Growing up, my grandparents owned a restaurant; therefore, the kitchen was the physical center of our daily lives and I became an avid baker. When I started painting, I unsurprisingly gravitated towards still lifes, especially foods that conjure memories. I came to realize that a kitchen in many ways reflects a studio, and now it is a favorite place to paint.
The act of painting allows me to quietly, consciously reflect on my daily life. While painting, my senses are heightened — I am able to smell more distinctly, see more clearly — and this precision can be visually captured in paint. In my work, I attempt to create visual onomatopoeia — the weighted density of frosting described with thick paint in full strokes; or airy holes in a slice of bread in thin wispy strokes of paint. Sometimes it feels as if the objects are actually underneath my brush and I am painting to reveal them, rather than creating images of them.
Color-mixing is integral to my practice and is best described as a form of centering. I have created a system that has allowed me to understand, organize and experiment with mixing colors, and through which I have discovered a palette that is distinctly my own.
Only after an image is painted do I understand the emotional truths surrounding the subject. For instance, ‘Mini Box’ references the cake my mom baked upon request for my niece's birthday. The vulgar brush strokes and cheerful pink frosting exemplify the tension between my distaste for boxed cake-mixes and love for my niece. Making the painting was a way to reckon with this moment and my relationship to it. My work is not only a celebration of the everyday, but also a means of self-questioning: what do these subjects and moments really mean to me?
I work small-scale for two reasons. First, my surfaces — ranging from three to twenty inches — are compact enough to travel with me and my easel, setting up wherever I feel the urge to paint. Second, the scale directly correlates to privacy, reflecting the intimacies of my life. Their smallness demands they be viewed by one person at a time, engaging a personal affinity with the object, similar to what I feel for the subject.