Through my art, I tend to grapple with themes of life growing out of death, an inevitable reality we all must come to terms with. It helps me to think metaphorically about death in order to accept it. Think about the function of compost, for instance; out of an abundant mixture of dead matter that is the soil beneath or feet, with the right amount of time, will, and care, life magically appears.
Once while traveling for an artist residency, I became friends with a female artist from Munich. We were out drinking beers one night, and I was sulking because I knew my boyfriend and I's relationship was collapsing and we were bound to break up. Given she was German, she had a sense of cold stand offishness, yet her response was surprisingly nurturing as she wrapped an arm around me and said "have you ever heard of Max Ernst?" (a surrealist painter) "...in his memoir, he tells a story about how he came to understand life. One day, he was called to his brother's house because his wife was about to have a baby. As he entered the house, he noticed their bird was in it's cage, dead as a doornail, feathers everywhere. Right as Ernst began welling up with anger that they could be so negligent as to let their bird die, a baby began crying in the next room. You see, something always has to die, for another thing to grow."
"A Bird Died, a Baby was Born," self-portrait and gouache on paper. 23" x 23" 2014