Fantastical Joy is a method of working and a series of works I developed during the pandemic. When COVID first hit, I felt unmoored. I developed a preoccupation with fear and nothingness. It felt like doomsday. I spent an inordinate amount of time doing nothing. I stared at clouds and vegetation and wildlife outside my window for hours. These idyll stare-offs soothed me and eventually I began making work—drawings of cartoon-like shapes of clouds, flowers and birds. I got lost in the time it took to make these detailed amusements. It lifted me. And after hesitantly sharing on social media, I found the work lifted others too.
When viewing Fantastical Joy work, I feel like a bug crawling around in a jungle of stems and pollen. They are time-consuming works of folly. Flora and fauna emerge through the process of making marks and edits. The materials I use (water soluble crayons, pencils, paints and graphite) allow for flexibility in the development of the image and for the surface to have embedded history.
The Fantastical Joy pieces are meditations in fantasy rooted in idyll observation of clouds, flowers and birds. The act of drawing and painting them are my refuge.
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Installation photos of this work at the Tucson International Airport from 2021 can be seen on my Public Art/Installations page here.