Parts of the Whole - 2023

This series is different from my other work in two ways:

One is that it is more realistic than my normally abstract figures. I was influenced by a new project I've been working on for the past year. My stepmother, Kay Mijangos, wrote a children's book about my father and she asked me to illustrate it. She wanted the illustrations to be a little more lifelike so when it came time to transition to my paintings, I decided to dig deeper into this more realistic technique. But because I focused primarily on an abstract style in college, with a few life drawing classes here and there, I had to reteach myself and do some research on light, shading, and more accurate body proportions.

The second way this series differs is that each woman is coming off the page, so you only see some of her. As humans, we have many experiences, many parts to us that make up the whole, but others only see a portion. We gather from one experience or one meeting just a fragment of the whole human. Or even if we know someone for an extended period, we can still make judgments when we have no idea about all the experiences this person has lived. So, I wanted to process this, as I often do, through my paintings and ask myself how can I begin to see the beautiful whole of a person even when I only see parts, even when some of those parts aren't so appealing. We may never know why people do what they do, others may never know why we do what we do. We all experience moments of awe, hope, strength, joy but we also experience moments of surrender, anxiety, trepidation, and many other similar emotions. However, some suffer in deeper ways that we will never fathom or understand, so maybe because we don't know the whole story, that is more reason to offer others grace, as we would hope they would do for us.

“We are like books. Most people only see our cover, the minority read only the introduction, many people believe the critics. Few will know our content.” Emile Zola