I have always been fascinated with oral history and bringing the indistinct to light. I believe that the simplest moments have as much substance and power as the most extreme and that each one has a story behind it. Lately I have been thinking about my familial history and looking at the people, and instances that make it so influential to me. My family history is an intimate source. The lives and struggles of my relatives living as ranchers and working in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico have influenced me because of their individuality, tenacity, and struggle. The collected stories of these early ancestors are worth telling. The best way for me to connect to the influence of their strength is by physically manifesting within my work.
How I am honoring their influence is through my painting and mixed media works. Working in multiple mediums allows me to be a storyteller and continue that tradition of passing generational stories through the physical presence of paint, wood, or rope.
In painting I can recreate the past by piecing together sources I have learned over time. Painting permits me to give life to this history by using multiple transparent and opaque layers of color and image. The use of historical, biographical, and imaginative motifs allows me to produce works that create a conversation between the past and the present. Strands of objects representing the past such as rope, cotton, and clay are mixed with paint to reproduce the conversations between past and present, with paint being utilized as conduit to respond to the past. In the work “Las Estructuras Que Nunca Moriran” (The Structures That Will Never Die) I use depictions of old adobe structures corralled by stone fences representing an influence that continues to persevere similarly to those ravaged ancestral homes that continue to exist today.
As this body of work has progressed, I have added new historical and cultural marks and symbols. Old padlocks and ropes further develop my narrative. The padlock symbolizes the dedication my ancestors had to this rancher way of life and the ropes have added a dimensionality that represents my connection to and admiration for this lost ranch charro/cowboy way of life and that spirit of individuality.