This is the first piece of art I bought for myself, way back in 2009. I was 23 at the time, and had no business buying art. I barely had two pennies to rub together. But I saw this piece at a gallery opening at Cherry Lion Studios (an amazing sculpture studio in Atlanta that also rents out it’s gallery to emerging artists) and I HAD TO HAVE IT. It was $500. I did not have $500. But I managed to strike a deal with the artist to pay him $100 a month to have it.
This piece has lived in six homes since then. It’s hung it all sorts of places—above my bed, in the living room, in my kitchen, in a hallway, and now it’s right before you get to our main powder room (aka a place I see it everyday).
It’s weird and somewhat eerie. It has depth and soul with those found objects, and it’s collaged in a way that I couldn’t do then (and I love investing in art that I can’t make, or at least I can’t make it well). Guests always comment on it, every significant other I’ve had thinks it’s nuts and cool at the same time, and my kids roll their eyes and log it as just another off-the-wall characteristic of their mother (I fantasize they’ll fight over it when I die).
The point being, I bought this piece because of the immediate connection I had to it. A feeling. I couldn’t afford it, not really, yet I made it mine. I didn’t really have a space for it in mind, but I’ve found the perfect spot for it in every home. I remember exactly who I was when I bought it—it reminds me of how young I was and how far I’ve come.
And all the art and years later, it’s still my favorite piece of art that I own.
Me with "What If" 30" x 24" available 9/13 in my fall collection
And that’s the power of art—that’s why investing in pieces that immediately pull you in is the wise decision. It’s what keeps your home from looking like everyone else’s—it gives insight to who you are and who you were; your story.
When I started making this new collection of paintings, it was right after I found these mortgage documents (circa 1825 London!) buried in an antique store—again, me gravitating to the weird stuff that makes my heart sing. I didn’t have a place for them, but I bought them anyway.
A few weeks later I was painting, and this one spot on my canvas just wasn’t doing it for me. I happened to look over at my shopping bag from my antiquing adventure and a light bulb went off. I cut out my favorite part—beautiful script surrounding this red-orange wax seal; just the coolest. I adhered it to my canvas and it was an immediate “holy sh*t, this is so good” moment.
It was exactly the feeling I had with that first piece I bought—and then I realized—after all of these years, I’ve managed to weave in those past objects that I love, and collage them in my own work. Full, freaking, circle. And so, I made a collection with it—this collection.
Stories We Tell Ourselves, 48" x 48" available 9/13
And the documents I’m adding have their own story—they’re mortgages. The start of someone building their home or saying goodbye and starting a new chapter. The everyday documents that begin chapters. Which, of course, is the whole point to my work—making beauty out of everyday moments. Capturing chapters. Painting how these moments make us feel so we can put them on our walls and see them everyday. Not only to remind us of us, but also make our home a place that feels, looks and plays like we do.
My Fall collection launches Wednesday, September 13th 2023. Email subscribers get access that morning at 9AM EST, live on the site to everyone at 11AM EST. Join the email list here.