My work is shiny, glittery, magical mixed media paintings on canvas. They are comprised of painted paper dolls, with paper dresses, that usually have 3D details such as tulle skirts, lace trim, jewelled bindis, handfuls of pearls and bodices laced with real thread. All of my pieces have glittered, metallic backgrounds and they are all sealed with a thick, glossy varnish that gives them a layered, finished look – like the glossy metallic finish on a car (that’s unfortunately very difficult to photograph, but I try my best) – except way cooler! I use four different types of glitter in my pieces: standard, fine glitter; short, tinsel-shaped glitter; chunky, flaked glitter; and iridescent glitter hearts or stars, all of which shimmer and shine in different ways when covered with the epoxy-like varnish I use.
Thematically my girls are fantastical, generally being fairies, angels, mermaids or pretty girls in ball gowns who are not unlike princesses. Most of the paintings I make are intended to enchant children, however most of those who collect my work (to date) are adults.
I am driven to create by the materials around me. I will often be inspired by a richly detailed paper that happens to match a particular shade of glitter and bindi or necklace jewels to tie it all together. Once the colour scheme has been decided and I can see the materials all put together in my studio, I will close my eyes and the girl I’m to paint takes shape in my imagination. Once this process has been allowed to run its course, I become obsessed with the project and can think about little else.
My goal in creating these girls is twofold and very simple: I aim to make each painting better than the last and when I show people what I’ve created, I want them to say “Wow,” and smile. That’s it. That’s all I need to fuel me to make the next piece. If the viewer is excited, I get excited too.
It is my goal in 2013 and beyond, to try and create more paintings in which women of colour are prominent. The reason for this is because in my category (mixed media folk art), the women featured in other artists’ paintings are overwhelmingly Caucasian with the only exception being cult-like depictions of Frida Kahlo. I am inspired to bring my mixed media fantasies to girls of colour, to see the magic and beauty within themselves. To dream about being a mermaid, a princess, a fairy – without the permission of a Disney film – by simply using their imaginations.
“Red and Gold”
“Pink & Green I”
“Magenta Love Fairy”
“Black & White”