For me, creating art is a transformative practice that is necessary for self exploration and acceptance. I am primarily a self-taught artist and I paint because the act of doing so helps me to heal and carry through the traumas of life. I find painting to be enormously therapeutic.
As a black female artist, I never want to be stereotyped or put into a box as I will always give myself the freedom to shift my focus between different mediums and subjects, real or abstract.
I began oil painting my junior year in college after signing up to spend a semester in Aix-en-Provence, France at the Marchutz School of Fine Art. At that point, I had only dabbled in acrylic paint to complete some creative projects for an introductory art class that I took to fulfill some essential credits. I didn’t know the love that I would eventually develop for painting.
The semester that I spent in Aix was life altering. I felt like a door had opened and I was becoming acquainted with a future version of myself that I previously did not know existed. At Marchutz, much of the formal studies that we did were based on how to see the world from a painter’s perspective with a particular focus on classical impressionism. With the exception of reviewing color theory, we were given little instruction on how to actually use the tools that were provided.
For the first time, I stood in front of a square piece of cardboard propped up on an easel that wasn’t mine, with a brush in my hand, a bottle of turpentine, some linseed oil, and a limited array of colors spread out on the palette in front of me. I felt completely lost. One of the other students who had been there the previous semester saw how confused I was and she decided to take me under her wing. She showed me how to use the materials and gave me a few solid options for how to get the paint mixed with the oil and onto the cardboard. From there, I felt myself start to take off.
Over the next decade I would continue to keep my passion for oil painting close to me wherever I was in life. I have taught myself new techniques, upgraded my materials and canvas sizes, moved my studio across the country from Seattle to Chicago, and most recently, began to work on projects that include people. Which is not something that I had previously done in great detail.
This journey has been and will continue to be one of self exploration and growth apart from the expectations of others. As an artist, I believe I get to build my own path and provide a beautiful experience for others that is both healing and thought provoking.
International Business and Visual Art
Marchutz School of Fine Arts
Painting and Drawing
The Other Art Fair Online Studios
Sidney Larson Gallery at Columbia College
January 11 - February 5, 2021