Biography: While I briefly tinkered with art a few times during my teens and early adulthood, I didn’t really get serious about painting until a few months prior to the pandemic starting. The extra time I had at home during the pandemic allowed me to dive deeply into soft pastels and learn some of the subtle intricacies of the medium. I find painting gives me a unique outlet for creativity, silent moments of intense focus and effort on something completely non-work related, and a vulnerability that pushes me far outside my comfort zone. I think I’m drawn specifically to pastels because there is something sort of primal about the experience of creating art with pure pigment and basic mark making. When I paint, there is a simple piece of paper in front of me, a small stick of color in my hand, and a desire to communicate an impression of being in and one with nature, beyond the limits of words.