Making art is truly a gift and provides me a deep sense of connection and fulfillment.
"The foremost reason that artists create, and the rest of us value their art, is because art forms a priceless living bridge between the everyday psychology of our minds and the universal spirit of humanity.”
~Larry Culliford, Psychiatrist and Author
Each and every time I paint, I feel myself accessing that living bridge. Painting becomes an act of moving meditation, a yoga-on-canvas, during which my mind settles, and my body, hand, and energy somehow merge with my materials in an act of alchemy. During the best of sessions, I feel rather than think my way through the practice.
In an effort to share that experience more broadly, I am translating my paintings into everyday products—yoga leggings, trucker hats, beanies, enamel pins, and paper goods. I view my wearable art as living paintings.
I’d like to share a little bit about that process. Each piece starts with an original painting, chosen because it possesses colors, patterns, or themes that feel suitable as design elements for my products. I start by taking high quality photographs of my work and importing them into Illustrator and Photoshop. Using these digital tools, I am able to extract distinct design elements and work with them to develop textile, garment, and product patterns. While the tools themselves are highly technical (and have required a steep learning curve to use), the creative process itself remains highly organic. I identify and select pieces of paintings—all the way from complete and discernable designs to small details that possess a constellation of lines, patterns or colors that, of themselves, become sweet little design elements. The digital tools allow me to play with those elements—rotating and scaling them, altering hues and color balances, and repositioning them—in order to reimagine them into patterns for textiles and prints, and ultimately, garment and product designs.
Once I’ve finalized my designs, I work with manufacturers who print, cut, and sew or otherwise fabricate my final products. In all cases, I look to work with companies that choose sustainable materials and processes.
My Deer Medicine series of leggings is a good example of this process. The Deer Medicine, Pearls ‘n’ Roses, and Pearl Veil yoga leggings all originated with my Deer Medicine painting. The Deer Medicine leggings are the most direct use of the painting. For this design, I extracted the complete image—skull, roses and pearls—and transformed it into the primary design element. Next, I selected out only the roses, produced multiples of each one, and organized them as a sea of roses for the waistband and ankle design.
The Pearls ‘n’ Roses design used those same elements, but this time, I altered the color of the roses, and used the pearls to produce a mosaic of pearls for the body of the tights. Even more abstracted is the Pearl Veil design. The design elements are similar—the waistband is a sea of roses and the legs are draped with stripes of pearls—but the colors were inverted and altered to produce a thoroughly different effect.
And, voila! Accessible, living, moving art!