Life at the edge of the world is pretty dreamy. It's a fantastic place in the northwest with wet prehistoric salamanders and giant smelly skunk cabbage in cool rain forests of tall Doug Fir. Perhaps I was just enthralled with the difference of environment when I came here from the dirty south, where durable cypress trees are growing out of dark swamp water and 8-foot alligators spark fear in the minds of tubers who have been purposely flung off the safety of their floating rubber donuts for a hearty Cajun laugh (thank you uncle Gordon). I know for sure, I came here when I saw a map of how little the state of Oregon had cell phone coverage, which to me meant it must still be pretty wild. So I traded in the alphabet of hurricanes i lived through and the cleverly-human pigeons of the french quarter for a land of organically grown everything and craft beer heaven. I really do miss jambalaya and crawfish boils, jazz wafting into the streets, and the old shotgun houses that were once so affordable.
My middle name is part of a matrilineal heritage that is a Sicilian custom on one side of my family, and oddly enough, my Italian grandmother's family name was Rosetta. Other than that, I received half French heritage. My Cajun French grandmother did some great work on our genealogy, and I can say that I come from Canadian fur-trappers, Civil War fighters, and Inventors and farmers of the Deep South who first migrated in the 1600's. A second language was spoken through my great-grandparents' generation on both sides of my family. Sometimes I wish I had some of that knowledge, but I believe that one day in the pursuit of creativity and history I will visit the places of my ancestors and feel their feeling of home.
As a 17 year old starting college, I qualified for art and academic scholarships due to my achievements at the all-girl catholic high school, but I soon wiped that off my slate when I decided to drop out and try my hand at being a shot girl on bourbon street and partially engaging in a tattoo apprenticeship. At that time of my life, skateboarding, music, and journaling ruled my free time. My family life was humpty-dumpty, and I moved around a lot. I got to know the state of South Carolina for a half year, and was totally thrilled to enjoy forested beaches and wooden skate parks for the first time. I still think about those days (thank you stacy). Music still rescues my spirit when i need that most.
My formal training in studio arts comprises of 5.5 years in a versatile set of BA studies which were spent developing a print-maker's eye, illustrating attentively from life and imagination, and appreciating the darkroom aspects of photography. The University of New Orleans, The University of Oregon, and The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts have contributed vital resources and studios in which i built the foundation of my adult arts education. I have been pursuing illustration as a passion since childhood, and a design award offered to me in my sophomore year of college both surprised and inspired me in new directions. I have also been honored to accept invitations as a speaker on the arts at the University of Oregon and Lane Community College.
So here i am, living and working for the sake of making human connections and being inspired by the daily beauty and grime that surround me. I mostly work in the medium of Photography, shooting natural landscapes and Epic objects that reflect history and human society in them. When I am free enough to unwind, I still draw in a sketchbook, and paintings are often informed by the same imagery you see in my illustrations. Ideas and symbolism take a big role in my drawings and paintings, along with direct observation of the natural world. I often keep surface shapes in mind of where my work will go when creating new images.
I incorporate the images and ideas from my photos and illustrations into product design so that art can be appreciated on a functional level, as well as original wall art. I have found a great American company based in California who can turn my work into cool tote bags, throw pillows, tapestries, and zipper pouches. I tell you, the technology artists have access to these days is mind-blowing and fantastic. The world is our encyclopedia for reference material, eye candy, and information.
My creative process is stimulated by visual discovery through travel, information-gathering, and the art os self-promotion. I host annual public shows of my work in group gallery shows, music venues, cafes, and small shops. I also seek out commissions and retail opportunities to make art more available in our daily lives, extending it beyond the walls.
I am available for commissions, collaborations, Photography, and projects in the Northwest. Write me on the Contact page if you have some ideas!