From left to right:
Amira, painting "Utopia" 40x40" now on display at the Fig House in LA;
"Place" 12x12" mixed media on canvas;
"The Leaves are Falling" 12x16" acrylic and oil pastel on linen;
"Capri" 12x16" mixed media on deckled edge handmade paper;
"Sunset Lover" 20x28" mixed media on canvas;
"Autumn for Lovers" 30x30" acrylic, enamel, spray paint on canvas;
"Cinque Terre" acrylic enamel on 12x18" paper;
"Amira shown with "Utopia";
"Promise" 12x12" mixed media on canvas;
"Eucalyptus (Hold My Hand) 30x40" acrylic and ink on canvas;
"Female Energy" 30x30" acrylic, spray paint, ink on canvas
Art for me was always a hobby, my escape from the pressures of school, from other people, a cathartic exercise I’d do when I needed to get away. It wasn’t something I even considered when it came to picking a college major or a career. Instead, I studied for law school, fell in love with sociology, and painted when I needed a reprieve.
In truth, it wasn’t until I watched The Art of Getting By that I realized I was an artist not using my talent. The realization hit me hard—I felt like I’d wasted 23 years of my life and that I had to hurry up and get to artist status fast. I started painting every day, modeling my work after some of my favorite realist painters, Van Gogh, Picasso and Impressionist painters.
And though I was fairly good at realism, I couldn’t get it to the expressive qualities I wanted. I was too tight, or technically good, as they say.
Fortunately, I took some advice and gave abstract art—i.e. painting my emotions—a try. I took an old beach scene I’d done and added crazy colors to it. I called it Heat Wave, and almost as soon as I shared it, four people asked to buy it—it was the start of my career.
Since then, I’ve learned to trust the process. I’ve slowed down. I’ve taken breaks. And what keeps me coming back is this human desire to be seen, to expose my innermost self and share her with others. Painting is my way of honoring my time on earth. It’s my way of paying homage to the human experience. And it’s a process that moves me every day.
Cedar Grove, New Jersey