My studio practice is mostly self-taught, fueled by persistent curiosity. Although I was nearly 30 years old when I met an artist for the first time, I grew up surrounded by people who made their living with their hands. This carries through into my studio practice where I paint without brushes, inventing my own painting tools and exploring alternative materials.
My childhood was spent in a defunct retirement community in northeastern Arizona surrounded by miles of expansive and dusty desert horizons, my mom’s Mexican heritage, and my dad’s hot rod cars. In many ways, I am an inhabitant of margins, experiencing life from oblique angles and with perspectives of partially inherited provenance. This is perhaps why abstract art feels like such a natural home to me: a place where nothing is obvious, straight-on, or predictably duplicated. The most understood I have ever felt was when I stood before Bleu II by Joan Miró in Paris.
I begin new work by improvising, instinctually responding to whatever has my attention. Building up layers and creating visual language happens rapidly as I butter paint onto smooth surfaces with non-traditional painting tools. Then I work slowly and deliberately to break through the structure that has emerged – hours of sanding, scraping, sometimes releasing rigidity with pencil marks that are an abstraction of my handwriting. This divergent and convergent rhythm repeats, like a dance, until the piece is no longer about me making sense of my own world. It is confusing, often liberating, and through it all, I am discovering how to un-domesticate my creative voice.
I became an artist after 20 years of trying quite hard not to. I make art because I cannot not do it. I believe we make art to express a truth unable to be captured in other ways, and that creative expression is essential to our collective wellbeing.