Reclaiming Butterscotch

My marriage ended in Italy; Italy was the backdrop and the catalyst.

Despite this, I continued to be inspired by Italy, and couldn’t help but find parallels with the story of my divorce experience. Everywhere I looked was a metaphorical dovetailing of my surroundings and my inner passage: the juxtaposition of old and new, the fascinating disintegration of weathered materials, and religious art depicting stories of great suffering while employing the most exquisite colors and materials. All of these themes and materials seemed to speak to me.

Even as this aspect of my personal life was unraveling dramatically, my artistic self was still hard at work. By observing my surroundings, collecting objects for future paintings, and creating art in my mind, I could partially contain this experience, make meaning from it, and process it in a manageable way.

I work in a style of warm, organic abstraction because it creates a mood, and provides freedom to use color, texture, and found objects to tell a story. The objects which call me to pick them up and use them in a painting are, most often, pieces of wood, metal, and paper whose scars suggest a rich, untold history. Influenced by the stories told through Italy’s churches and artistic history, my work has begun to feature gold leaf, imagined saints, and make-believe altarpieces.

I have gratitude for the parallel processes that Italy afforded me: of being contained at the start of this journey in a liminal space, and of keeping my artistic eye open and alert. While this body of work depicts the end of a marriage, the most important part of the narrative is the journey of rediscovery afterwards, the reclaiming of the bits of self that were once sacrificed through compromises big and small. 

The story I wish to tell is, most importantly, reclaiming butterscotch.