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Einstein: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Recently in my art, I decided to launch a series that was much more feminine than my more industrial Impasto designs. Each one of the trees in this new Tree of Life series is in the shape of a woman's body. The trees represent the female as the foundation that supports her family and all the beauty in her life.

Through my journey in this series, I realized each tree also reflects how I am feeling at a time in my life about my body image. Some trees are skeletal, sparse and only the flowers that bloom are beautiful; as if all I'm doing is holding other beautiful things that I've helped create (my children, my relationships with my family and friends). This mirrors my journey through anorexia and body image. This is the first time I'm coming out about my struggle with body image but I think it is a very important as it relates to my art, my life and the struggles so many girls and women face.

Other times, the trees are strong and bold, reflecting my fierce, warrior-like strength with the branches holding up all the blessings in my life. And even other times, I feel like a mere spectator of the beauty that I'm surrounded by.

I'm finally realizing I want to be healthy and fully comfortable in my body. Recently, I have had friends who struggled and lost their lives because their bodies weren't cut out for the long haul. I have also had friends who have struggled to just make it to the next year because of cancer or other life-threatening ailments. I have never had any of those issues except for the issues I have created for myself. The issues I have created for my body by starving it, neglecting it, treating it like an enemy - when all it was trying to do is help me live a long and beautiful life. This series is not just for women who struggle with self-image, however. It is for the human struggle with identity and finding who you truly are. Through this series, I have helped discover and be reminded on a daily basis of the beauty that truly exists in my life.

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