es·cap·ism əәˈskāpˌizəәm/ (noun) the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy. synonyms: fantasizing, daydreaming, reverie; imagination
Painting is my way of escaping reality. With a brush in my hand all of my surroundings and thoughts disappear, and my mind enters a new world within the canvas. For those hours that I am painting, I am temporarily existing in a dreamlike state. The purpose of these paintings is to make the viewers feel as if they are escaping by looking at art, the same way I feel while creating it. This has been my source of inspiration for over the past decade and it is an ever evolving creation.
Each painting is an imagined scene formed by a collection of photo references and dreamlike images. I am inspired by imagery that evokes emotions. I enjoy making art that tells a story, and I especially like when that story is vague and can be interpreted in different ways by each viewer. I often include a female figure or body part in my work to represent myself. I have represented the theme of escapism in forms of flying, floating, sleeping, dying, dreaming, disappearing, and being born. Lately I have taken a more feministic approach to this theme. I am currently focused on the struggle some women face trying to find the balance between wanting to be feminine and domestic, versus wild and free. The painting “The Wild and the Tame”, for example, is inspired by a poem by Jeanette Winterson where she speaks of “the wild heart that wants to be free and the tame heart that wants to come home”. The imagery in “Nesting” came from the pressure society places on women my age to have children.
I refer to my style of painting as “Surrealistic Refined Impressionism”. As a child I was taught to paint by Elaine Sgambati, a New Jersey artist who referred to her work as refined impressionism. Since then, mostly during my arts education at Montclair State University, I was influenced by many other mentors and colleagues. My paintings have taken on much more surreal and fantasy-like qualities throughout the past few years, but stay true to the style I was most influenced by in my early years as a painter. The healing therapy of art- making and self-expression has been very important to me throughout my life and is something I continue to share with others through painting. I could not be who I am today without the ability and freedom to channel my thoughts onto a canvas. Whether it be through creating or teaching, I want to continue to make an impact on others lives through art. That makes me feel like I am doing my job as an artist.
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