About the Artist

Growing up in the little town of Fairfax, South Carolina (Allendale County), I played under posters of Jasper Johns' Flags casually hung on the walls of Aunt Mary and Uncle Marion's Lands End house in the early 80's. Although abstract expressionism was not a subject to come up in our immediate home very often, I knew firmly through Jasper Johns' establishment as an artist that art was a deep, profound language of expression. The daughter of a farmer and public-school teacher, I was molded in a hard-working, practical-minded family out of hardened necessity. Art was not something I felt appropriate to speak of, much less pursue professionally. But there was an acknowledged flame that over time I learned to give more and more credence.

After finishing Clemson University in Graphic Communications (the science of printing and color), I worked throughout the country; West Coast to East for large printers and packaging companies. It was during a highlight of my young career in consumer packaging while serving on a product development team in New York, that I received a phone call from my brother. He had recently finished Clemson as well, and was working on establishing our family's farm in growth. Over the telephone, he offered I was welcome to come back, if I were ever interested.   

I considered for two years the idea of returning home. I felt euphemistically like the two ends of a bread loaf at home. An unconditional love for family won in my processing. It seemed worth forfeiture of a young corporate career to attempt to give back to my family's business any way I could. For over fifteen years I worked for my family's farm in Fairfax, predominately in marketing. In these years, I was able to reconnect with the land and the calling of agriculture I loved so dearly growing up. I'm now the mother of two and life's priorities are different and more simple.  

Spars in the chasms of thought. 

Beyond all of the logical fulfillment over the years of what is expected of us in life, ever since I can remember I wrestled with how to appropriately express I was wrestling deeper underneath. Most of my life these wrestling matches found their way expressed into moments or seasons I would love to forget - which created MORE wrestling. It wasn't until about three years ago, I realized I could take the struggle to canvas and ultimately breathe a healthy release. Through abstract expressionism I was able to sculpt with massive globs of pigment my crumbled attempts to effectively communicate any other way. Artist Jay Meuser wrote of his painting Mare Nostrum, "It is far better to capture the glorious spirit of the sea than to paint all of its tiny ripples." Similarly, Jasper Johns offered, "To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist."   

This is my language. My art was never originally intended to be shared publicly, it was more my personal oxygen tank as I swam through strong currents or walked through a hurricane. Through painting, I found the inert code that flickered inside of me. After so many years, I finally yielded, giving my hand permission to move over the canvas in strokes of deep pigment where conflict evolved into portraits of the will to fight for perseverance.   

From the belly of the whale.

I've painted through hurt, fear, turmoil, long suffering, failure, oppression, depression, joy, hope and love, all illustrated with the passionate presence of the unfailing spirit refusing to yield to any darkness. Many of my paintings show a glow quietly underneath muddy browns of tidal creeks. The promise of crisp oranges, buttercup yellows and pure whites, no matter how faint, explain a light will not be put out; the gifts will not be blotted, the voice will find audience no matter the forces wielding against them. Many of my paintings pour out reckonings to my love for nature; the soils and the sea. From colors of the air in their seasons, to wetlands and rich understories -- to the majesty of the water itself. A languid stream revealing hints of orange fallen leaves. The dark turbulence of the sea, against such we acquiesce futility. From the protection deep inside a mother's womb to the juxtaposed violence of pinned in what my West Coast surfing friends quipped as the 'washing machine'. Whether real or actual, life can put us in the 'washing machine', burping us onshore raw and humiliated like Jonah. But like Jonah, in our struggles we become richer. We see things more clearly, our priorities shift, our focus is honed. We're reborn.   

In each of us, there are struggles and humbling false starts, reboots and renewal. My paintings are of the triumph, the perseverance as you seek purpose and calling beyond the conflict. Under the water and the waves, swimming below the breaks, there is a calm, a peace, a patient quietness and stillness. There is in all of us the opportunity to receive a timeless, infinite, steadfast victory of grace, truth, mercy, and provision. There is and always will be light in the darkness. My paintings are the fight for one's own beautiful vividness and purposed swirls of color to illustrate the hope we have through being wonderfully created.