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My work is informed by the politics of motherhood, feminism, and art history, and fueled by my determination to find common ground between my work as a parent and an artist. For some time I have painted ‘domestic landscapes’ in which the stuff of everyday life takes center stage. While piles of laundry or clutter are commonplace in many homes, often the impulse is to hide them. Instead, I strive to elevate the mundane through skillfully executed paintings in order to command appreciation for the work behind the scenes that makes greater achievements possible.

I am inspired by early still life painters and the similarities between their strategies and those of early feminist artists; whereby, a focus on the routine and ritual of the everyday becomes a way to collapse expectations about high and low art. In an effort to subvert high-art ideals, I regularly conflate high and low art conventions. For example, my recent paintings are a maze of folds and fabric reminiscent of the drapery studies associated with mastery during the renaissance, yet they are rendered in watercolor rather than oil paint. Watercolor has strong craft and hobby associations and the piles of laundry would be an inconceivable subject for a serious painter of the renaissance or other time periods when studies of drapery were the marker of one’s skill and accomplishment as a painter.

I also see the piles of laundry as incidental, transitory sculptures and mountainous landscapes simultaneously, which blur the boundary between the domestic realm and the majestic landscape. At first, I painted the piles as I found them without interference, as if I was an explorer in my own home that had stumbled upon a natural wonder. As the series continued, I emphasized the connection with sublime landscapes by creating dramatic piles of laundry that could never exist naturally. These mimic mountainous landscapes, emitting a romantic quality typical of the Hudson River School tradition of American landscape painting. By juxtaposing the markers of this romantic, masculine tradition alongside the domestic subject of laundry, I strive to inspire awe in the face of the mundane and seduce and overwhelm the viewer simultaneously.

In our culture there is an expectation that our dirty laundry should be hidden and our clean laundry should be folded and put away. In both cases laundry is relegated to the private realm and airing it is taboo. By exposing laundry in my artwork my goal is to challenge our cultural norms and let slip the boundary between private and public realms. After all, the exploration of the world and scholarly studies are only possible when one’s basic human needs are met, making the mundane and worldly endeavors inseparable.