the garden state
The Garden State is an ongoing series I started in 2016 after feeling burnt out from all things art-related: school, jobs, and studio practice. Gardening became a refuge and thus a prevalent practice was born. 

“Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.” 
- William Goldman, The Princess Bride

I related so much (and still do tbh) to William Goldman’s words. Sometimes you give so much - to family, friends, lovers, a job, community, etc only to receive very little or even nothing in return. Gardening taught me the art of detachment since we are not entitled to the fruits of our labor. We can plant seeds, and nurture the soil but there’s no guarantee that all the seeds will grow. You can only keep planting, keep nurturing, and cultivating hope. Sometimes you may get rewarded for that in the form of fruits and flowers, symbols of your triumph against the elements. The success isn’t the flower itself but all the steps taken to get her out from the darkness and into the light.

Gardening also made me more aware of Nature’s fleeting cycles and how those cycles exist in me as well. When I made this connection, acknowledged, and honored my cycles by living my life accordingly, I finally felt at home in myself, in my body, and in the world. After a break from making art, I was inspired to start creating again. The Garden State series seeks to illustrate the powerful harmony that comes from a connection between us and nature through painting florals, feminine faces, and figures. 

Within the series, exists different collections each embodying a different cyclic phase. The Garden State currently consists of “The Rose Garden” and “Botanical Fusions”. I took a break from the series but am now ready to return with new collections “In Harmony” and “Reclaimed”. So, welcome to my secret garden. Watch your step and be careful not to trample anything. These blooms have plenty of thorns.