Art is a fundamental part of how I communicate with the world, and I’ve been communicating through art in various forms ever since I can remember. The recent birth of my son, Gryphon, has brought on a surge of empowerment and clarity that has brought me back to my painting again after several years of focusing almost exclusively on acting as my primary source of creative expression. It feels really good!
As a mother, I needed to find a new way to foster and maintain discipline as a painter, since Gryphon’s needs we’re paramount and often all-consuming. I found that painting during his morning nap times was perfect. I made it as essential to my daily schedule as any other appointment would be.
I’m fascinated by faces. Perhaps because I’m an actor, and as an actor am fascinated by what can be communicated by the simplest of glances. I’ve attempted to imbue as much feeling as possible behind the eyes of each person I’ve painted.
Often I’m drawn toward trees, water, nature in general. To me, trees have as much personality and individuality as people, and they have a lot to say. I enjoy hikes, taking many photographs, and then studying them, deciding what story I want to tell. I don’t feel obligated at all to copy the photograph – it just provides me with the feeling and the idea, and I let the story take it from there. Often I’ll paint entirely from my imagination, letting the paintbrush lead.
In terms of style, I would define my work as impressionistic, sometimes bordering on abstract. Each painting is unique and requires something slightly different. I’ve always gravitated toward oils, but I do work with acrylics from time to time. I have been consistently using an acrylic base of colour, on top of chunks of gesso that I move and shape with pallet knives and fingers until I have the texture I want.
Often I have several paintings going at once. I’ll need to distance myself from each one for short periods of time, then I can come back with fresh eyes and a renewed sense of what the story needs to be. I do the same thing when I’m working on a script – work a little, walk away and think, work a little, walk away and think. I no longer believe in mistakes, so everything that happens is just something that leads me somewhere new. Some of my favourite paintings are ones that I have painted over completely, ‘borrowing’ the texture and lines that already exist from the previous painting and incorporating them into a new story. My style is constantly evolving, and I learn more with each piece. There is nothing better than being able to walk upstairs into a quiet space and just be. I’m very lucky indeed!