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Journey Collection Part I: the College Era stories

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

I've always loved stories, fantastical elements, personalities, nature, and portraits, but they haven't always fit together in my work. The Journey Collection walks through the development of my artistic journey, from my college days until today.

Each piece has it's own story, and I'm excited to share them with you! The College Era part of the Journey Collection is a set of 8 paintings, curated down from the stacks of drawings, prints, and canvases that I have from those years. These 8 pieces collectively show both my progress in the skills I was learning, as well as hinting at the colors and thought processes I would later use to create Personality Portraits and the Enneagram Collection.

"Out of Darkness"

Oil on canvas, 22x30", unframed

I love this piece as the starting point for the Journey Collection, because it is a visual opposite to the artwork I paint now - a dark, moody, neutral-colored oil painting, rather than bright colors and a white background in watercolor.

"Out of Darkness" is the first piece in the Journey Collection, though it was far from my first painting in college. There was a great amount of building skills that lead up to this piece, but it was one of the first paintings I created that had a deeper meaning behind it - a message of looking up toward the light, rather than staying in spiritual darkness.

"Lady in Grey"

Oil on canvas, 20x24", unframed

"Lady in Grey" - my largest self-portrait to date! This piece was displayed in one of the yearly competitions in the art building, and I believe I painted it in grey because the art store was giving away free tubes of Payne's Gray oil paint.

While it was painted on a whim (as was most of my art in college, it took a while for me to learn to plan well), it was an excellent study for capturing light, form, expression, and mood with a single color - something I use to this day.


Watercolor on paper, 20x25.5", unframed

"Anastacia" was painted in watercolor class Senior year, inspired by a picture of my little sister I took during Christmas break. I had fun with the juxtaposition of the bright red hair in contrast with the muted tones of her clothes and the tree trunk. Here you can see early hints of my love of a minimal background, use of white space, and telling the story through facial expression and pose.

"Poulet Irese"

Watercolor on 300 lb paper, 15x21", unframed

One of the few paintings I did of animals during my college years, "Poulet Irese" (or 'Iridescent Chickens') has always been a favorite. It's painted on a heavy watercolor paper with a beautiful rough edge at the top and bottom that would look amazing in a floater frame.

I played with a rainbow of colors in this painting, looking past the dingy colors of the photo I'd taken of the chickens, and letting the colors play in the light. I still work with the exact same palette of paints to this day. This painting was still early, but was a definite step forward in finding my personal style and aesthetic.

"Pink Reflections"

Pastel on paper, 11.5x11.5" in a 15.5x16" matt

My favorite thing about "Pink Reflections", which is a pastel and charcoal drawing from my Senior year, is that the mood of her pose completely belies the bright colors I chose. It calls the viewer to look past the surface appearance of a person, and realize that even the brightest souls can have deep pain.

"Azul", "Viridian", "Lavender" watercolor on paper, approximately 16x20" each, framed with matt

While this trio is made of separate pieces that exist beautifully on their own, I love placing them next to each other whenever I show them. These are the very first, earliest versions of what would become Personality Portraits; portraits that match unique colors to the subject's personality. These paintings bring back a lot of fond memories of painting in the Art Building on campus; quiet, the smell of printmaking inks and turpentine, my friends stopping by just to watch the progress of brush on paper.

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