These paintings are stories from my life. Ranging from somewhat personal to private, they usually pertain to a body part that feels broken or actually is broken. They are the product of many art therapy sessions in my studio between my art supplies and me. Intense experiences in my life build a sort of construction site in my mind, where colors and textures become tools working to make sense of it all. From this point on until these images are worked out on canvas, this process allows me to reflect and keep my sanity. Just as our perspectives can change over time, so do these paintings. Some canvases have up to four layers of paintings put down from various times of my life, starting as early as 2006 and reaching completion in 2016. I love working on top of older stories to see which parts will make their way back to the surface, and which ones are never to be seen again. I use oils, oil pastels, acrylics, sandpaper, hot glue, mod-podge, tissue paper and other random materials in order to cover images on various levels of translucency.
A maze became a theme for me years ago when I was teaching art at a high school sorely neglected by its school district. The challenges I faced formed a mental path resembling a maze. When something doesn't work, I turn around and try another route until I get to where I need to be. It was a year that felt like a maze with no exit, but I have since appreciated turning my experience into a visual map of how to keep moving, past all of life's hurdles.
Finally putting these images on display feels like I am turning inside out, both emotionally and physically. It's worth it though if there is one viewer who can connect in some way, or feel inspired to find their own way to process the chaos within peace, pain within joy and the fear within their courage.