I was born and raised on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in south central New Mexico. My inspiration for portraiture comes from the elders in my tribe who I wanted to memorize in graphite and paint since I was a child. Since high school I have sketched my classmates. Some of those drawings were just fun but others brought out my subject’s inner, more serious self. Life happened and I lost touch with drawing until recently when I picked up a paint brush and I started to paint which lead me to attended CNM for beginning drawing and portrait painting classes. These classes were instrumental in building confidence in myself; I learned more than I anticipated and the instructors were great and had a big influence on me. I hope to continue with my art studies.

I’m a self-thought artist who has loved and created pencil drawings since I was a child. Recently took a beginning drawing as well as an introduction to portraits class at CNM. I love to use oil and acrylic to paint people which is my favorite subject. I am experimenting with wood burning which is a new and exciting medium for me right now. I love pretty much every aspect of art and continue to learn so much by practicing and studying other artists and techniques.

There are artist like Harley Brown who do incredible portraits of natives, and artist Joseph Henry Sharp who did not only native portraits but landscapes and western art. These are just a few of the artists whose work I love and who inspire me. They know how to use color and composition in such a way that the viewer can feel what they were trying to express, and I aspire to rise to their level one day.

I recently started to create images with wood burning. I really love the smell of the burning wood which is almost like an ancient ceremony. I enjoy experimenting with various tools and techniques to get certain kinds of burns for different effects. It is kind of like drawing except not as easy to make circles and the wood grain is soft in some areas and hard in other areas. I find it a relaxing challenge if there is such a thing.

I work out of my house where I transformed a bedroom into a studio. Here I create all my drawing and paintings. It has an easel for painting and cabinets for storage of paints and brushes. There is good morning light and by the time the sun start setting I am usually done for the day. Here I try to keep things in order yet find it difficult to keep it neat; when I start a work of art all the tools I use tend to stay out until I am finished with the piece. I guess I am starting to be present as artist and allow the creative process to consume me in the best of ways.

Artist Statement

For me, this exhibition at the New Mexico Cancer Center is an opportunity to share what I have learned so far. However, it is another way of learning for me. To make something for others to experience and enjoy just by looking, or, as something to keep is a big honor for me.