The Lab

A selection of drawings and paintings is currently on display at The Lab, the newest creative hub in Charlotte, NC’s funky Plaza Midwood neighborhood. The work is on view through the new year and can also be purchased through the drawing and painting sections of my online shop.

 

 

Nov 2, 2018 – Jan 9, 2019

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY   /  1600 Fulton Ave, Ste 120, CLT

 

 
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Top: I Melt Back Into Waves, Above: Installation view, Below: Sacred + Alone

An excerpt from my New Mexico series, the work continues to explore a real and persistent preoccupation with desire, order, progress and work.
 
 
 

Above: Sending and Receiving

The Test

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After playing with the mineral, plant and insect pigments from the Sacred Valley region of Peru, it was time for me to find, forage or fix my own natural sources.

Though the resulting watercolor set was as lively as any painter could hope for, the restrained palette in my studio these days urged me to see what I could coax into being, firsthand.

 
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Above: Surprising “chocolate rose” color from avocados, Below: Acorn tips + rust = a silvery grey ink

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After several weeks of deep internet dives plus a plethora of ink, dye and foraging books, the good news was that much of what I needed could easily be found in our kitchen, backyard or surrounding neighborhood. The bad? Well, it hurts my head and heart to imagine how I could have missed the obvious inclination to craft my own inks and paints?

I created Batch as a portal for exploring other ecosystems and cultures in hopes of discovering some new and weird things about their connection to my own life / body / planet. And I am proud of the work that I’ve produced over these last couple years — especially after decades of a stagnating personal practice — and I can clearly see my trajectory ascending… There is much to be grateful for.

So what took so long?

Above: Copper + vinegar + salt + oxygen + time

 

 

As I commit to a life of intention, one that treads lightly upon the Earth and chooses not to harm any creatures in the process, I’ve begun pulling on the proverbial string that Muir so eloquently reminds us, is tied to everything else in the Universe.

Over the last couple years, I have repeatedly challenged myself by asking “What’s enough"?” and “Why not now?” This has brought a clarity into my practice, making it ever more apparent that I am engaged in a very ‘journey vs destination’ pursuit.

For me, the acts of attention and tending, often the nature of deconstruction, are paramount to the act of making.

Crafting and curating my own materials — ink, paint, paper — is not only in service of the art but, in many ways, is the art. A proposition that shone so brightly, the very elegance of it’s simplicity was too bright to recognize.

With this newfound awareness, I quiet my mind. I am eternally reminded that Mother Nature said it first and said it best. Humble AF.

My job now is to listen, with diligence, and share, with generosity, all that I am learning…

 

 
 
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Sacred Color

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After communing in the desert with the joyous Jyl Marie (of The Yoga of Chocolate) during the magical Mujeres Milagros “Women in Chocolate” retreat, I was delighted to receive several unexpected gifts from her over the course of the following months.

One delivery in particular held a string of tiny bags filled with what I assumed were some type of ground pigments?

Indeed, mineral, plant and insect pigments (sorry, bugs, I’m going to assume you had already passed) — found and foraged — around the Sacred Valley region of Peru.

 
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{ Above: Same pigment before & after grinding }

Unbeknownst to me at the time — but apparently not to Jyl’s fully cultivated, super senses — this inevitable set of vibrant pigments would provide the impetus for making my very own inks and paints.

 
 
 

 

These days, I walk about with pseudo-science books in hand and a renewed fascination for all things Mother Nature. You have my permission to imagine me as a middle school chemistry nerd with a dash of tomb raider.

My fully cultivated sense of curiosity and perseverance (thanks, cacao!) intact, I’m slowly working on batches of ink and paints inspired by, and of, the land upon which I roam.

As always, stay tuned for test Batch updates as my art studio is transformed via all things alchemy…

 

 
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On View

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A collection of my latest drawings and paintings is on display at Hodges Taylor in Charlotte, NC through April 2018. The installation, “Planning for Mutually Assured Seduction,” is part of an ongoing series that explores a real and persistent preoccupation with desire, order, progress and work.

“Planning” is on view alongside select gallery artists and will open in conjunction with a featured exhibition from Louisiana-based sculptor, Kevin Kennedy.

 

 
 
 

Opening Reception Feb 2 from 6–8pm

HODGES TAYLOR   /  118 East Kingston Ave, Ste 16, CLT

 

 
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Re-Treat

 
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When we started making chocolate four years ago it seemed as though I never had enough. I pined for more hours in the day, more room to experiment and more courage to make mistakes. Like anyone who devotes their life to a creative endeavor knows, such a discipline can be as isolating as it is rewarding.

But of all the things in short supply, what I really needed most was perspective.

When Sophia, Lauren and I first conceived of Mujeres Milagros, our motivation was simple — step away from the demands of our daily lives and gather with like-minded “women in chocolate” in a serene, supportive space. We had no way of knowing if the idea would resonate but we dared to imagine. Worst case scenario, the three of us would relax at a private hacienda outside Santa Fe, watching the sun rise and fall over a mystical mountain range while commiserating over a stash of decadent craft bars.

 

 

Mindful conversations, intentional bonding, nurturing food.

 

 

More mantra than mission statement it was, ultimately, a selfish motivation — a connection we desired for ourselves, intimate in both scale and intention. What resulted, however, was nothing less than a magnificent confluence.

One by one, the most perfect women walked through the massive antique Puebla doors and swiftly into our hearts. They were real — these brilliant women — and they not only shared our passion for cacao but a desire for something more transcendent than working for work’s sake.

Over the next few days, we laughed and cried and shared many, many bars as we reconnected with the reasons we all fell in love with cacao in the first place. And, after only a few remarkable days, the retreat had easily become one of the sweetest things I’ve had the pleasure of bringing into the world via Batch.

As we approach another year of making, I’m still unclear as to the kind of impact I might have on craft chocolate as a maker. I am abundantly confident, however, that this little sweet spot we’ve created in the desert has the magic to transform the women who graciously walk a similar path. 

This year’s retreat will “celebrate the art of chocolate” with a healthy balance of playful and meaningful.

For me, finally, enough.

Art, Party

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A collection of my latest, New Mexico-inspired drawings and paintings will make their debut at a two-day exhibition hosted at Gallery 5 (above) in Old Town, Rock Hill this November. For those of you not interested in torturous suspense, follow along on Instagram as I continue to post sneak peeks in the coming weeks.

 
 
 

 
 
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Admission to the sale is free and open to the public

Fri, Nov 17 + Sat, Nov 18 / 11am–7pm
131 E Main St, Rock Hill, SC

 

 

The new series will be displayed alongside work from accomplished painters Harriet Marshall Goode and Tom Stanley. In addition to impressive careers as working artists, both Harriet and Tom are steadfast arts advocates. The holiday sale will be a perfect opportunity to add work from these significant artists to your collection.

 

 
 
 

The holiday sale will be part of Old Town’s 2nd Annual Art Party, a 3-day celebration of visual and performing arts in South Carolina’s first state-recognized cultural district. From November 16–18, local and regional artists will showcase their work at locations throughout Old Town Rock Hill, SC including a juried exhibition, open artist studios, a special performance by XOXO plus workshops and seminars.

 

 

Not Even Evanescence

 
  This Woman  ’s Work   GOLD LEAF + CHARCOAL ON PAPER  11 X 14 IN

This Woman’s Work

GOLD LEAF + CHARCOAL ON PAPER

11 X 14 IN


 

Feels like I’m storm-chasing

caging beauty before it escapes,

watching precious flakes of metal

get swept away 

like fireflies on the breeze.

 

But I know, now, that nothing eludes

nothing evades.

 

Not the essential,

the essence,

not even evanescence.

 

It’s inside

of me

awaiting

a kind of palace.