When my sister, Julia, passed away suddenly 4 years ago, I found myself spending a lot of time in airplanes crossing the country to see my family. From 40,000 feet above, anxiety, fear and grief became less consuming. From this perspective, the contrast between the natural and human-made landscapes sparked wonder and curiosity.
With my feet were firmly planted back on the ground, I started paying more attention to everyday beauty. I witnessed the tension existing between native, alien, and invasive plants in urban spaces. From trees that sprout like weeds between buildings, to ancient cactuses on road sides, to majestic palms – each plant has a story and a place in the world.
These shifting perspectives, between the grandiose and the mundane, find their way into my paintings. Beginning with a photograph snapped from the window seat of the plane, the scene, however dynamic, serves as a backdrop to the foliage found in the area. From there, I create layers using different mediums and bold colors to depict the diverse elements of each landscape - from tiny roads and buildings to large-scale flora - pushing and pulling the focus for the viewer.
Just like the plants, each painting has a story. They are seasons within my own journey of healing, a journey I now get to share with others. I hope to share these perspectives, offering a different way to view where you live, where you travel and how you engage with both the natural and urban structures that surround us.
Below are the inspiration photographs behind each piece. To explain the personal story behind each painting, I wrote poetry for each one that you can read in this post.