Q: Tell us a little about your method and how you came to favor this medium.
A: I am currently exploring and enjoying acrylic paint as my medium. I have been painting for 3 years, and using acrylic for about 6 months. When I first began to make art about 5 years ago – I feared paint and it scared me away.
I experimented with everything I could including colored pencil, chalk pastel, watercolors – before I realized I needed to break through the barrier and teach myself how to paint with either oil or acrylic to get the results I wanted.
The first time I used oil paint it was a total disaster with all the chemicals and cleanup and was a generally unenjoyable experience, until I found water soluble oil paints. I never looked back. It was so smooth and buttery and I could paint for long periods of time, really teaching myself how to push it around, and the absence of toxicity and the easy cleanup really sold me. It wasn’t until 6 months ago that I really decided to push myself to use acrylic. For me, it was much harder to learn considering the faster drying time – but the more I learned how to paint the less I had to correct myself, so the quick drying time really works for me.
Q: Have you been trained, and if so from what institution? Or are you self taught?
A: I lived in NYC and was studying acting and pursuing a career in theater when I really started to paint for therapy. So while I was in school I went home and I painted. It was an escape from the high demands of theater – It was very taxing on my emotional life. I realized that while I loved theater, story, and the creative process of it all – it wasn’t the life for me. I would be at rehearsal drawing my character and wishing I was home painting large paintings of them. I dreamed of living the painters life – staying up all night, alone, drinking tea, having complete solitude with my work. Living wherever I wanted. I had to leave New York and get out of the machine. It was a break up with my former self and also marked a difficult breakup in my personal life, I left two pasts behind me. So to get back to your question, I’m self taught. I never liked people telling me what to do, or correcting me. I knew the mistakes I made were crucial and me figuring out what was a mistake or a happy accident was totally up to me. I’m also just not a good student and quite possibly not the best collaborator with people who say they know more. I love learning – but I don’t like somebody to be assigned to tell me whether or not I’m doing art in “the right way”. There is no right way. I think art can only be measured by how much love you have for it. I told myself not to feel bad about spending money on any supplies I needed to explore because I wasn’t paying an institution to teach me.
Q: When you create art is there a particular message you intend to impart?
A: Not especially. I don’t try to have messages. Most are stories I’m telling and hopefully come across in a subconscious way. My paintings are my visual diary and I paint beautiful women to tell it. If I had any message – I’d hope that it would inspire other people to paint or do whatever they want to create, I love stories, I love beauty. I wish the world was covered in paintings and I wish there were people on every corner playing music. I do believe art saves people because it saved me. It’s pain relief. I take my negative experiences and make them beautiful, because they are. Everything is beautiful.
Q: Was your family supportive of your artistic endeavors?
A: Not initially as an actor. I think they were relieved I wanted to paint instead of pursue the life as an actor.
I think everyone was. Everyone saw how tortured I felt and how much relief I gained. As an actor you have to stand in line to play a part, and have a few people say “yes” or “no”. I don’t like that. As a painter I have an idea and the the only person standing in my way is myself. I enjoy the process of battling my fear and truly being able to transcend that boundary by just doing it. As for support I never really expect it. I don’t believe anyone truly believes in you until you actually do it, and that’s okay and actually very motivating for me. The only person you can truly rely on for belief is yourself.
Q: Is there someone special who has encouraged your work and your path as an artist?
A: My always say my sister, Molly Denoir, basically taught me how to be an artist of life. She showed me how to do my makeup. I remember her telling me how to do it – and I did, looked in the mirror, and felt so beautiful. I looked like her. She was always into beauty and fashion and I always looked up to her, and I think that’s why I became a painter. I grew up next to a muse.
6. What are your hopes and dreams or future goals?
My biggest dream would be to paint the world. I want to paint bigger and brighter. As I said before I wish the world was filled with paintings, and live music was on every corner and every living room. I want to live in a world where that’s a standard of living. I also want a family with a farm and children. I basically want to be a hobbit. I would also love to travel and meet as many people as possible. I dream of setting up little stands at farmers markets, festivals across the world and selling my work as well as live painting. I just really fell in love with that process as a form of connection this summer at a festival I was invited to, Cascadia NW.
Q: What inspires your creations?
A: Everything – but mostly beautiful women, my love life, animals and music. I see life in moments and see paintings every day and I only wish there were enough time to paint them all. The other day my friend who I paint a lot, Kasaundra Kincaid, was sleeping at my house and she looked so beautiful as she slept, I wished I could have painted it in that moment. It looked like a scene from a movie. I drove past a burnt down house a few months and it was so tragic and beautiful I just fell in love. I see the world in a very dark way, I’m a pessimist – but I think it’s because I love so hard and I know that everything is temporary. I see a lot of beauty in that. I see a lot of beauty in a slightly wilted flower, or a beautiful girl disappointed by the reality of modern love. It’s kind of why people are so much into the dark fairy tale movement – I see life in that way but I like to paint it in a less obvious way. I think of myself as a really sad Snow White, I love animals and I still make wishes into a wishing well but I’ve seen the other side, and wishes don’t always come true. But that’s ok. My belief in fate and destiny has carried me through those disappointments and I know I will always be okay. But I still make wishes. I always will.
Q: Are there historic artists who influenced your style?
A: Subconsciously I think all artists influence each other, and I think it’s because we are all trying to reach the source of all things – which is our need to love each other. One of my favorite painters of the past is Andrew Wyeth. I don’t think I paint like him, but I naturally paint some of the same subject matter. I think of his painting “Christina’s World” quite often. I know the story is pretty specific but there is no denying the feeling you get when you see it. I just feel homesick. My need for love is so alive in me when I look at it, and the feeling of being pushed and far away from home also really hits me. I just love when a painting can do that. It’s touching that source of needing to be loved.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: As a painter who believed in dreams.
Q: If you could undertake any project with full funding what would it be and why?
A: I would love to paint a very large mural. I don’t think I’m totally ready yet – I’d like to improve my skill level a little more before I really pursue that – but it’s always been a dream. I want to paint the world and have art be noticed.
Q: Majestic symbolizes a grand endeavor, a great undertaking, or something exalted, imposing, lofty, magnificent… What mind-blowing mark on the world do you wish to make with your art?
A: The great undertaking of sensitivity. I want people to be reminded of love when they look at my work, or of lost love. My goal is to create paintings of imposing size that have an unimposing reminder to remember to stay sensitive. I want to send my viewer into their own daydream. That would be in my mind, magnificent.
Q: Myth a story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events. In Miroir we are also interested in modern Myth and the surreal. How does your art create Myth?
A: I like for my work to stay away from typical fantasy. I initially started to paint that way – but I noticed how much that segregated life from those dreams. I think life is actually a myth, I truly believe that life is one big dream, one big collective of dreams. I think we are more capable then we know of magic, of creation, of connecting with our intuition more than we know. I paint women who I know feel the same. I can tell by the way they hold themselves, the way they do their makeup, their tattoos. I love to paint women who dress with era. It was a past dream and they bring it back into our current reality. They are fairies. And their sensitivity is their strength and holds so much story. I believe flying insects are communication from a higher power. I truly believe that. Usually to tell me to have hope. That there is still light. I’ve had real life experiences with butterflies and moths have that saved me. There is still reason to stay awake in this dream. The van in my painting “telling myself it’s not as hard as it seems”, is actually a pirate ship in the sky. The van is a real life symbol for the dream that means the same thing, the girl whose traveling in that van is wishing upon a dandelion flower. Is that real? Do those wishes come true? I still do that, I still pick up flowers and make wishes. Especially when things are hard. I still hold my breath under tunnels and wish as hard as I can. Some people say that is just myth, but I believe. I want to believe and so I do. And sometimes, if I really want things, those wishes have come true. It’s worth it to see life in rose tinted glasses. It’s a spell. Make things beautiful.