Old photographic portraits are used as a foundation for my pieces. I started with a stack of old family photographs that I combine with other images to illustrate stories my grandmother told me. Later, I began collecting old photographs from flea markets and antique malls. I am drawn to the idea that the people in the photographs have been forgotten or lost. By combining elements of nature, historical references and a bit of symbolism, I attempt create my own narrative for the photos. By applying gesso to masonite in a brushlike manner and leaving the surface rough, I am able to create an underlying texture that shows through the image creating the effect of an undercurrent that runs through the entire piece. I use watercolor, oil pastel and pencil in layers, adding and subtracting until I achieve the desired effect.
I create these pieces to help me through my own existential crises. We live and die and are buried with our stories. However, our stories are always connected to other people’s stories somehow. My hope would be that others view my work and make up their own story about the piece that applies to their lives.