I've been obsessed with the idea of "inner darkness" as a power source and with facing it as a process of self-acceptance en route to enlightenment. This obsession brought me to a path of mysticism, on which I discovered the "inner demon's" role as teacher and guide to empowerment through self-knowledge, innate wisdom, and working towards balance.
Through my art and music I express this darkside, the power within it, and the controversial beauty therein by using the language of archetypes whose power and beauty have universally been both admired and feared: angels, witches, healers, women of myth.
My focus is painting women standing in their power as these witches, shaman, and healers, and I'm devoted to capturing the symbols of these cultures and the movement of energy. Each painting has a specific intention, depicts a specific ritual, or has been crafted as specific spell.
Depending on the viewer, it's been my experience that people either love them, want to crawl into the paintings and experience them...or they want to know if she's "evil"; they want to be reassured she's using her power in the "right" way according to them.
Despite accounts of Angels from the beginnings of time as terrifying, enormous beings with mouths of fire and eyes like burning lamps, people prefer to create their likess in ceramic as banal blonde smiling women in white clothing.
Hermetic societies praise men who work in magickal realms, yet Eve and Pandora and Medusa are seen as destructive bitches who let evil into the world, rather than as brave initiates on the path to self-discovery.
Priests, whose ranks are infested with pedophiles are nevertheless deemed messengers of God, whereas Witches, who respect free will and the power of nature, are deemed evil.
Were I to paint men using magick, I think viewers would just admire the power he's wielding and not be so apt to question its intention, or even if so, not to question whether it should be taken away or controlled in some way. He may be viewed as cool or weird, or not cause much of a reaction at all. They may fear him, but they leave him alone, respecting that power. Depict a woman instead, and society's great fears of the "angry woman" appear, and they want to destroy her. Society's needs to see her as sexy, available, and well-behaved arise and they resist the darker version..unless of course she's possessing a "come hither" look.
To me it's interesting how using images of women in non-traditional visual language can summon such varied reactions. I find it exciting.
I'm a self-taught painter. My favorite artists have been the Old Masters, who I am attempting to train myself to paint like, Van Gogh, and Anselm Kiefer.
I've always felt out-of-time and place on this earth.
My first OBE was when I was 5 years old, and I was a typical sickly artist child, haunted by ghosts and premonitions, and occasionally the laughing angel of death.
Despite being a mega introvert, I auditioned for and became lead singer of experimental metal band Crisis for 13 years. For many years we were the only female- fronted national touring metal band in the US, and we changed the face of metal as I screamed and growled and crooned about my pain. During that time I created all our album covers and tshirt dsigns.
I left the band in 2005 and focused on oil painting.
With the intention of healing some old wounds, I began practicing shaman healing techniques, guided imagery meditation, and more, and became a Reiki Master Teacher through initiation.
As reault, the "supernatural" has become natural to me. I realized the ghosts all along had been trying to haunt me into this part of myself, to embrace it, and to learn even more.
In the midst of this in 2009, I met my Italian husband Davide in Tuscany, Italy. We stayed in a little house we called "the witchy house," because we met a very old Italian Witch spirit there who began teaching me daily. We moved to the States a month later, and Davide rented me an art studio and encouraged me to find myself in painting. He gave me time and encouragement to learn and experiment to answer the big question: What do I love to paint? When I made the decision to paint women as healers, witches, and shaman, the Italian Witch spirit found us again, and she's been guiding my art since. He's been an invaluable editor, springboard, and encourager; to dream big and embrace the witch within me.
For me, the world seen with the naked eye is only half of what's going on, and the other half I see is much more interesting, as I found that I can communicate with ghosts, spirit guides, spirit attachments, illness, chakras, and angels. I see possible futures and feel the pain and imbalance of others. Difficult to explain, and I don't really know what to do with all of this, nevertheless it's a world that I am attempting to depict in my art now.
With music, I focused on facing my inner demon and transforming pain into empowerment, giving voice to the pain of ghosts, in a raw and human way.
With art, it's devotional work portraying the systems I use and which have tranformed the way I experience this life: shamanism, reiki, la vecchia religione, mediumship, clairvoyance. Systems that focus on energy, spirit, and are translucently visual.
These abilities don't give me all the answers, but they help me ask better questions, and tell me what I need to do, where I need to go to find those answers. While my work has changed its expression dramatically, there is a constant: I see light in dark places.