I was inspired by visual artist Jeff Haynie’s recent Facebook Live event (https://www.facebook.com/JeffHaynie/videos/365557504174624/) that showcased his art displayed in New Mexico at a beautiful restaurant (all info is in the video link above). While I’m not ready for a video chat with the public yet like he successfully did, I wanted to write this “back story” to my art efforts as a first step.
Jeff talked about how often a story is a big part of what he creates artistically. This is why I am drawn to artists like him, because I see my work as being driven by life stories and spiritual symbolism. (I use energy “orbs” in my work often because they symbolize what we cannot see, but often feel). Stories help us live well and be well. We can learn so much and are inspired. Stories connect things together.
Medical and spiritual topics are at the forefront of my interest. I was raised Catholic and am rooted in the core of faith. I seek stories and shows that are good examples of morality and kindness in their most simple (and therefore most effective) forms. I studied Medical Illustration in college and am in awe of what science and medicine has to offer. I love learning about what helps us heal and keeps us healthy.
I’ve recently (over the last half year) been challenged to the greatest extent (so far in my life) with trying to help my mother, who has been diagnosed with dementia, get healthier and live a safe, happier life. She is living with me and my husband — who by the way, has been the reason I could even attempt to do this, because without him, forget having the capacity to do this on my own!!! Hahaha
When my mother came to live with us she was very unbalanced. She didn’t have enough structure in her life or a good diet, she was very lonely and had been dealing with depression/anxiety for most of her life. Through a lot of learning, a plan with a great team of helpers, and effort, she is now doing better. She is happier and enjoys a much fuller life. She has had much patience with me when I was often tired and cranky, not willing to accept my task fully all the time as my capacity was not 100%. She has been forgiving.
This experience has been and is a great resistance for me and I often use it to learn and get stronger. It has slowed me down of course, yet sometimes we have to slow down to “speed up”. I look for the lessons in my exertion. I have been one to use exercise throughout my life, so I am aiming to see this as a hill to climb, with a rest at the top. I watch the phases or “chapters” of this experience and see how fear of more loss, lack of faith, dark nights of the soul, combine with hope, rallying emotions, and satisfaction from a job completed. This combination of “dark and light” makes shapes and a pattern that are like a painting. It has a rhythm and its own life.
For my art subject matter I am now exploring the balance and psychology of “inside and outside”, meaning, my work has a “still life” component (inside) and a “landscape” (outside) component, because what we are thinking and feeling, combined with what’s going on outside of our own thoughts — how they work together are important to health, harmony, and whole-life balance.
I love primitive cabinetry and feel it’s a good partner to my organic, detailed subjects. The simplicity of the cabinet supports the intricacy of what it holds. I like the idea of exploring what is on the shelves — it shows how we can organize our thoughts (the items on the shelves are like thoughts to me) in a beautiful way that relates well with the outside world.
Your thoughts and narrative "frame" how you see the world.
I use the symbol of the wreath to show movement and how eternal energy is. It reminds me to hope in times of despair (because it does change), and to be decorating my space and thoughts with beauty.
My hope is that when someone interacts with my work, the visual meditation will bring both vitality and calm. I want it to be a catalyst to healthy thoughts and imagination!
Thank you for reading this! <3