My art journey - where I started and where I'm at.
I was organizing my office when I came across a stack of old paintings I've made over the years. As I flipped through the pile, memories of who and where I was at the time of each painting flooded back. I always enjoy looking at how the work of other artists progresses over time. I thought it would be fun to share a little about my artistic journey.
Growing up, I was fortunate to have two amazing parents that encouraged my interest in art. My mom was a primary school teacher so we always art and craft supplies at home.
There weren't many art classes for me to take in high school and I didn't pursue a formal art education after graduating, but I drew and painted when I could in my spare time.
2009 - Testing out Acrylics
A few years out of high school, I bought a kit of cheap acrylic paint to try out. Although I enjoyed the painting process, I remember feeling discouraged by the vast discrepancy between what I pictured in my mind versus what I was actually able to create on paper.
Over the next couple of years, I would go through periods of being hyper-focused on creating art only then to completely abandon it for months on end.
2012/2013 - Post Ceremony
A pivotal moment in my life and artistic path took place in Peru. I was there to take part in medicine ceremonies and the overwhelming message I received was that I needed to create art. I also realized that I needed to actively chase my dream of being an artist; that I couldn't passively wait for that future to land in my lap. It was from this point forward that I began a consistent art practice. These paintings depict some of the visions I had during ceremony.
Afterwards, I began painting a lot of animals and experimenting with different styles.
2014/2015 - Fantasy Realms & Natural Landscapes
It was around this time that I discovered the work of fantasy artists that captured my imagination. I loved envisioning my own surreal worlds and creating the characters that inhabited them.
2016 - Breakthrough
A big shift in my art took place in 2016. It was then that I painted my first silhouette piece (the green bear below) and that sent me down a path of 100+ paintings in this style. I began selling my prints both online and at markets. This experience really helped improve my confidence. It took me a while to grasp that people would pay money for my art. With that confidence boost came additional motivation to continue practicing my craft.
2017 - Revisiting Mosaic Designs
For a short period, I revisited the mosaic designs that I played with in 2013. I had an idea of combining this technique with my current silhouette style, so that each mosaic piece had an image inside. I have yet to test this merger on a painting, but I'd still like to at some point.
2018/2019 - The WilderWoven Tarot
In early 2018, I painted the first piece of a project that would ultimately become the WilderWoven Tarot. I averaged one painting a week to complete the 80 images for the deck. In addition to creating the art for this project, another milestone occurred when I ran my first Kickstarter to fund the printing of the deck.
2020 - Oracle Deck
For a few months after the tarot project had wrapped up, I felt a little lost regarding the direction of my art. I had spent the previous two years with a specific plan and wasn't able to see past that finish line. The global pandemic was also emerging and that contributed to the groundlessness I felt. Over the spring, I spent a lot of quiet time drawing and painting in woods nearby my place. It was during one of those sessions that I thought of a companion oracle deck to the WilderWoven Tarot. Like my tarot deck, I wanted this new deck to contain 80 cards, with each card in one deck relating to one card in the other. It's now late 2020 and I'm about a dozen paintings in to this project. Looking forward to seeing how it and my art progresses over the next couple of years.