My artwork is my obeisance to living, an art that symbolizes my life.
It encourages me to seek, to explore, to consider, to feel
I am an artist working in Monterey County, California. Since 2003 I have called Monterey Bay home. I was born in Santa Barbara, did most of my growing up in Lompoc; The entire central state of California has influenced my work. I earned a B.A. in Visual & Public Art from CSU Monterey Bay in 2014, and for the past decade have photographically studied the environments surrounding me, and myself.
Gradually my processes transformed from analytical journaling and documentary photography into a more lucid version of my ideas and experiences—sketching, painting, and multiple exposure photography.
Much of my work comes from the pleasure of expressing observations or dreams with satisfying media. On a deeper level my work symbolizes the contents and experiences of my life and is reflective of my perception of consciousness (scroll down for more on that).
My photographs, paintings and prose are all extended prayers that through active contemplation create visible links between my identity and the outside physical and unseen worlds. My work provides a defined space to process my fears, while allowing me to honor my gifts and make art out of joy.
As I cultivate my psychological rituals into a form of storytelling, I hope to improve my ability to communicate, refine my voice, and exercise my right to life’s choices.
Through my life I have enjoyed a variety of interests grown from life experiences. For ten years the exploration of consciousness, spirituality, dream psychology, nature and anthropology had me reading avidly. I was first driven by my need tounderstand and to overcome my fears associated with sleep paralysis, which I began to experience at the age of fourteen. While lying in bed preparing to go to sleep I would suddenly find myself unable to breath, move or speak. During this period I felt powerlessover my own body, I felt my heart slow a to shallow beat, to which I thought I was dying; it was then that I felt my consciousness peel away from my body night after night.
I understand how this account might sound to others however these experiences do illustrate how such episodes influence my art. During these nightly episodes I was fully aware of my surroundings. I had a variety of experiences that consisted of the projection of my consciousness into undefined spaces both sublime and terrifying. This occurred for years and was exacerbated after being raped in my sleep at age sixteen. If this violation of myself was not traumatic enough, this event increased the occurrences and severity of sleep paralysis. Fearing that my health was at risk, my family consulted with a neurologist who was very interested in my experiences and wanted to study what I saw and heard. This doctor prescribed pills to help me sleep although I learned that the pills could relieve some of the symptoms, but it did not fully explain my experiences or help in my healing process.
I took it upon myself to try to understand what was happening to me. I researched how different cultures perceived similar experiences. Through the studies I found that in other cultures, experiences like mine were honored and the people who had similar experiences were venerated and trained as spiritual wise persons. Having a better sense of this I faithfully transcribed my dreams so that I could better understand my experiences.
I learned meditation and experimented with the range of control over my body and mind, and eventually control over sleep paralysis. Gradually, as my control and courage grew, the threatening landscapes I encountered during sleep paralysis receded. Simultaneously this confidence also manifested in my daily life and greatly informed my art. I found the will power to improve my life. Sleep paralysis, instead of a hindrance, had taught me how to access new creative energy. I slowly cultivated this creativity and bravery in order to transform into a new life. I left an unhealthy relationship, finished my undergraduate degree, began nurturing my writing and art practices and decided to pursue graduate school.
Writing and the visual arts have been symbiotic partners within my own inner dialogue for Through the years, my explorations in writing, photography and drawing have guided me into revelations, and solidified experiences with dreams and consciousness. They have supported my processing of my strengths and my fears, and the development of my voice. As I grow as an artist I intend to use blogging as a way to reflect on my own processes and connect with others through an ongoing practice of storytelling.
B.A. Visual + Public Art, California State University, Monterey Bay
Watercolor & Composition Workshop with Erin Hunter
Mission San Juan Bautista Preservation Fund
Robert Ellis Photography
National Endowment of Arts and Humanites
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Light Alchemy – National Steinbeck Center – Salinas, Ca – 2014
Light Alchemy – CSU Monterey Bay – 2014
The Elements – Sylvan Design Studio – Sand City – 2012
Untitled – University President’s House – Seaside, Ca – 2013
Fondu and Fotos – Sylvan Design Studio – Sand City 2012
Miniatures Show, Monterey Museum of Art La Mirada, Monterey – 2014
Untitled – Sweet Elena’s – Sand City – 2013
Surfrider Foundation Event – Sylvan Design Studio – Sand City – 2012
Untitled – Sol Treasures, King City, 2010