. It literally takes energy for me to resist it. And over these last few years, I’ve been intentional about not giving up, setting aside time to explore my creative ideas, and allowing myself the freedom to infuse that into both my personal life and my business. That’s why this collection holds a special place for me.
What I think is different about this group of paintings, for me, is that it marks a turning point in my creative practice—a dedication unlike any other time in my life. It’s a visual representation of what it looks like for me to have a creative rhythm, embracing who I am, and choosing to appreciate life’s simple pleasures despite what might be happening around me.
About ten years ago now, I kept having this reoccurring dream that I was in my house—it had two sides—the side that I lived in, which looked pretty good. It had everything I needed and was reminiscent of where I was at the time. In the dream, a friend or family member would arrive to the front door and I would take them on a tour of the house. Before I would take them into the side I lived in … I would always say something along the lines of “Would you like to see this other side? I never use it but it’s pretty cool. I should really rent it out or use it.” And then we would walk through a room full of beautifully appointed children’s toys, a kitchen with every amenity, and a beautiful master bedroom that was perfectly decorated and pristine, with a dream bathroom. Each time it was slightly different but it always had the same feel. I was hoarding an abundance of beauty and literally doing nothing with it. I was clueless as to why this dream kept haunting me. And I’m sure just listening to me talk about it, you already have a sense of its meaning.
It was through the shedding of relationships, changing of habits, and learning to trust my intuition that I rediscovered my passion and felt the most balanced and fulfilled I’ve ever felt—my life started to represent something that I was excited by. And … the dream that was haunting me finally stopped.
The joy I find in the process of painting is worth the practice alone. That feeling of something emerging from the page still surprises me today. There is something deeply soothing to my soul about weaving together a piece of art, one brushstroke at a time. I imagine my grandmother knitting and I know it’s the same feeling. Over time, I’ve blended my love of fine art and design by incorporating patterns into my work. This blend is also about embracing what comes natural to me, and excites me. Art and life often parallel one another. Do you see the magic in patterns? Seemingly unrelated happenstance or moments in time divinely unfolding? Patterns have always fascinated me. Almost like little winks from God that I’m heading in the right (or wrong) direction. Just ask me the story about how I met Steven.
Focusing on nature has allowed me to really lean into this idea of appreciating the beauty around me at any given moment. It’s helped me bring more beauty into my world in times when it didn’t feel natural to focus on flourishing. A walk through the forest, the coming of spring, the variety of plants found in our backyards, natural compositions that form out of seemingly nowhere. Like us, nature goes through seasonal shifts—each one having a different purpose. But ultimately thriving despite the ebbs and flows. In this season of life that I’m currently in, my creative practice truly has to do with slowing down to see the beauty or magic at any moment. I’m absorbing and reflecting on all of the goodness that comes with taking in life’s simple pleasures, in an effort to bring more of that into my world, and I hope you see that reflected in my work. My hope is that this work can serve as a visual reminder to focus on flourishing, see the beauty and magic in the present moment, and that the wild abundance that exists in nature is also accessible to us.
Thank you Mom and Dad for instilling a love of nature, the arts, and enjoying the small stuff. Thank you Steven for always supporting me in my creative endeavors—he built 90% of these frames and the propagation displays for this show. Thank you Isa, Leona, and Viola for breathing new life and perspective into my artistic practice. They have reminded me that possibility, hope, adventure, and discovery are everywhere if you look close enough. Thank you, Emily Mullet and Tina Crespo for coming alongside me this year (and hopefully beyond) to chat art and share in our creative experiences. Thank you all for coming and supporting this work. It’s such an honor to have you here!