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The Skeleton Woman

Fear to Tread


My art work is almost entirely intuitive. I begin the process by soaking paper with ink and once dried I observe for any signs of life, I paint what I see in the ink. Despite such random beginnings, the end result is almost always connected to a story I’ve heard; these narratives might be mundane or mythological, often they are an expression of where these two worlds meet.

“Fear to Tread” marks the beginning of my ink splashing journey. Painted in 2013, it is inspired by The Battle of Paschendale where men and horses perished in pools of mud after rain hammered down for days. I was struck by nature’s ability to wash away the importance of war, enemies and allies.

“Baptism” shows a child’s commitment to their faith. Water has long been a symbol for cleansing and purifying. Immersion in water represents a new beginning, a rebirth. Themes of resurrection are present in my painting “Skeleton Woman”. It is the bare bones of a woman who was once exuberant and wild. Inspired by the story told by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, “The Skeleton Woman” tells of how shedding a single tear for someone you love can retrieve their soul.

For me, water has a symbolic connection to emotion, intuition and psychic abilities. Collectively, “Fear to Tread”, “Baptism” and “Skeleton Woman” express the depths of these ideas along with water’s tangible ability to both consume and restore.

“The Skeleton Woman” taken from “Women who run with the Wolves”, Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

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