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I have always known that I wanted to paint. In fact, I cannot remember a time when the answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" was anything but "Artist". Growing up on California's Central Coast, I had the immense privilege of regular access to the stunning natural beauty of the Monterey Bay as well as a vibrant and long-established art scene. So I spent much of my childhood free-time exploring, drawing, and creating.
In adolescence, that pursuit shifted as I began to explore photography - following the footsteps of my dad, who is an excellent amateur film photographer. I immersed myself in learning the craft and quickly began taking clients. Over the few years following high school, this led to a full time career in portraiture and wedding photography. Despite the success of this work in many ways, that dream of being a painter was still alive and biting at my heels. So when my husband and I relocated to a small town on the East Coast for a job opportunity for him, I took the leap and retuned to school to complete my BA in Painting in 2014.
Following graduation and one more cross-country move back to California, I began to paint regularly - selling work and participating in a few group and solo exhibitions at local venues. When we eventually settled in the Bay Area for a season, this momentum halted as I took up professional opportunities in Environmental Branding and Design work. I loved learning this new field, but found myself once more pulled towards an alternative creative path that - though perhaps an excellent opportunity - I now recognized as a detour from where I really wanted to go. So when our organization restructured and we moved yet again, I took the leap. I enrolled in the MFA in Painting in the Fall of 2017 at the Academy of Art University, and for the first time actually committed to pursuing a career as a Fine Artist. I was terrified.
I had allowed myself to be pulled away from Fine Art because those were the easier options. I wasn't afraid to fail in those fields, because I never loved the work as much as I loved painting. The beauty of these detours however, is that as I ran away from what I enjoyed most, I collected an eclectic set of skills and experiences that would better equip me for the journey to return to it. My work will be forever informed by a love of light, the figure, and how people experience art and environments. Perhaps more importantly - through these many changes of place and profession - I began to believe that Painting was not only a worthy and valid pursuit, but that I could be afraid and do it anyway. That perhaps my journey would in fact be even more beautiful for the bravery it's required.
the nomad life