Femmes Fortes (Strong Women)

“Femmes Fortes” signifies strong women in French. Being of French and Spanish descent from the Deep South, women are strong and fearless. Southern women are taught from a young age the importance of manners, respect for one's elders, and to “never judge a book by its cover.” We may look dainty, but there is an inner strength that exudes from within. Red is my favorite color, this  collection was created to give a voice to my soul.

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Femmes Fortes (Strong Women)

My Work

Working with the medium of encaustic is all about the movement of the wax. The physicality of using the butane torch at just the right level of heat to create art represents the ebb and flow of our daily lives. Adding, subtracting, pouring, incising, and scraping are components that lead to the finished product. Layers of wax combined with textiles and mixed media begin the process of building texture and, although I have a certain amount of control, there is always a level of uncertainty about the finished product that is a reminder of the mystery of life. The irregularities in my artwork remind me that life does not have to be perfect to be beautiful but that our revealed imperfections are what make us authentic.

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My Work

Out of the Darkness

All original art is, on some level, a reflection of the artist.  My initial artwork was so dark, but through the creative process and my willingness to be vulnerable, the process of healing and letting go of the past began.  Little did I know that art would be my savior as this calming, creative process proved to be the healing balm for every single pain I have ever experienced. 
Early on, artists learn that imperfections are part of the creative process, but for one who grew up with a bar of perfection set so high, embracing this process was a challenge.  Having my exterior assessed and valued more than my interior…my heart, my thoughts, my soul…it was left up to me to believe in my core worth and to trust in my importance as a child of God.
My residency with Michael David at M. David Studio in Brooklyn, New York established my healing path. His words, “Close your eyes and just throw it on, then get the broom and sweep over it”.  Michael had no idea that the items he was asking me to throw were precious and sentimental….flower petals from my wedding, rosary beads from my grandmother, and pieces of crushed glass from memories past.  Another artist, Belen Millan, who lives in Spain, encouraged me to use a blow dryer to blow my precious items all over my artwork.  As I scattered my special treasures over all my artwork lying on the floor, my heart began to pound as if to say “thank you for freeing me!”
This transformative process of letting go has changed all aspects of my life.  Working with special needs students, I have learned to persevere and to never give up.  The obstacles they face each day give me courage to continue my own journey of stepping through the portal of darkness further into the light and, for this, I am forever grateful.
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Out of the Darkness

Quarantine 2020

This collection was created during the first months of quarantine in Lafayette, Louisiana. My husband is a paramedic when the governor asked for volunteers to serve  New Orleans, he, of course, was one of the first to volunteer. I found myself obsessed with keeping up with the news of the pandemic, all the while doing my best to teach special needs students. I experienced severe anxiety. The only way to control the anxiety and keep my sanity to teach via zoom was to begin breaking slates. Breaking slates with a hammer became my daily ritual, personal therapy, and ultimately my salvation. Layering these broken slates with encaustic and mixed media resulted in beautiful pieces of contemporary art. I crossed the threshold of fear and came out on the other side. I began to recognize that the layers represented the hills and valleys of life and by standing back and viewing it from a distance, I could appreciate the beauty within.


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Quarantine 2020