I have painted and drawn since I was able to hold a pencil, and nothing has ever seemed to me as rife with promise and possibility as the blank canvas. Art has been the constant in my life, even as I changed jobs and cities and passions. Whenever I neglected to paint—during my years on tenure track at the university—I would have a recurring, and obvious, nightmare, in which I let a pet in my care die of starvation. Even though finding time for painting while teaching at the university was always an issue, I never questioned my artistic practice. Art created much-needed balance in my life; it gave me a desired identity beyond that of the stressed-out university professor. In the past several years, however, art has gradually become my central pursuit, my way of being in the world. The pet has turned into a large, ravenous creature, and it has started to ask me uncomfortable questions. How conscious am I really of what I'm doing as an artist? Why bother with art when everything seems to be falling apart around us? What is my social and political responsibility? Do I even have one? What can I hope to achieve as an artist? What does it mean to be an artist in a digitally enhanced world? Who are the artists that shape, and have shaped, my vision? And again: why paint at all?
In the coming weeks and months I’ll be using this blog to grapple with these questions, and, hopefully, to engage you, dear reader, in a conversation. Now, back to the studio.
A little about myself:
Hello there and thank you for visiting my website! I have lived in Spain, Mexico, France and the United States, but now make my home in Germany. I have a Ph.D. in Literary Studies and a Master's in TESOL, and have published several books for children, among them El Loro Tico Tango and El Fandango de Lola, a 2012 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book. As a writer and an artist I'm in constant conversation with my own anxious mind even as I celebrate the joyful possibilities of our crazy, incomprehensible world.