New Work-- 2019-2023
Motherhood is paradoxically a very lonely time, but also a period when you can't get enough time to yourself. Bathroom breaks are the only breaks you can get sometimes and other times you don't even get to pee by yourself. Where do your thoughts go when you get that break? With a newborn, your only thoughts are about the baby and keeping them alive. All higher level thinking stops. But slowly, your identity returns to you-- desires, plans, leisure time, the urge to learn piano, your sense of humor, the things that make you, you. It's only after the absence of those thoughts, just a handful of traits and preferences really, that we realize how tenuous our identities actually are.
The brief, flickering thoughts that come and go so quickly between so many other things have become the subject of my work. Sam Anderson wrote, “How many fleeting associations combine to make up a life? How many rusty pipes do we mistake for owls? A vast majority of our waking hours are filled not with witty jokes or brilliant thoughts or epic feelings but with tiny, private mind-motions — thoughts that are hardly even thoughts at all, that don’t rise to the level of sharing with another human being. That millisecond when — again and again — a rusty pipe looks like an owl, or a newscaster’s voice reminds you of a long-gone uncle, or a daily routine sets off a small chain of involuntary associations. These things are almost nothing, and yet they are who we are.” These uncatchable, ghostly thoughts are almost impossible to notice and then adequately describe-- the perfect shadows of two curators on a wall; the dog walker I looked forward to seeing from my window during a snowbound quarantine; that gray lady on a smoke break, seen over a decade ago, blending in with three gray columns; startling myself awake from a nap because I thought I was falling. The act of painting these fleeting thoughts is an attempt to capture a nearly invisible, but very large part of being alive.