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ARTIST STATEMENT

Why so much pink?

I often ask myself. In order to answer this question, I had to dig deep, as historically I hated this color. Pink stood for weakness. It dredged up images of too much makeup and excuses. Twenty years ago, shuffling the boy aisles of some Charlotte mega-baby-superstore, 9 1/2 months swollen with child, my friend turned to me and said, "You know, you ARE having a girl!" as I tossed blue, green, and yellow onesies into my cart. Anything but the dreaded hue. I blame my well-intentioned dad who raised me on a diet of sports and swallowed emotions. He prepared me well for medical school and surgical residency where only the strongest survived. There is no crying in the operating room.

 

In my mid-40's, I sought the advice of a therapist for panic attacks that crept into my life, first on airplanes, eventually in the OR. After listening to my carefully curated life story, he sat forward and said, "You are not who you think you are." His words had little impact at first – I thought he was nuts-but they began to sink in after rereading old journals from college. The emotion and vulnerability on those pages had been replaced with defense mechanisms that were no longer serving me. Knowing it was time to make changes, I retired from medicine and began a series of creative explorations ranging from memoir writing to ceramics.

 

Now I paint. I find inspiration in the space between the veiled and the opaque, symbolic of what we choose to show others versus what we hide. In my series of paintings of unconventional flowers, I explore the tension of being female in a field where emotions are downplayed by deconstructing floral elements, adding structure with gridded lines, and using a lot of powerful pink!

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