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Early years

Today’s a full day at the studio, then a quick drive down to the current Covid capital of Utah (Provo), to see one of my oldest and closest friends who happens to be passing through. I met her in the 7th grade after a three year drought in the friend department. We’ve been in each other's lives pretty much ever since, and accompanied the other through some pretty awkward moments and into much better ones.

Those early years can be exciting - one's whole future lays ahead with endless possibilities. For me, it felt more like an unfolding of one disappointing self discovery after the next. I could not tolerate who and how I was becoming. I wasn’t thin, pretty, or smart enough, and (at the time) I couldn’t imagine a future where that held less power.

My outside self didn’t match my inside self, and I focused my artwork on portraying what I felt was wrong with me, the world, others. I focused on my separateness, and fractures. All of that had to be expressed and released in order for me to start to feel hope and possibility. I had to feel out my past and present, so that I could open up to a better future-a better self. And though I had to do it in my own way, and on my own terms, having friends and loved ones made all the difference.

This is a painting of a still and solitary figure. She is quietly seated, with the hint of movement in the air around her. The helmet acts like armor keeping the space around her mind protected and private. The helmet also speaks to the dissonance between mind and body. While she’s learning to navigate the landscape of her mind, she hasn’t yet trusted that safety can be found in her body.


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