I graduated from the Columbus College of Art & Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, magna cum laude, majoring in fine arts and specializing in drawing and painting.
Art has always interested me, ever since I can remember. In my youth, I'd spend hours at the library on Saturday afternoons exploring the fine arts section, discovering new artists and art forms, past and present. What interests me most about art is the story behind the artwork and how the life of the artist influenced the art—- the wonders and joys, the struggles and pains, and all that good gritty messy life stuff in between that gets reflected into the art.
I’m a huge fan of Judd Apatow’s documentary “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling”. It’s an incredibly BEAUTIFUL and inspiring documentary on Garry Shandling’s journey with anxiety and trying to find inner peace (I think a lot of artists especially can appreciate this!). There’s a part in it where Garry Shandling is talking about his acting coach:
“Roy would say to bring everything that you were feeling that day and know that it was okay and right to be yourself.“
Garry Shandling talks about the importance of being your true authentic self, to work in an egoless way. He says, “Work is an expression of life, of zen.”
When I work, my anxiety and depression can sometimes be obstacles. I’m learning to channel these feelings into a more productive way by using the opportunity to release these feelings onto the canvas by freely covering the blank canvas with a patchwork of color while listening to music that I find inspirational to that emotional moment. It doesn’t matter to me what the end result is, so long as I use all of my emotions to paint the entire canvas. Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes it takes days and many layers of paint depending how much I’ve bottled up! But afterwards, I’m usually in a better headspace to create a painting with a more mindful approach on top of all these layers. I like the idea of the canvas now having an uneven texture from all the paint layers (ha, isn’t life just more interesting when it’s not perfectly smooth?). This messy canvas then becomes a colorful backdrop for my favorite subject matters—portraits, clouds, and landscapes!
I feel as though all of these subject matters have such an eternally perpetuating? complexity that by painting them on top of the messy uneven patchwork, all of these layers of my emotional purge come through in unintended ways, further adding to the complexity of the painted subject matter. I love that I don’t have a lot of control where and how the emotional purge shines through. Life is an experiment to see what happens, and it’s a belief that gets me through my anxiety.
I sometimes prefer to start a good book or show by jumping into the middle. I'll take in a slice of the middle then go back to the beginning and continue. I find I do something similar when meeting people. I don't do small talk very well as I tend to prefer connecting to others on a deeper level. I just enjoy listening to people's stories.
Those close to me know that doughnuts are the quickest way to my heart-- they too have (seemingly) infinite combinations of flavors and colors...and are incredibly comforting!