To begin a painting, I might develop little more than a signifying shape or memorable color; if other details are vague in my mind, I allow them to be vague in the painting.
For example, I remember eating a bowl of cheerios at my babysitter’s house as a child. The bowl I was eating from was plastic tupperware — olive green with steep edges. This information led me to paint a simple olive green isosceles trapezoid, mimicking what I see in my mind’s eye — the result is a simple, yet precise image of what I remember. I was four years old, eating this bowl of cereal. I was homesick, and frustrated with my lack of autonomy. My stomach ached, knowing it would be hours before I saw my mom or dad again. Over time, though, emotions evolve and now this achy memory also comes with a rush of gratitude because I know now that I was deeply loved and cared for by my parents and babysitter. A painting is, in this way, a space to depict what I felt in the past as well as an opportunity to develop new emotions upon careful reflection.
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