I’m a classically trained painter and self-taught abstract artist living in New Orleans, Louisiana. I started painting abstract works in 2019 after it hit me one day—I’ve been painting the wrong things my entire life. I felt confined by the world of realism and frozen; more often than not, unable to finish a piece of art. When I started experimenting with abstraction, my art work came alive; I was able to express myself—my thoughts, ideas, and feelings— in each brush stroke, collage piece, line drawn. I went on a journey to discover my artistic identity through a year plus of experimentation. I came out the other side with a skill set and process that I am proud of. I love working in layers, each layer adding intrigue and meaning that are often subtly hidden in the final piece. I consider myself a mixed media artist, mostly working in acrylics and collage.
I am inspired by music, the colors and culture of New Orleans, textiles, interiors, and nature. You’ll often find that my titles are either names of songs or lyrics to songs, which help bring my feelings alive while I’m painting. I leave my works open for interpretation; what was once my creation will be acquired and new meaning assigned by its new owner. However, sometimes the titles of my pieces will be little hints into the underlying meaning and mood if you can figure it out.
My journey here has not been straightforward. I've been a creator my whole life, and started out as a painting major at The University of Alabama in 2004. A tedious Chuck Close project scared me into changing my major to Political Science. I loved painting but had no discipline at the time, and hadn’t really found my own style. I graduated with multiple credits in Fine Art and a minor in Art History. In 2008, I moved to New Orleans and attended law school, while painting on the side. I practiced law for over four years before I quit and started a wedding planning and design business, with intentions of building my art career alongside.
In 2016 my husband and I were surprised with twins, and my art career was once again placed on hold, through what turned out to be a very difficult pregnancy and few years thereafter. In 2019, I started painting again consistently and therapeutically, with a mission to figure out what kind of art made me happy and inspired. I had never given up on the idea of being a professional artist, and over time, I came to realize I was putting it off because it was the hardest route to take—figuring out who I was as a painter and putting everything out there is one of the most challenging things I’ve done.
I’m a big believer in art education, studio art classes, and group critiques, and I have continued my art education at The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, with classes in abstract art, color and design, and collage.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Minimalist, abstract, eclectic.
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
When I was in college at the University of Alabama, I knew I wanted to be an artist living in New Orleans. I was so inspired by the culture, colors (architecture and nature), and especially the music. At the time I was painting a lot of realistic works of musicians, but now those same inspirations influence my abstract works. New Orleans is so beautiful and the music has always been one of my biggest inspirations. My favorite local musicians are Dr. John and John Boutte.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
For my collage work, the process starts with planning out a color scheme then mixing and hand-painting papers to be used in the piece. Once I have a collection of colors that I'm happy with, I start tearing up pieces of paper and arranging them on the canvas before I glue anything down. For my paintings, the process is much less structured and more intuitive, I either loosely sketch some shapes or go ahead and start putting paint on the paper. I typically have a collection of colors that I've already mixed stored in containers that I work with, and mix further from there if I need to adjust. I rarely use colors straight out of the tube, except for yellow ochre.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I'm inspired by New Orleans architecture, nature, music, interior design, and things my kids say and do.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
Although I love Gauguin, I wouldn't say I have a specific artistic influence. I draw more inspiration from life and the things listed above rather than any one particular artist.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
The Grateful Dead. They have always been my number one go-to for creating; the music seems to match how I feel when I'm painting—contemplative, meditative, thoughtful.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
At home most of the time with my family, or taking a walk, reading, napping, or meditating.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
My favorite time of the day is mid-morning in my studio, and my favorite day of the week is Friday. My favorite time of the year is October/November because it's such a relief from the heat of the New Orleans' summer. It feels so freeing to get outside again and enjoy the weather. I also love the anticipation of the holidays.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I was a four time state champion gymnast when I was younger.
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online as available can be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.