I love you. I’m glad I exist.

It’s a summer night, the first weekend back at school and you are seeing your friends for the first time in three months. You are sitting on a too small swing, the edges pinching you, as you watch your friends walk around the playset around you. The sun is down and the only light is from a friend’s flashlight and the moon. Y’all have drinks in your hands and you are catching up on all the drama from the summer and your wishes for the next semester. When your friends are caught up in their discussion you decide to take a picture to remember this random night for as long as possible.

With the expansion of transportable technology, such as smartphones and digital cameras, everybody has a way right in their pocket to visually document their lives regardless of their artistic abilities. As someone who has grown up in this environment, I have developed habits of taking pictures of the people in my life, things I find beautiful, things I need to remember, and moments I never want to forget. In my paintings I use these photos to reconnect with these moments of my life, and to invite the viewer to see what I see, experiencing the movement as I did. When choosing which photos to paint, I search for images that romanticize everyday life and things that may be overlooked on a day-to-day basis. This romanticization is done by picking images that create intimate space between the viewer and the figures in the image.I love that I get to honor a photo and moment in my life in a way that reaches back through history, and using photos from my own life also allows me to relive the memory of the photo and revisit that time in my life.