“They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” ~Andy Warhol
I was born and raised in Allendale and East Grand Rapids, Michigan. My senior year was spent as an exchange student in Mexico. I attended DePaul University and New Mexico State University graduating with a B.S.Ed. in Secondary Education and a B.A. in Foreign Language with an emphasis in Spanish and moved to Phoenix to start teaching.
While growing up, I had a passion for art, like my mother. She studied Spanish too and encouraged me to move to the Southwest where the sun shines for days and colors so vividly wash over the desert. I took a few classes in college to help with technique, while focusing on my teaching degree. I found that creating exercises for my students using art helped them, and, unbeknownst to me, myself as well.
On Valentine’s Day as a child, we used to make hand-made cards for our friends with my mother and her friends. As a teacher with little income, I also used my talent to create gifts or cards. As the years went by, I still had the passion and did not quite know how to actually use it. I was blocked.
I entered my first solo show by carrying 3 paintings from to The Bodega on Roosevelt Row in 2014. I thought all I needed was validation; the creativity stopped there (besides continually buying art supplies which, at the time, I thought was me being creative). In 2015, while out on medical leave from my current job, I was unsure of the guarantee of my return and decided to pursue my love of art because all I had was time.
I found everything I could do to satiate my desire to become the artist I had dreamed of being. After about 2 years, I started using my intuition and trust in knowing that what I place on the canvas will always turn out. At the same time, I felt I was struggling with creating layers in my paintings and decided to work with collage. Realizing it created a depth in the work and, ultimately, my unique style.
I presently create mixed media pieces of art using a multitude of techniques including collage, watercolor, acrylic, and oil methods. The use of different media and layers offers a depth to the piece that is meant to invoke emotion and a sense of understanding. I originally started these works to help bring awareness to the mental health issue our society faces today. As we continue to see many losses due to the opioid epidemic and other mental health concerns, I have a way to help give a voice to those we lost.