turning the page

I just turned a page within myself, and instead of prose there were paintings. Abstract images bathed in Tuscan earth tones; subtle pigments quarried from the mountains cradling Florence, a skyline that undulates in blacks and grays. 

Everyone tells me my prose is startlingly visual. There’s a reason for that; my paintings have been hiding behind the words. I was shy, and timid, and lacked the confidence to bring them into the world. 

There’s a special story behind my first painting above, entitled “Faith.” A few years ago I gave up painting. I returned to the safety of words; my poetry and prose. Metaphors. 

This year – 2015/2016 – stretched and challenged me in so many ways. 

I fought my way through it grudgingly, not awake to the subtle shape-shifting of my spirit in the background. Slowly, through the unknowing and turbulence, I came to notice changes in myself, new strengths that I never thought I’d possess. 

This new perspective has given me faith in myself; faith to start again. My entire life is a blank canvas, I thought, so why not start filling it with everything I find beautiful? This has led me on a terrific journey – running, soaring, falling to my knees – a pilgrimage of sorts from Oxford, England to Florence, Italy – desperate to start a new life.

The photograph underlying “Faith” is a picture of my ill-fated first painting (that I white-washed out of embarrassment, then threw away). Thankfully I took a picture before I covered up my work. 

Now I’m honoring my first attempt, and my fear, by using that early painting as the foundation of “Faith,” my first painting on Etsy. 

I should have been more patient with myself back then, but everything comes full circle. Even acceptance.

One of the biggest changes & challenges of this year was a permanent move to Florence, Italy – a move that inspired me to embrace an artistic tradition while pursuing my own very personal, dreamy, and quirky aesthetic. 

*

MY PROCESS: 

I steal Florence, Italy. 

My paintings are created not only with paintbrushes and acrylics, but also with the peach, caramel, and honey-toned bridges and buildings of this glowing Tuscan city.

I go on photographic safaris, taking pictures of lime washed frescoes, the peeling textures of walls, and Renaissance details that catch my eye, then add them to my digital palette. From these stolen gems I create an abstract design on my photo editing software. The composite photograph is then printed by a professional printer with archival inks on lifetime-guaranteed canvas. 

Once I receive the photographic canvases from the printer, I spend weeks painting over my original abstract designs to achieve subtle, ethereal works of art that combine my passions of painting, photography, wandering, and poetry – paintings that pay homage to the warm earth tones of this city that has welcomed me and given me safe harbor. 

To view this painting in my Etsy shop:

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