Tag: oil

RC Biennial Reception + Exciting News!!



This past Friday I attended the Award Reception for the 2015 Roanoke College Biennial in Salem, VA. I had two pieces accepted into the show, which was juried by arts writer and curator Doug McClemont. There were so many great pieces included in the show and there was a great turnout for the reception. Read more


Fall Semester Work

Untitled (Oil and Water)

Last semester was intense. Along with working a couple part-time jobs and working on side projects, I took my first online MFA class and attempted to maintain a regular studio practice for school. Read more


Artwork for Charity

Thank You

Thank You
22″ x 28″
Oil on canvas
April 2012

I’ve been attached to this piece ever since I made it almost 3 years ago. It’s not my best painting, but it’s special to me for many reasons. I was asked several months ago to donate a piece of art to a JDRF Gala that will take place here in Roanoke this March, and it was difficult for me to choose one. I thought this painting, Thank You, was the most fitting because I am simply expressing my gratitude for my loved ones who have supported me and continue to do so as I live my life with a chronic illness.

The 2015 Denim and Diamonds Gala will take place on Saturday, March 21st at The Shenandoah Club in Downtown Roanoke. You can find more info and purchase tickets here. My brother is also making a donation in the form of a musical performance at the event :]

Thank You (detail)


October Inspiration


1. Piet Mondrian’s grid-like paintings

“Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.” 

2. Illness as Metaphor by Susan Sontag


3. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s bright colors and stylized figures


4. Meredith Woolnough’s embroideries


5. Sean Scully’s block paintings


6. Science Festival activities (The museum I work at participated in a science festival and one of the activities we did with the visitors was painting with watercolors and cooking oil. I loved the results so much that I bought the materials and used them in my own work!)

Links: 1/2/3/4/5


New Work: Medical Avatar Series

medical avatar

From left to right: In the Works, In Repair, In Control
18″ x 24″
Mixed Media
October 26-27, 2014

I finally finished my submissions for the Medical Avatar exhibition that’s coming up. Despite my busy schedule, I decided to enter this show because the theme is relevant to the work that I’m currently doing. I had even planned on doing more self-portraits this semester.

The prompt was this: Entries should include three self-portraits: you as you are today; you as you will be in 5 years if you continue with an unhealthy habit you have today; and you as you will be in 5 years if you continue with a healthy habit you have today.

This process was pretty frustrating and I wasn’t surprised that it turned out that way. Self-portraits are hard for me to get through. It was an interesting experience, making three self-portraits in different styles and with different messages. I’ll post more background information later on.




Thanks for visiting :]


Fall Update

Last week I had my first studio visit with my mentor for school and it was so helpful. In Chicago I was able to get feedback from other artists at pretty much any moment so it was sort of a difficult transition to go from that to having little access to feedback again. My mentor gave me a few assignments and some questions to ponder over and I’m very excited to get started.

Last week I also started teaching an after school art class for Roanoke City. This means I will be teaching five to six different classes every week for a couple months. The kids were great and I’m looking forward to working with them every week :]

I’m working on so many different things right now. Here are two!


More sugar painting


A special self-portrait…

I’m also working on a commissioned painting, some show submissions, and a secret side project! More info soon. Thanks for reading!


Peaks of Otter

Peaks of Otter

Peaks of Otter
14″ x 14″

This painting is almost a year old now, but I don’t think I ever shared it on here so that’s what I’m doing today. The Peaks of Otter are three peaks that are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. It’s a special place for me because I’ve been going there with my family ever since I was a little kid. I have many pictures of this place and I’ve always wanted to paint it, but I never did until last year. This style of painting is a little different from what I had been doing and I was really happy with the final piece. The canvas itself is actually made from a recycled picture frame over which I stretched some unprimed canvas.

Peaks of Otter (detail 1) Peaks of Otter (detail 2)

Thanks for reading :]


Off the Stack: The Market

Hello! Welcome to the second installment of “Off the Stack.” Today, the painting I’m talking about is a small oil painting of downtown Roanoke (my hometown). I started this painting almost 2 years ago and it’s completion got delayed because I went back to school and ended up focusing on other things.

So anyway, I’m finally going to finish up this painting (hopefully this week) and then I’ll share the finished product with you all. Here it is in its current state:

The MarketThanks for reading!



VTCSoM Presents The Art of Science


Last night was the opening reception for The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Spring 2014 art exhibition, which is sponsored by the school’s Creativity in Health Education Program. This exhibition is all about the relationship between science and art and I am so happy to be a part of it.

DSC_1148 DSC_1169


Included in the show were also works by people with dementia. These people participated in the Arts Fusion program of the Alzheimer’s Association of Central and Western Virginia. I learned that the part of the brain that responds to art is one of the last parts to be affected by Alzheimer’s, so even if a patient hasn’t spoken in months, they might remember the words to an old song and be able to sing them or be able to describe a piece of art they created.


The show spans two floors in the school and it will be up through the summer. There is a lot of beautiful art, so if you live in the area and get a chance, you should go check it out! The building has restricted access so I believe you need to set up an appointment in order to view the work. You can contact Rocio Tisdell at 540-526-2571 or rbgarza@carilionclinic.org. A lot of the work is for sale, including my three paintings. You can also contact Rocio if you are interested in purchasing any of the work.


Thanks so much for reading!