Courage and fragility


'Pink Dawn', 5.5" x 8.5", coloured pencil & white chalk on toned paper

‘Pink Dawn’, 5.5″ x 8.5″, coloured pencil & white chalk on toned paper

I’m reworking both my bio and my artist statement this week. My bio is embarrassingly out of date and my artist statement feels disconnected from the work that I’m trying to make.

I’ve been journaling like mad and writing answers to questions like “What do I believe?”

It’s a difficult process, and painful in a way – revealing why you really make art feels vulnerable, broken open. And I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who loves writing their bio.

But parts of the process and parts of my answers are fascinating to me. I’m not sure what the final form will eventually take, but I wanted to share some of the ramblings here, since it feels important.

What do I believe?

I believe that each of us is possessed of a great beauty that is our humanity. I believe that we are all courageous and fragile and vulnerable and I want to make art about that.

By realizing that we are both fragile and courageous, I think that we can connect to each other better, appreciate our own lives and the lives around us, and the earth around us.

I have lived those moments where you hurt so bad you think that you will break, you will die, and yet somehow, we get up and we keep going. I know this to be irrefutably true – the human spirit is iron strong.

And yet we hurt, we cry, we grieve, we lose. We are strong but we are not invincible. We are tenderhearted, looking for love, looking for hope, looking for courage, looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

We are both courageous and fragile. I make work about that. I draw the human figure – the nude human figure – because without clothes there is nothing to hide. And because it is when we are simultaneously most vulnerable and most strong. To show our vulnerability is the most courageous thing that we can do. It is so much easier to hide, to put up walls, to run away. To show ourselves as tenderhearted humans…now that’s where the magic is.

There is a wordless place that I’m trying to find in my work. It is a place of open heartedness, of being broken open and letting life flow through you. It is a place of total connection with the world around you.

I make art to connect – with myself, with others, with the world. We are not islands. We are an interconnected web of stars.