“The magic of childhood is the strangeness of childhood—the uniqueness that makes us see things that other people don’t see.”
– Maurice Sendak
It wasn’t until I became a mother that my work shifted into new territory. What began as a way to commemorate and preserve my young children’s memories soon blossomed into a reflection of not only their experiences but also my own. As they discovered the world, I began to remember things I’d long forgotten—and from a perspective I’d outgrown.
The fort building.
The alternate realities.
The absolute curiosity.
As a child, I blew smoke from my bubble gum cigarettes and hung lucky rabbit foot keychains on my belt loops. Wave pools felt like vast oceans, and I soon realized with great sadness that The Three little Pigs and bacon were the same thing.
Now, so many years later, I’m on the outside looking in…creating work that reflects their childhood, mine and ours.
I watch them grow, losing teeth and sprouting new ones that look too large for their tiny mouths. Their once plump bodies that grow sharp and gangly. My daughter’s pastel room. My son’s special knack for creating guns out of anything. Their ability to become astronauts, explorers, and kitty cats. Their wonder about the homeless man on the corner. Their questions about dying. Their small bodies and eager faces that become an explosion of unguarded joy when they’re happy—and a puddle of misery when they aren’t.
Will they remember these things? Will I?
My work is an attempt to answer that question. I paint to preserve what I know is fleeting and what I’ll want to remember: the enchanted business of childhood.