Red Bathing Suit Series – float, sink or swim 2015-2016
Hold On, Let Go – 2017-2019

After my mother’s death in 2015, I was looking for ways to hold on, to spend more time with her. Are we ever ready to let go? I drew objects from her apartment that I brought home–thimbles, seam rippers, wooden spoons, and her china cup. I paged through the few photo albums from my childhood and was immediately drawn to the black and white snapshots. They were beautifully ordinary - the angles and shadows, the partially cut off heads and occasionally smiling faces, the boats and beaches, yards and porches were so evocative. Looking at these photos planted a seed. I began painting through my grief reflecting on the images from my childhood - lifejackets, boats, and gardens.

In 2018 I began painting families other than my own, including "found relatives" from photos I discovered in dusty cardboard boxes in antique stores. Seeing precious family photos discarded for anyone to claim or not, further deepened my interest in their lives. I want to honor the people I paint, giving them an element of esteem in a life that probably passed too quickly. I remain intrigued with the beautiful small details of how a hand is held, an extravagant hat or who is smiling and who might be scared. Who were these people? What were they saying to one another? Were they family? I continue to imagine their lives beyond the edges of the photo’s frame.

 I know my family photos and my paintings might also end up in a dusty store one day. There is no holding on, but until we let go we have what is here, right now. I hope these paintings evoke the magic and moodiness of the simple moment.

All paintings are acrylic paint on gessoed archival paper or board.
Please contact me with any inquiries. Have a favorite family photo?
I'm interested in commissions and hearing your story. 
Photos by Courtney Frisse