16" x 20" Oil on canvas. 2018
"Mirror Ponderings" was created in Bend, OR, on my lunch breaks during my daily shift at the Boys & Girls Club.
I love that I get to give young artists the opportunity to have creative moments in their day. I teach six art classes starting at 9am. First grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and middle school all get an hour of art at The Club. When I am in the moment, I am totally into teaching. However, teaching art and making art are two completely different processes. Teaching is a science. It's calculated. It's planned. It's organized. To be a good teacher, one must control most of the variables to produce a specific outcome: learning and fun. (The children are variables in and of themselves. I couldn't possibly control them, however I know that I can influence them.)
The teacher within me is the giver. The artist in me is the consumer. At different times each day, each character finds great joy in play.
On my lunch break- I truly eat the food of nature. Yes, my body eats a salad on-the-go, or the occasional (weekly... daily?) slice of pizza from Pizza Mondo, but really, painting, for me, is about consuming. My soul feeds on creating. I devour nature around me. I long for time to be a great pizza pie that I can consume bite by bite, brushstroke by brushstroke, making it last as long as I still have an appetite. I wish time was physical and tangible and I could buy more of it, and amass a minute-militia of which I can spend my way. You know you love doing something when the hours feel like minutes.
And so, during my lunch break, I hobble over to Mirror Pond and set up my clunky Michael's-brand easel at the foot of majesty--Mirror Pond. Some days, I'll be disrupted by the band of hippies when a rogue banjo player walks over and surprises me with a red rose. (Where did he get that?) Other days, I'm alone--soaking in the stillness, trying to calm my anxious soul from the frenetic energy of being surrounded by 200 screaming, laughing, dancing, pouting, pool-playing, lego-toting children.
These times are the best. It's just me, the paint, nature, and my Instagram Live.
Trading privacy for recognition is part of our modern world. I'm part of it, and so are you. It's connection to you and dislocation to the private practice of painting. I believe it takes a balance of both to be a successful artist in the modern world.
Right now, in this stage of my career, success means to get out of work for an hour, to get out of my phone for five minutes, and simply create. I get the privilege of looking at God's beautiful masterpieces each day as I attempt to recreate what has already been perfected--the nature around us.
This painting is my intuitive way of connecting with Bend. This is how I discover nature, and the people who live here. So if you are in the neighborhood, and you see me sitting blissfully on my yoga mat with my purple gloves on, eating my nature pie, please do come say hello.