LEAVING MY MARK ON THE WORLD ONE PAINT STROKE AT THE TIME.
The Howdy Mural
Painter, yes. But first and foremost, I’m a storyteller. This mural is one of my favorite stories to tell...
When I look at the “Howdy” mural, I am immensely proud and humbled by the story it holds. This project was grander in size, design, detail, time and meaning than I had ever taken on. The days were long, hot and humid as College Station summers go. So as you can imagine, finding a time to paint when the weather was not blistering either myself or the paint became quite a challenge. On top of that, this was my first public painting. And folks let me tell you, that is a much bigger statement than I could have ever imagined. From now on I will never under appreciate the artists of the world brave enough to create while on display. It takes an entirely new level of vulnerability to invite strangers into the process. Your talents are out in the open, unprotected from criticism or judgement. All the while, you are praying with everything in you that you have what it takes to pull it off.
It was here in this vulnerability, that I was reminded all over again why I paint. It is not for the approval of others or even to boost my portfolio. I paint for the sole purpose of leaving something meaningful behind. I cannot think of many other environments where I feel more like the woman God created me to be than when I am knee deep in a project covered in paint. The rest of the problems of the world seem to fall apart when it is just me and my brushes. With an unnumerable amount of eyes and opinions on this project, I was challenged to learn how to truly make a piece about me and God and leave the rest behind. If I was going to do this and do it well, it had to be done by God and God only rather than my own strength.
So there I was, painting my little heart out having the time of my life. It was just me, God and the paint. While I was sweating more than I could have possibly imagined, I could not have been happier. Then a week before its original completion date, I rolled into church on a slow Sunday morning. The piece that I had fought so hard to love and own had been vandalized. Green paint now boldly adorned a month’s worth of work. Was I mad? Incredibly. Was I hurt? Absolutely. But if I could turn back time would I change it? Not a chance.
It was here in this moment when the piece took an entirely new turn. No longer could I rely on even an ounce of my own strength to get me through this. I was having to scrape the green paint off, pick myself up and start over. I didn’t know how I could ever begin to do this on my own again. Little did I know I was in the for the miracle of the year. Through this act of vandalism, I got a front row seat of watching College Station be its best version of itself. From that moment on I was finishing this project with an entire community’s support. I couldn’t have told myself I was alone in the process even if I tried. I had friends coming sitting with me until the wee hours of the night to keep me company. Strangers stopping by to tell me what this mural and community meant to them. International students asking the significance of different aspects of the painting, proud to be a new Aggie. Family members scraping paint off the walls when I could not. Firemen stopping by to tell me they were proud of me. I would be out at the mural for 8-12 hours at a time, but alone for less than 15 minutes. It was as if the entire community knew I needed a friend, and stepped up together. Each day going out to paint was exhilarating. Who would I meet? What heartfelt story was I going to hear? What long lost friend was going to make their way back into my life? It was probably one of the most humbling and awe inspiring times of my life.
When I look back at the “Howdy” mural now, I am just so incredibly proud. Proud to be apart of this community. Proud to be an Aggie. And proud to get to be a storyteller of God’s incredible miracles. I owe an incredible thank you to each and every one of you who went on this journey with me. Whether you sent an encouraging text, dropped off food, stopped by to say hi or picked up a paint brush yourself, you reminded me what it truly means to be a member of the Aggie community and a child of God. I hope though this mural, you and anyone else who walks by it can now feel the story it holds a little deeper.
Thanks and gig’em.
"I will never under appreciate the artists of the world brave enough to paint in public"
"the piece that I had fought so hard to love had been vandalized"
"I got a front row seat of watching College Station be its best version of itself"
The Construction Science Mural
The Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M University
I designed this mural with the intent of showcasing the seemingly endless opportunities for success the Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M University sets its students up for. COSC is far more than swinging a hammer at a nail. I wanted this mural’s story to be of COSC graduate’s unique ability to quite literally go and build the world’s future.
Throughout the piece are many hidden Easter eggs representing the heart of this department to be found. To name only a few…the plans stretched across the table are Francis Hall. Driving down the street is a double decker bus representing the department’s study abroad program in London. A tiny Christmas tree can be found on one of the buildings as an homage to the “topping out” industry tradition. And my favorite being the Aggie ring’s class of ’69, Professor Bob Segner’s class year. There are many more to be found so keep looking!
I was both honored and humbled to be able to paint this piece for the department. I have grown up witnessing the incredible impacts this department has made on both the university and its students. It means the world to me to be able to give a small portion back to a place that is so special to me.
Displayed in Francis Hall at Texas A&M University
The Lighthouse Mural
A quarantine project: Standing at a grand 8 feet tall, the lighthouse quickly became my most detail-oriented piece. This mural was pieced together with scrap wood to match the rugged feel of an old fishing boat. For the most vibrant colors, exterior house paint was my medium of choice.
Big broad, brush strokes are poetic, but it is in the little details that a painting comes to life. Waves had always been a struggle for me. In this seascape, I wanted the waves to crash against the rocks to where you could hear the ocean roar and taste the salty air.
Light is my favorite accenting tool. The light is where paintings get their unique charm. The Lighthouse is accented with metallic gold paint for pops of light. In the evening sunset, the metallic paint catches the light and causes the lighthouse to shine as if it were proudly standing guard in the twilight sun against the rocky coast.
With every spring, I have found myself inspired to bring to life a new painting. This project was inspired from the doodles of my textbooks. Upon getting the word quarantine had been extended a month, this project soon became my personal lighthouse guiding me safely through the shut-down of our world. As the days drug on monotonously, the lighthouse became my beacon of hope. If I had control of nothing else in the world, I could paint my mural and slowly let this strong and proud tower of light bring me to a safe harbor.
Beginning to Bloom
My first mural was born out of the simple curiosity of wondering where my talents might take me. I was a Junior in high school, trying to figure out how I could accomplish something greater than I was doing at the time. I dared to lean into my artistic tendencies and see just where they might take me. I wanted to do something. Something big. Something bold. Something courageous. I was not sure where this adventure would go or even where to start. So I simply picked up a paintbrush, mustered up my courage, and began. Learning how to use the materials as I went, I found serenity within the painting. This mural quickly became a symbol for where I was in life and each brush stroke nuanced the line of poetry that I was unaware I was expressing. As the buds began to bloom on the old fence pickets, so did my artistry. With each stroke I got a little bolder and a little braver.
When I think of the playroom project, I think of a mad dash to the finish line. All of my other artistic expressions, came to life at their own pace, taking a month or more to complete. Work happened whenever the brushes called. With this project however, I was given exactly one week to paint my heart out and turn a blank wall into something that inspires the imaginations of children. After 5 days of 8 hours painting sessions, the playroom came to life right on time.
The inspiration for The Playroom came from the old school “Welcome to the town of…” murals. Each letter embodies the spirit of a different movie world. In each scene, I wanted to paint the world without explicitly writing it out. This was my first venture into the animation artform. Up until this project, the majority of my work was grounded in a realism approach to painting. The challenge with each letter was capturing the essence of an iconic scene that people know well. This leaves very little room for error. I hope that Uncle Walt would approve.
“It’s kinda fun to do the impossible”
K Creative works
While murals will always be my favorite pieces, I am continuously testing my creative boundaries with different mediums, materials, timelines and such. With each piece I learn a little more about who I am and the impact I want to make as an artist.