In early 2017 I started working with a mentor who pushed me to think beyond my usual visual art boundaries. I spent the better part of a year working on figuring out what that would look like. Then, in December of that same year, my dad passed away. This was not only an emotional catalyst for me, but it was also an artistic catalyst.
The event of loss opened up a floodgate of creativity along with a need to honor some of my grief through art making. I then decided it was time to do something different, something that might be more meaningful and perhaps even more accessible.
Having survived childhood trauma, difficult relationships with both parents, I was finally free to spill my guts and maybe purge whatever was there that needed a voice and perhaps healing. Toying with the idea of incorporating text into the work, I knew I had to move beyond my usual art practice toward a place where I could commit a sort of psychic harakiri. This would be a place where poetry, broken haiku and the innocence of visuals collide.
The original idea was to be a written conversation between myself as a child and myself as the parent that I wished to have had. The child would write in the less dominant left hand and the adult would respond with the dominant right hand. But, I didn’t really want to write letters to myself and decided to what artists do, run with the concept and make it my own.
What I discovered was that not only is it fun to paint with my other hand, but it is extremely liberating to paint without the restrictions of artistic excellence. I could suspend the inner critic and all the “adulting” about art making; I could give voice to long silenced memories and childhood trauma; and I had a vehicle for art concepts that had been on the back burner for entirely too long.