Every artist has a story, a moment, whether it be that favorite blue crayon that the toddler kept coming back to, or the way the blocks were stacked, the collector of leaves and sticks, the listening of bird song and whistling. It is a moment of recognition that often is not seen until reflecting back upon one’s life and asked to create a story to define it.
My story as an artist, doing and being art came with curiosity. I was the girl that dug in the dirt, climbed trees, and listened to nature. The story of my life became stories in my art. And my art is not limited to a drawing, or video, or a movement, isn’t it all just being alive?
That reflection moment was captured in this photo below:
As a young girl, being 5 when I started first grade, I spent most of my time in a desk in the hallway alone. I was too curious to sit and listen to the teachers. And by the time I was in 5th grade, I was still bored with the way school taught life. Having the grace of grandparents who were both teachers, gardeners, musicians, I learned chess when I was very young, played duos with my band director grandfather, learned spatial awareness playing him in tennis and had a voracity like my grandmother for reading.
This photo, taken in 5th grade, was the moment where I learned I had both discipline and talent that was recognized as self worth. My teacher, tired by my inability to focus in her classroom, put me in the back of the room one day with a challenge. Draw the geology of the earth! I LOVED drawing the earth, because I loved nature. And when I was finished she was so impressed she helped me mount it on a board and entered it into the science fair. Winning first place, Mrs. Smith believed in me, she showed me how to participate, and earn my place as a seer that could look and listen and put it into form for others. Is that not what art is? Giving form to the formless? Taking energy from within us and putting it into something tangible? I am forever grateful for Mrs. Smith, a quiet black as night skinned lady, who taught during segregation in Louisiana, and yet saw the spirit in me rather than the color of my skin. This moment also changed my view of humanity and it has always been a strong force of the paths that I walk.
Thank you Mrs. Smith, who took this photo and gave it to me, is the only testament to the small moments of witness, to the goodness that was seen in me back then. In a world of abuse, both physical and emotional, where your eyes were called evil, I see from my heart, and this one photo bears witness of the beginnings of my art as form.
Illustrations – Ancient Plants of Rapa Nui & Their Stories
These illustrations, 40 of them, are from the Ph.D. work I did coring the crater lake Rano Kao on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). By coring the sediments back to 15,000 years ago, my mentor Dr. Ed Cushing at the UMN, and I took almost a year to identify and analyze each of the fossil pollen in the cores. Along with fungi, bacteria, minerals, plant parts, seeds and more, we were able to recreate a timeline of ecosystem changes and combined with the oxygen isotope analysis of the same cores, were able to determine patterns and cycles of climate change.
Please find these illustrations of the species of plants found via their fossil pollen form, and realize that these plants are no longer found on the island. Some are extinct, and these are the best renderings to their closest families.
These are available for purchase, and coming in 2020 is the long awaited Ancient Plant Book of Rapa Nui.
Click on each block below to see each plant illustration.Email Candace for more information and interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist Residency, Object Ltd., Bisbee Az
Oil, Oil Pastels, on brown fiber paper
The Art you see below…..
My art is a collage of my photographs and sketches. Each piece generally has 3 images that transforms into layers and depth with the help of photoshop. The final images are then printed in different mediums including canvas, cotton, fiber, mylar, film, plexiglas and many more yet to try. Some are oiled afterwards or backlit. Look closely to see if you can find the images that lie hidden within the seams of the others.