After college, I returned to painting as a way of taking “Time to Study Flowers“—appreciating the world as if outside of time, in a flow state of attention to beauty all around that became for me like a meditation practice. For a while I also exhibited and sold art. I still like to create and share paintings, and compiled a brief history here to show how my practice continues to evolve over time.
In late Nov. 2015, I found my way to Berlin from Amsterdam via London and Mexico City after getting the hell out of America, where I saw where things were going. Subsequently, I published two poetry books and made a new home with my love in Berlin. My oeuvre since then displays a great deal of joy at being here, feeling like I’ve found home at last, travel, exploring sexuality, reflecting on (in)justice… These are some favorites of my new work.
More Berlin Art, 2015-2019
This series of poems with illustrations (including paintings, drawings ft. words, and collages ft. mixed media) envisions future war crimes trials. Blog version (poems and illustrations), book version (finalized poems).
This series of cut colored paper illustrations presents a tongue-in-check update to the Ten Commandments.
Second poetry book (2018), cover art.
First poetry book (Push Coasts, 2015) illustrations:
These are a few of the paintings from my LA and Boston periods illustrating the free online version of my first poetry book, Push Coasts, that I was editing when I painted them.
Selected other Harvard postdoc period work (2014-2015):
In Boston, I began to work in oils on canvas with a palette knife as well as my customary brushes, also continuing to experiment with different names and signatures since having changed my name months earlier.
Selected salvaged Boston work (2015):
Some of my Boston work made it to Berlin…
Selected other UCLA postdoc period work (2014-2015):
Some of this work illustrated poems, some songs.
“Psychic X-Rays,” selected dissertation (2014) illustrations:
This work was all made while I was completing my National Science Foundation-sponsored dissertation research on bias in polygraphy. It was given away in gratitude to some of my wonderful mentors.
Other previous (political):
After college, I returned to painting as a way of making space in my life to be still and quiet, and have joy for the sake of having joy. To me that was always what art was meant to do—to celebrate truth and beauty for its own sake, in defiance of any effort to generate utility or monetary value, or to be directed for an instrumental purpose at all, and without anyone telling you what to do or how to do it. That spirit of aesthetic appreciation and freedom was expressed in a few poems I published during this period, as well as in later writing. Colorful still lives of flowers in im-ex (impressionist/expressionist) style were a favorite then, along with Madonnas with salvaged colored glass and various experiments in painting poems.
“Time to Study Flowers”: 2005-2013, Virginia