Behind the Work: The Wild Things

At work inside my studio.  The Wild Things  holding court over three other paintings that were waiting to be created. Captured by  Federico Photography .

At work inside my studio. The Wild Things holding court over three other paintings that were waiting to be created. Captured by Federico Photography.

Do you ever wonder what the inside of your brain looks like? I often think about how feelings and thoughts would look in color. When I’m feeling calm I think it must look blue and purple and green. When I’m stressed, angry, upset, nervous or overwhelmed, I imagine it’s a fiery red or orange. I imagine soft yellow, white and pinks when I’m feeling happy. Some days I might feel all of these emotions at once and they are competing with each other. Other days are not that eventful and I just feel calm and balanced.

I wanted to make a painting that would be an exploration and interpretation of my feelings inside my head as colors. I wanted to express what those feelings and their energy would look like on the outside. This how The Wild Things came to be. I consider my work to be energetic and playful and I like when people come up with their own interpretations but for me The Wild Things had to be about all of us and the complex layers of emotions that we can feel at any given time. It’s no surprise that I love for color and I knew that I was taking a risk making a painting with so much going on but once I got started and the paint started to fly around the canvas I honestly couldn’t stop. It was important to me that I just get it all out and I wanted it to be on a large canvas (this piece is 6 feet by 6 feet).

It all started to make sense to me the further I got along with the work but whatever figures are present in the painting were completely unintentional. All of the paint was meticulously planned in terms of where I wanted the colors to go but the strokes and gestures were mostly spontaneous. After a while I just stopped thinking too hard about what I wanted to achieve and just let it happen trusting my process and that it would work out the way it was meant to work out. That was another lesson that I’m always learning - if you just trust yourself, keep your head down, keep working and focus on what goals you’re trying to achieve, it always has a way of working out. I named the painting “The Wild Things” because isn’t that what we all are deep down inside?

What do you see when you look at The Wild Things?

The Wild Things. Gesso, oil and acrylic on canvas.

The Wild Things. Gesso, oil and acrylic on canvas.