I came to art a little later in life. The truth is, once upon a time, I wrote a novel. And, after having gone through the cruel and grueling process of obtaining a literary agent in New York, I eagerly awaited the sale of said novel by said agent to a publishing house. What really happened, however, is my agent decided to quit the business, leaving me holding my unpublished novel, feet firmly planted back in square one. I felt like I’d lost my voice, as well as my will to continue fighting for that novel.
In creative despair and realizing I would also soon be an empty-nester, I decided to try something totally new. Something creative, something physical, and most importantly, something that did not involve words. I signed up for Acrylic Painting for Beginners with artist Christy Hayes. I went in looking for a diversion. I walked out with an obsession.
My approach to art is perhaps a bit different. With regard to style, I am quick to describe myself as an unapologetic realist. My reasoning is simple: I paint because I wish to slow down and really see the details in the world around me. To put those details on canvas, board, or paper, is my way of saying, “I see you.” It is my way of honoring the fauna and flora that I hold so dear, and, I hope, inspire curiosity, connection, and care for them in others, as well. But mostly, it’s personal.
As for the unapologetic part, well, let’s just say that in the cacophony of self-expression that seems so very pressing and prevalent in our society, I’m content to sit at my canvas and consider the number of covert feathers in a Red-shouldered Hawk’s outstretched wing. And yet, I am far from a scientific illustrator. Frankly, I’m neither that talented nor that patient. I’m just a woman who is learning to see, and painting is how I celebrate that.