Artist Statement

I am a visual artist and dance-maker, working in the mediums of watercolor and movement improvisation. Both of these processes are dear to me - they inform each other, and I frequently switch between them to inform a project I am making.

The way that I work with watercolor is extremely movement-based. I listen to the water and pigment, and allow it to tell me how they want to be moving.

When I begin a movement piece, I will either start with a sculptural image, which then emerges into a phrase. After I have enough of these short, crystalized phrases, I string them together to create a story. It helps me to document the piece visually in movement scores.

Painting and improvising are meditations. They inform each other - ways pigment moves through water and how we as humans move through our lives.

When I read the book Bluets by Maggie Nelson, my entire painting practice shifted - I didn’t enjoy painting anything that wasn’t blue. This process of painting blue abstractions has been five years thus far and I am still just as taken by her words:

That this blue exists makes my life a remarkable one, just to have seen it. To have seen such beautiful things. To find oneself placed in their midst.

I am fascinated by the ways that blue appears in nature, specifically indigo, and the vibration of the blues that I work with. I want to share that with others in my work.

Broadway and Lafayette, NY

Broadway and Lafayette, NY

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Photo: Shannon Elizabeth O’Brien

Photo: Shannon Elizabeth O’Brien

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”More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world. “ - Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Dirge Without Music”