I'm so happy to unveil my first collection of 2023—Sunbaked. This release features 21 new original paintings based on my time in Joshua Tree National Park and the southern California desert.
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The desert was everything I wanted it to be. I fell in love with the light, the solitude, and the landscape. I wandered dusty trails and tried my best to let myself surrender to an environment I hadn't witnessed before. In doing so, I discovered a world of resilience and adaptation that is, quite honestly, a miracle.
It's easy to think of the desert as arid and empty. We see it depicted most often as a dangerous landscape, void of water and full of hidden threats. And it is! That's not even scratching the surface, though. There are thousands of people who call these deserts home. They thrive here, creating rich cultural touchstones, eccentric points of interest, and tight-knit communities living in one of the earth's most unique biomes.
It's light, rock formations, flora, fauna, and expansive skies completely arrested my attention, and there was always something more just in the distance that drew me further in (water bottle always in tow). It might have been a bizarre art installation or a small bookshop in the middle of nowhere, but the people who live here have created a world all their own and it was such a gift to explore and let my curiosity lead me.
Reflecting on my experience, it dawned on me how similar the desert is to painting. On the surface, layers and layers obscure the energy that go into their making. In the desert, a plant can look almost dead on the surface, but below the sand, it's storing energy for the spring (living in Edmonton, Alberta, I'm very familiar with the concept of storing energy for the spring 😂).
Miniature ecosystems huddle around the base of boulders where water collects, not unlike the way humanity builds communities close to mountains and rivers, lakes, and oceans. In the same way, these paintings represent layers and layers of colour and choice that are unseen, but the impacts can be felt in the way the light catches a golden brushstroke or a few flecks of paint at just the right angle. It's all there, just below the surface.
At the same time, this collection offered a new challenge with unfamiliar subjects (a Joshua Tree is not an easy thing to capture!) and a daunting colour palette. The light in the desert is crisp and revealing, but the colours are, to reference my collection title, sunbaked. I found myself scrambling to get out early to capture the light of a sunrise and also impatiently waiting for sunset for the same reason. I sat still when a gust of wind covered me in sand, and ran for my camera when the same winds created a copper haze in the sky when it lifted dust into the air and let it hang there before returning it to earth. I can't believe how many small moments I was able to witness, and marvel at the ones I'm still yet to see. Art, like life, is all about timing :)
In the end, I came away with a collection that I am so proud of and excited to get into your homes.
- (2) 8x10
- (4) 18x24
- (3) 24x36
- (4) 30x40
- (2) 36x36
- (4) 36x48
- (2) 24x72