Nominated by Northern Illinois University
Art has always been a healing process for me. I work every day to develop drawings that speak out about trauma and mental illness. My initial exploration of ideas began with a commitment to doing daily random portraits in my sketchbook. To get a better understanding of individuals who have experienced trauma or are living with mental illness, I am creating a visual narrative. Through an open interpersonal conversation about their lives, the intention is to offer their story paired with the drawing as insight into the nature of trauma and psychosocial challenges.
I primarily create drawings in black and white using ink washes, charcoal, and graphite, and oil paintings. The use of large brush strokes to obliterate the figure, and allowing the white of the paper to remain, work to construct contrast and mystery in the drawings. The paintings depict specific moments in the person's life. These are moments of strength and weakness that provide a glimpse behind the curtain.
I am attempting to convince the viewer with each piece to consider the day to day effects of trauma and mental illness on the lives of people. This will develop compassion by the act of drawing, dialogue and witnessing necessary for healing and recovery.
Image: Point of View, graphite, gesso, ink, and watercolor on BFK Rives, 18”x24”, (year)