Field Trip: 30 days at a Higher Elevation

A native Californian and long-time Ojai resident, nature has long claimed my heart. It is where I find space to reflect, meditate and nourish self-awareness. The natural landscape provides deep comfort.

A professional artist for over 10 years, I was ecstatic to be accepted into the artist residency program at Ghost Ranch, near Abiqui in Northern New Mexico. I knew little about where I was headed other than Georgia O’Keefe once lived there.

I knew not the names of the mesas and monumental mountains I would call my front Portal view. Nor did I know I would share camp with mule deer, ravens, snakes and red ants or that sandy soil erodes swiftly as a monsoon rain wipes out trees and trails, and that dust settles on skin like an extra pair of socks. I was delighted to find that the Milky Way still strides upon the moonless night sky.

The paintings and works on paper in this series are a tribute to transitions, and to the powerful relief of spaciousness felt when one is able to unpack the excess baggage of life and leave it behind for 30 days. Painted in just 8 weeks, this body of work is like a held breath followed by a deep exhalation.

The pieces are reflections of my connection to this land of enchantment. The artwork representing the spirit of place, like hearing ravens chatting amongst themselves in the early morning while witnessing the sunrise over Kitchen Mesa, marveling at the spareness and quiet.

My canvases are built with layer upon layer of acrylic paint, paper, pencil, chalk pastel, oil pastel and medium giving the paintings a history and echoing the topography of the Southwestern desert landscape. My paintings tell stories and through my lens, the viewer is invited on a journey of personal discovery.