Artist Statement

I would like to make art and icons that make their way into homes and forests and hands without marketing and branding, but in secret. Like a goose, who squawks in the dark, and leaves a miracle for morning to find.

I became interested in Orthodox iconography while pregnant with my first daughter. It introduced me to the meaning of incarnation. When one accepts that God put on a material body, then the whole of sacramental theology is opened to us. The people we meet, our food, and even our bodies become potential encounters of grace because grace entered into all these things. All of the earth has the potential for communion with God. This meeting of the material and the divine is radical and hopeful in a consumerist world under threat of climate change. 

When I suffered the miscarriage of my third child, the undeniably spiritual nature of that visceral loss made me feel the necessity of the ethos of icons. They offered a path of re-enchantment to my existence in a suffering world. 

After studying at a monastery, I painted the icons for the Royal Doors of our church. They hang at the center of the liturgical space, the meeting place of humanity and the divine in our most intimate rite of communion. My icons hang on shut doors to incite us to long for the unseen God, and then they swing open and disappear to herald his coming in bread and wine. 

My husband raises geese, and I blow out the eggs (we have a big meal), turning these simple shells into icons of the broken gates of Hades. “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”

I paint women who are not yet called saints, because the Church is slow; and I am part of the Church.

I am eager to devote myself to transforming wood and gold, egg and color, into an encounter with the divine life. I would like to make icons that make their way into homes and forests and hands without marketing and branding, but in secret. Is such a thing sustainable in a consumerist society? Perhaps only if we birth such an ethos into the flesh of our children; only if we swing such a world in and out of sight so that we long for it to be a reality.

“Vision that responds to the cries of the world and is truly engaged with what it sees is not the same as the disembodied eye that observes and reports, that objectifies and enframes. The ability to enter into another’s emotions, or to share another’s plight, to make their conditions our own, characterizes art in the participation mode. You cannot exactly define it as self-expression – it is more like relational dynamics. Once relationship is given greater priority, art embodies more aliveness and collaboration, a dimension excluded from the solitary, essentially logocentric discourses of modernity...When art is rooted in the responsive heart, rather than the disembodied eye, it may even come to be seen not as the solitary process it has been since the Renaissance, but as something we do with others.”
(Suzi Gablik, The Reenchantment of Art, p. 106)

"Feast means joy. Yet, if there is something that we - the serious, adult and frustrated Christians of the twentieth century - look at with suspicion, it is certainly joy. How can one be joyful when so many people suffer? When so many things are to be done? How can one indulge in festivals and celebrations when people expect from us 'serious' answers to their problems? ...The modern world has relegated joy to the category of 'fun' and 'relaxation.' It is justified and permissible on our 'time off'; it is a concession, a compromise. And Christians have come to believe all this, or rather they have ceased to believe that the feast, the joy have something to do precisely with the 'serious problems' of life itself, may even be the Christian answer to them."
Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World

“One of the basic difficulties inherent in the Greek conception of truth is that it implies that truth can be grasped and formulated by human reason. But, as the eucharist reveals, this human 'reason' must be understood as the element which unifies creation and refers it to God through the hands of man, so that God may be 'all in all.' This eucharistic or priestly function of man reconnects created nature to infinite existence, and thus liberates it from slavery to necessity by letting it develop its potentialities to the maximum. If ...communion is the only way for truth to exist as life, nature which possesses neither personhood nor communion 'groans and is in travail' in awaiting the salvation of man, who can set it within the communion-event offered in Christ. Man's responsibility is to make a eucharistic reality out of nature, i.e. to make nature, too, capable of communion. If man does this, then truth takes up its meaning for the whole cosmos, Christ becomes a cosmic Christ, and the world as a whole dwells in truth, which is none other than communion with its Creator. Truth thereby becomes the life of all that is.”
Met. John Zizioulas, Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church

“Such richness flowing
through the branches of summer and into

the body, carried inward on the five
rivers! Disorder and astonishment

rattle your thoughts and your heart
cries for rest but don’t

succumb, there’s nothing
so sensible as sensual inundation. Joy

is a taste before
it’s anything else, and the body

can lounge for hours devouring
the important moments. Listen,

the only way
to tempt happiness into your mind is by taking it

into the body first, like small
wild plums.”

(Mary Oliver, American Primitive)

“And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’”
(The Prophet Ezekiel, ESV, 16.6)

"Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in. Who is this King of Glory?" (Psalm 23.6-7 /LXX 24.6-7)