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The "nEXt" Series               


April - June 2023

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In an unprecedented Taylor Swift-esc moment, I subconsciously painted a series about the agonizing nature of dating. Then, I wrote about it with an awakened consciousness (and a little extra spice). The romantic optimist in me knows Mr. Right will come around eventually. Recently, however, dating feels more like wading in the water of a pool of people who would rather float forever than lean into the “c” word - commitment.

Created over the past 3 months (throughout my last failure-to-launch) each painting was painstakingly painted one color at a time, from left to right, each overlapping with the previous. Soon enough, I realized this practice was hilariously reminiscent of a sequence of dates in an effort to get to know someone new. I couldn’t know what the result would look like as I went, all I could do was bring my best self to each next step and trust the process. It was uncertain and slow, much like a budding relationship. It wasn’t until each piece was complete that hindsight allowed me to see the whole thing clearly - at which point, I broke out my pen. 

 

I wound up with paintings that symbolize the kinds of people my single friends and I are sick of wasting our time on. Each got “x-ed” with the very thing that held it together all along - the tape around the edges - where I wrote the word that popped into my head once I realized what each represented. All except the largest one… read on for why.

"This person showers you with all the things you think are good signs: tons of compliments, fancy dinners, expensive gifts. They even send flowers. It seems like they really like you because of all this. But don’t let yourself get swooned by that stuff. Stuff doesn’t matter. What lovebombers are giving in frivolity is just masking what they’re lacking in emotional depth, effort to get to know you, quality time, and vulnerability - the stuff that does matter.'"

Lovebomber

12x36in oil and tape on canvas

Coaster

36x12in oil and tape on canvas

"Also known as “breadcrumber” this is the one who will reliably show up, but only to give you the bare minimum - just enough to keep a flickering ember of affection alive. It’s wrenching because you see their potential so clearly, but your gut knows you have to take what they’re giving you at face value, and it just isn’t enough. This is the one that forces you to break your own heart by walking away because they never will."

 

"Hot, then cold. Texting nonstop, then gets quiet. Lovey-dovey, then blaming you for all their problems. Seems to enjoy a classy night out and then insists that they’ve always been more into camping... These clowns are plagued with immaturity and have no idea who they are. They will try on all sorts of different hats, fits, and faces trying to figure it out while they drag you along for companionship because they’re too scared to be alone. If they’re waffling left and right and you never know what’s coming next, trust me, they don’t know either. They’re just putting on a big damn show, and you need to get out of that circus before their performance makes you too dizzy to find the exit."

Waffler Clown

24x18in oil and tape on canvas

Peter Pan

36x12in oil and tape on canvas

"This one is so much fun, all the time. They have all the jokes, games, activities, friends, toys, hobbies - always with a packed schedule of plans that can’t be interrupted. They might bring you along for the festivities and you’ll have a great time, but don’t think it’s because they’re interested in growing anything serious with you. Peter Pans never never grow up. They won’t slow down and compromise on any part of their bachelor/ette lifestyle to make room for you and your needs. Grown-up goals are too scary for them, and they’ll feed on the imaginary fountain of youth until they wake up one day, alone. You deserve better, Wendy. Fly away.