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About Me

 

Hi,

I was very creative from a young age. I was a shy introverted child and i would amuse myself by creating fantasy worlds in my head. Elaborate narratives with colorful characters that would write their stories for me. I would escape into these worlds whenever I could.

My 3rd grade teacher was very art minded and we always had at least one project going in class. I remember paper maché, silhouette art, snowflakes, and many more. It was a school year of color, when my social life was drastically curtailed by another kind of color; the blossoming racism among my peers.

In high school, depressed and using regularly, I found additional refuge with kindred spirits in art classes. They helped me survive this unhappy period of my life. I remember once painting a rose black and taking note on who thought I was weird and who appreciated it as I meant it, luckily my art teacher got it so I stayed on. I was also finding a new exciting creativity in expressive writing and received alot of praise from my teachers and peers. And then I discovered photography. I became very interested in/obsessed with it and would have lived in the darkroom if I could have. I loved the smells, the alchemy, the quiet darkness, the warmth. And I was hidden.

And then as a rebellious 20-something I tried my hand at graffiti. Not very well, but I tried. And if you've ever tried it you know there is a freedom and exhilaration involved, not only in doing it, but seeing it day after day and month after month, and recognizing to yourself "I did that!". I still look on graffiti as one of my favorite art forms. When my son was young we had a wall on the way to school that graffiti artist would change regularly. It always felt like a gift when a new piece sprung up overnight and we both looked forward to it very much.

After going on my own extended vision quest through the streets and drugs of Seattle, SF, and L.A. I finally made it to the other side and obtained a BFA in painting and another on printmaking at the University of Washington. This was an exciting involved time for me, I was given keys to the building so that I could work whenever I wanted. I learned style and class and honoring my work from Michael Spafford, and innovation, curiosity, risk taking, and process over product, from Curt Labitzke. My two most influential teachers.

I moved to SF for grad school, but quickly became disheartened by the atmosphere I found myself in and dropped out. But not before exhibiting quite a bit in group shows and open studios, and apprenticing for a brief time at Precita Eyes Mural Arts, what a great place. I would have loved to continue there, but as a result of grad school I hit an artists block for the first time in my life, and stepped back from the art world. 

But not from the art. I learned how to play again and enjoy the process, always living with a studio in my apartment, focusing on woodblock printing, and following my muse, working just enough to supply my art habit.

And then pregnancy. I was alone and motherhood was hard. I went back to my roots as a fine art drawer, I went to grad school to become an art therapist (and succeeded), then with my iPhone I began photographing again. Shows followed and my bff gave me a 35mm. And it took off from there!

Im still exploring, still wondering, still curious about what direction Ill be shown to next. What a beautiful journey.

I'm very happy to have opened this site up, and I hope you enjoy it too.

Xan

 

P.S. Click here to be taken to my Privacy Policy, my FAQ page, and to be added to my contact list. 

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Printing is done through Skyline Printing. They offer museum quality giclée prints on canvas and paper to local and national artists. With over 15 years experience in art reproduction, they reproduce fine artwork on high quality canvas and fine art papers. See their website for more info. https://www.skylineartprints.com/

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