I have always been interested in creating. I was privileged in both my middle and high schools to have an art teacher who was interested in cultivating students’ passions for the arts. I had my first introduction to color theory in the sixth-grade and recall the anticipation of getting my hands on those beautiful tubes of oil paints for the first time. I produced enough work to have a small solo show in high school.
I received my BFA in studio arts and religious studies from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC in 2004. My time there was marked by great instruction, new-found freedoms and a deepened love for the arts. I became interested in the broadening sense of self-expression through the use of new techniques and media. At this time I also had the opportunity to work in the school's art gallery where I learned about organizing art exhibits, displaying, cataloguing and maintaining collections, acquiring new works and so on, as well as being able to interact with and learn from professional artists.
In college I was changed profoundly by my experience studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I lived with the most wonderful host mother and immersed myself fully in the culture. I learned basic metalsmithing skills, took an art conservation class where the professor would show up fashionably late, puffing on his cigar, and learned there how to grind down pigments the proper way to make egg tempera, how to apply silver leafing to panel paintings, and how to layout and create a basic fresco. Of course, there were also the art history classes which took us on field trips to Padova and Siena and even just down the street. I felt like I came into myself in those months.
After graduating I spent the following year working as an art handler in Charlotte, NC. This was a way to continue working with other creative people and learn more about the local art scene. During that period, I lived with my grandmother and spent a lot of time interviewing her about her own life experiences. This contact has had a profound effect on the direction I have chosen to push my art. The works have become much more personal and reflect often upon my own relationships with my family.
I relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 2006. While continuing to paint, I have also interned with a local arts group to help provide grants to artists, sold books and labored for a small home remodeling company. I am currently working as a full time artist.