Jonathan Cooper Gallery in London sponsored my first international solo exhibition. I called the show “Haven,” and this is the artist statement that I wrote about this body of work:
Haven: any place of shelter and safety; refuge; asylum.
These paintings are expressions of shelter. They represent places that feel safe to me, mostly imaginary places based loosely on reality and memory.
The idea of safety has been increasingly on my mind during the process of painting for this exhibit. As I was starting to work on these pieces, Kristy and I began our journey together in marriage. It is our aim to build a relationship together that is a place of safety and restoration, both for each other and for the world around us. Moving to a new city and starting a new chapter of life with Kristy has been a beautiful upheaval. Mixed in with the beauty has been the difficulty of stepping into the unknown, shadowed by what seems to be an increasingly divided society around us. In all of this I have realized the necessity to remind myself of refuge, and of my desire to bring reminders of shelter to a world at odds with itself.
Art and nature have always been sources of refuge for me, and even as a child I felt safest with pencils and brushes. My family moved from the United States to Latin America when I was two years old, and I grew up with a great love for nature and a constant struggle to communicate with the world around me; I walked a line between languages, between cultures, and so art became a language and a space of safety for me.
My paintings of the world around me still reflect my longing to find a sense of peace and shelter. The forest, the transitions of colors in the sky, the quiet watchfulness of deer and of birds, the flow of time and seasons...these are where I often look for refuge. My hope is that these paintings will convey a sense of haven, and that they will be reminders of the peace and the beauty that always surround us when we pause to watch and listen.