I paint with natural pigments and dyes, which I forage for and collect from around the world. I explore how to use these colors while being mindful of their respective histories and where they come from. These materials, from minerals and ochres, plants, and sometimes animals are alive on the paper, and are as important to the work as what they portray.
Nature does not function in a straight line but in a regenerative pattern of decomposition and growth. Geologic “Deep Time” comes into consideration with the earth pigments I use. These ancient art materials contain iron-oxide - elements that keep us alive and allow for things to grow from the earth. Painting with ochres and inks made from plants is a form of time travel, of birth and death, and old and new brought together. Events such as colonization, the trading of commodities, deforestation, and over harvesting are also associated with these materials through their historic uses and how they got to where they are today. In my role as an educator, I highlight how these histories have echoes in contemporary art practice. In my own art practice, I am continuously exploring what the relationship of materiality and time means to me and my awareness in the world.
I work with these materials because they are both transient and still. The images in my paintings bring the inanimate object and the natural world together in living color - creating visual stories that speak to the human experience. Themes such as rituals, ghosts, memory, and dreams work their way into imagery that is both evocative and unapologetically sentimental - speaking to a need for relationships with ourselves, others, nature, and the world around us; dead or alive.