A majority of my recent work was completed during the winter in Kansas. I’m calling this work stage “vibrance” despite the scenery not being vibrant. The name Vibrance comes from the vibrant emotions that I felt this year—the slow revival of excitement in my life.
I started the year saying goodbye to a long term relationship and choosing to transition into a new stage of my life alone. Through this, I settled for stagnant emotions in leu of sadness. That complacency in emotions produced less than amusing results in my work and life. My pattern of complacency was broken by the spirits of those closest to me. They were patient with me, they cried with me, they held me up. I started taking emotional chances and following my gut. What followed was an awakening to a beautiful life. A life of colors, emotions, and love.
From October-February I was back and forth from Kansas to Michigan. I would spend around a month living out of a suitcase and working remotely. I mailed all my paintings in boxes—this is why I worked on smaller canvases and paper.
During my time in Kansas, I did not have a car. My main form of transportation was walking 2 miles to the local craft store for art supplies. During these walks, I was able to be alone with my thoughts and reflections. In our modern age, how often do we get time to simply walk and reflect? Allowing my thoughts to wander gave me the ability to imagine the visual representation of how I was feeling.
I usually gravitate towards rich natural colors with pops of color. When I picked out colors, I found myself leaning towards the most electric neons I could find. I became fasicinated with the science behind why neon was neon—pigments that are bright to the eyes. The challenge of mixing neon colors was something I enjoyed playing around with. Trust me, mixing neon colors can go poorly very quick! I wasn’t afraid to use the most unnatural bright colors I could find. During this time of year, I had no natural colors surrounding me to inspire me. What surrounded me was a white-washed winter with a grey Kansas sky. With no natural colors to visually look to, I chose purples, pinks, and yellows.
Kansas City Warhol
I’m an Andy Warhol geek. Why wouldn’t I be? He started as a designer, worked in advertising and illustration, and then became a fine artist—all artistic avenues I’ve explored. Like many, I’ve been fascinated by his creations. I finally got to see a Warhol portrait in person! In Kansas City, I dragged my patient boyfriend to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art where there is a permanent installation of his work. When I returned home from our weekend trip, I was inspired to get the brightest color combos I could create.
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