What does your work aim to say?
The coast of Maine, jagged and sharp with color; the wood on old, beloved barns; the bounce of boats and sunlight in the sea; the flawed elegance of birch trees: these are my muses. Growing up in New England, I've been inspired by the woods, water, mountains and rocky shores throughout my life. Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I loved exploring pockets of green inside the city. The vibrancy of my hometown, along with the colorful characters that reside within it, impacts my landscapes by injecting hypercolor into scenes of nature. It is also why fences and telephone poles – markers of modernity often intertwined with nature – are a favorite subject.
Recently, much of my work has been influenced by the poet Robert Frost. As many critics have noted about Frost, a complex darkness often lay beneath his lyrical, New Englandy verse. As a landscape painter with strong political convictions, I am caught between my desire to capture a landscape beautifully and signal my distress about what is happening to the natural world. And increasingly – because of human behavior – the landscape is lashing out against us – in the form of storms, water, heat and other extremes. Indeed, given the political climate and the lack of accountable, ethical and scientific people leading governmental environmental agencies, I find myself increasingly preoccupied with how to portray the landscape in a way that makes people give a damn.
How does your work comment on current social and political influences?
As with most artists, I'm horrified by our current president. Everything that matters to me - from a woman's right to choose to the safety and protection of the environment to creating a welcoming and diverse home in the United States for people of all backgrounds and races and religions is under attack. I am a progressive and this is a dark time to be a progressive in the United States. That said, while I personally donate and volunteer to various political causes and candidates that I admire, I see my art as a refuge from this world. Indeed, the world is a devastating, ruthless place in many ways. I want my art to be a walk in the woods, a pause in the chaos. A true refuge. In my paintings, the natural landscape is an entryway to something always hopeful and sometimes cautionary, simple and sacred. Accessibility in art is often seen as an insult. “Her work is accessible” is not a compliment. I don’t shy away from accessible – from getting people who don’t always feel comfortable in the contemporary art world to stand in front of my work and absorb it. In my dreams, my paintings are visual representations of the verse of Robert Frost and Mary Oliver.
Cambridge - Massachusetts - USA