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Fragmentation is a major theme in my artwork. Because of a class I’m taking, I’ve been trying to identify the themes and recurring motifs in my artwork in hopes of creating a body of related work to exhibit someday. Someone once asked me why so many of my pieces are “dark” or perhaps troubled. It’s interesting because when I used to do more representational watercolour paintings, I often became very frustrated with the process even though the outcome appeared pretty or pleasant. When I switched to using mixed media, I found the process more of a release; self-expression. Perhaps the undoing of layers and masks. I noticed that many of the paintings contain some sort of grid. Is it a way of trying to create order?

I also tend to incorporate dried plants–like a stalk of soybeans–into my paintings. These fragments of my rural upbringing are juxtaposed against the more urban, industrial textures of lines, blocks, and tones. Perhaps it is an effort to fit memories of the landscape that once grounded me into the chaos of my currently fast-paced city life.

Creating a new body of work on one theme will help me overcome the challenge of trying to say too much on the same canvas. Most of my mixed media experiments to date have ended up overworked or lacking unity. Knowing that I have ten or twenty canvases to use to make a point or to try different versions of the same thing should free me up considerably.

…Now if only I had somewhere to paint. I made a tablecloth out of my paper Plenty shopping bags to protect the kitchen table. I guess it will have to do for now.

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