In March of 2020 I quit painting completely.
The world shut down and I was suddenly managing lockdown with two young kids. I was overwhelmed…confused…anxious…scared. The level of uncertainty about the future was something I’d never experienced before.
The ONLY way I found ANY relief was getting out into nature.
Surrounding myself with trees full of songbirds or standing at the edge of a bubbling creek or watching bumblebees pollinate wildflowers was the ONLY thing that, without fail, could calm the racing thoughts that threatened to consume me all the time.
I began exploring parks and outdoor recreation areas I’d never been to before (we have so many options around the Twin Cities!). I’d walk slowly and pay attention to as many details as possible before re-entering lockdown life (which was far more chaotic than life on the trails).
I took pictures of the plants and landscapes to remember how tranquil it felt (it was easy to forget). And eventually, a year into lockdown, I pulled out my supplies and began painting using those pictures as reference.
But I was a different artist.
Previously, my work had been mostly figurative or semi-realistic, but I was done with reality. I wanted, instead, to capture the way it felt to be immersed in nature. The PEACE, the TRANQUILITY, the JOY and WONDER.
Feelings that had become so hard to access in any other way.
I NEEDED to paint it all.
I began abstracting the shapes of nature, playing with color and texture and layers of paint to build paintings that felt more like memories than reality. Paintings that capture what it feels like to be immersed in the natural world, not necessarily what it looks like in reality.
When you look at my work, I want you to experience your own little escape. I want you to take a deep breath and let go of whatever you’re holding on to. Even if only for a moment.
Most of all, I want my work to be a place where you can rest your mind. A place you can visit when you need a dose of joy, wonder, curiosity, peace…whatever helps you step outside yourself and reset.
I want to make art that makes you feel good. That makes your home or office a sanctuary. That fills you with joy.
Because if I've learned anything over the last few years, it's that in the midst of all the hard stuff, we can still make space for joy.
So that’s why I do what I do.
I truly hope you enjoy my work as much as I enjoy making it.