20th November 2020

In the Fall semester of my second year,  I created a series of prints in a shade of cobalt blue, it was by chance. I was working in the studio on campus alone, which I often do. The student body this semester is very small, the fine art majors at the American University of Rome has always been small, but this year it is almost extinct, the group consists of a combination of art history majors/minors, fine art majors/minors and me, an Interdisciplinary major with a focus of studio art and art history.

I chose the Interdisciplinary major because I need to be in the driver’s seat of my academic career. Too often others will try to push you in a direction they see fit for you, not because it benefits you, but because it benefits them and or the establishment. It has taken me a long time to identify these forms of control, but now I can recognize it and stop it dead in its tracks and continue on my own path. I have to say recognizing this form of control and preventing non-beneficial counsel from steering me in a direction that is not productive to me is very empowering to one’s soul, it is invigorating! It is a skill set I have recently acquired within the past five years of my life and I am still refining it, it is a tool in my ever-growing tool box. It is not to say that these forms of suppression have not been advantageous to me. {This does not mean that I am okay with any form of suppression or oppression!} The suppressors have created a fighter in me, my voice as an artist has intensified! Concepts manifest often as well as new ideas and topics for further research. Strength, female empowerment, feminism and a continued determination to stand up for myself has become visible in my artistic practice. Prints that call to mind female strength, symbolism and how I interact as a contemporary female visual artist is now centrical to my printmaking process.

            My cobalt blue prints began as a tester print, I needed to figure out if the carving on the linocut was complete. The bright bold blue hue in contrast with fresh white paper activated many sensations in me. The blue dose not recede it draws me in, in a hypnotic sense. From new beginnings, to a calming restful effect. The cobalt blue print excited me, it is minimal but at the same time the magnetism achieved is fascinating to me. I will continue to explore this inspiring narrative.

a 2 year reflection

A hot Augusto arrival

Semester one,

Nervousness, insecurities, adjustments

A will to maintain my routines

The slow evaporation of willpower due to stress of midterms

Professors that are self-absorbed and threatened by the aura of my presence

My independent and non-conformist approach

Ah… the party, lots of wine and a much-needed release of stress, ah… to be happy

But in the dark corners, mean girl spirits lurked, I was the source of their laughter, not life its self. Immaturity

Ah winter break – time to go home and renew, begin routines and return stronger

Semester two, so far so good

I am a lot calmer

A new option for creativity that was not present in semester 1 arises

Silver lining, I was forced to be creative outside of academia, I created my own creative class.

museum visits to study & sketch their works of art and of course enjoy a cappuccino

2nd month of semester 2 covid surfaces and total lockdown begins

Mornings were depressing, bright without the option to enjoy them

I found comfort in the night; in the dark no one can see that you are sad and alone

May arrives, lockdown lifts, all non-locals have left, Rome is empty

Villa Pamphili is all mine

It is wild, overgrown, and fresh

6th of May 2020 13h41

I walk through its paths as if I am the sole survivor of the pandemic

Rome heats up

Businesses reopen


Rome is empty

Boarders remain closed

Walks become morning adventures only,  

the streets of Rome absorb and reflect the sun like a cast iron skillet

Still, I go out, I am here in Rome to experience Rome the eternal city

The frutta and verdure mercatos are full of stone fruit, figs, grapes and every veggie possible

The Summer fruit is ripe, the tomatoes are like works of art, when you slice into one, jewels appear

Summer days are filled with hot and sweaty walks through Roma centro and caffe doppios at the museum bar.

Days dedicated to portraiture painting

my summer flat is an amazing space where I completed numerous oil paintings

{why can’t I remain here? Because I am not a typical study abroad student, I am not wealthy}

Inspiration came in many forms, identity, fresh fruit, travels to Venice & Florence, sorrows.

I am very sensitive and emotional and that does not bother me

A pleasant break in my routine came with an excursion to the beach, a much-needed break from Rome’s sticky hot pavement

Back in the city

I am ready to begin classes, to begin my capstone seminar, to be around people again

The 3rd semester is spent 50% online with on campus studio courses thank God!

Rough waters

This fall semester is a bumpy one, within a month I have to move again, on my bday no less

Happy birthday to me… tears

My birthday was spent moving, cleaning, packing and unpacking

11th of october

Which disrupted my study flow

The new flat is modern, cozy & on the 2nd floor, {American 3rd} the windows are tall and narrow, the view is rectangular and enclosing, it is not a wealthy view, it is containment

Much to my dismay My health suffered here… I am not sure why?

Contributing Factors = a loss of all will power, stress became too great. This flat is cold, I worry about the electricity bill, I feel isolated in this neighborhood… as a result all too familiar unhealthy habitus has returned

shall I continue…

Are there any positives you ask?


I paint, I painted a lot, my painting flow continues to gain momentum

I ended the fall semester of my senior year with a 20-portrait critique!

16th of December

But there is no rest for the weary

MFA application deadlines approaching

winter break consists of

Continuous drafts of statements

Painting more

Long walks in the city have ceased, its cold and dark

The winter is unfriendly here

In Europe you live in the elements

automobile shelters are rare and only for the well off

There is an absence of holiday spirit here

I don’t feel anything


I go outside rarely because it is not friendly, cold  

And day light is short

The spring semester has begun, my last!!!!!

An online start


Covid is still here

But I am okay with the online start

I am not ready to people yet

The second portion of my capstone is delayed because the “good ol boys club” is still upset

They could not control me and they never will!

Still, I strive

As a result, my first painting was a symbol of strength and resistance!

They tried to suppress my cultural capital but their methods failed miserably

When men feel inferior to women, they come for us

They came for me

But I did not send for them

Therefore, their attempts were ineffective

they did not break through my barrier  

I painted and painted and painted!

I painted everything I felt.







my emotions manifested ethereal scenes and dreamlike atmospheres

Concepts manifest soooo frequently now

so many paintings in my head

concepts in journals

sketches scribbled on papers

The seeds I planted are growing at a phenomenal rate

My return home will nourish these sprouts

I will be nourished

My next chapter will expand upon my time in Rome, and all the life experiences, lessons and hard truths learned

I am stronger

My focus has been enhanced

My vision becomes clearer everyday

I know I have all the tools inside me, to create

the barriers and confines of academia have taught me to think outside of their world.  

Who am I?


the AEE project

              During the last semester of my undergraduate degree, I will be completing multiple projects. As part of the process, I am documenting key phases of each project which will act as a digital visual diary.  The current project I am working on fulfills a specific requirement for graduation, the Alternate Educational Experience. The AEE is a concentration of knowledge and skills applied to a project outside of the traditional university classroom. This project will provide insight regarding how my newly strengthen skills impacts real-world contexts, beyond the AUR campus and community. As a result  my project which is a painting, will center on reflection and my time spent in Rome, the Eternal city, continuous exposure of religious art and how to communicate that concept visually in a contemporary fashion.

              The churches of Rome fill the city with art from multiple periods. Each church is a unique experience; from Byzantine mosaics, medieval altar pieces, renaissance fresco and my favorite, baroque marble reliefs, the art one experiences in Rome is monumental. The chapels that frame the naves of Rome’s grand churches are decorated with paintings and frescos. On the ceilings biblical stories command the viewer’s attention which are painted in an illusory tradition, the painting share the same physical space with us and they act as a portal to heaven or hell. The floors are decorated with elaborate geometric mosaics and inlayed marble crests, every inch of the church is adorned.

              I am particularly interested in Baroque churches, the marble and stone reliefs which depict ecstasy and mysticism of the saints. The sculptures combined with rays of gold that depict the heavens, as well as the sculpted angels, cupids and saints and the sensation one experiences when viewing baroque art resonates with me; in my practice, I also explore shared experiences and connections. The foremost goal of baroque art is the combination of ecstasy, rapture, psycho-physical conditions and mystical activity paired with the stimulation and persuasion of the viewer at the same time.  Hence, the beholder is motivated to partake in the mystical manifestations of the saints.

              The personal connection I form when viewing baroque marble reliefs develops into a shared experience, which I work translate and present as a piece of art. The starting point for my first piece will be a fusion of baroque typology and my personal collection of images that will create a contemporary dialog. The methodology for my artistic process begins with an initial interest and a collection of images that illuminate a fixation. As a result, focused research can begin and concepts developed. Creating a visual result of my research is my purpose, my goal, my work. Consequently, my hope is to understand how my work impacts communities beyond the AUR campus, and how to continuously contribute to an audience beyond AUR.

Capstone part 1.

            During the beginning of my senior year of undergrad I began my capstone course. Interdisciplinary studies is my major with a focus of studio art and art history. The first semester of my capstone is the seminar section. Throughout this section, I researched contemporary artists and assembled all of my research in a capstone journal with various sections; Artist research, exhibitions in Rome, Annotations of suggested readings & general research which referred to concepts, thoughts and direction for my artistic practice.  This journal is a tool I will continue to augment, utilize and refer back to.

            My last assignment for the semester was to paint 20 portraits within 2 weeks. When my professor, Prof. Catherine Parsonage, @cathparsonage assigned this undertaking I thought to myself holy F%#*!, I can do this right?? super unsure, but I’ll give it a go!

             On December 1st, I started with a photo from my image catalog, a vintage photograph of Diana Ross from the movie Mahogany. The angle was difficult and I obsessed over the nose adjusting it multiple times. The failure of the 1st portrait set in some procrastination, only 1 day but when you have 2 weeks to complete 20 paintings 1-day matters! A few days later my professor messaged me to ask how the paintings were coming along, I said crappy, she then replied, “its not about good or bad”. This really resonated with me and helped me get over my feelings of failure. From this point on I would continue on with the 19 more paintings I needed to complete. I began to stop obsessing over anatomical features. Once a certain feature was identifiable, I would move on. I also incorporated new techniques I learned in my painting workshop course, the use of oil paint in a translucent way, and utilizing a rag to connect directly with the canvas.

            Throughout this series of twenty oil paintings, aspects of my research subconsciously influenced and surfaced as my paintings progressed. I would say by painting number eight, I began to understand the exercise. The new ways in which I approach a portrait, and the development of form, is the beginnings of my personal visual language.