Limited edition Giclee print on archival enhanced matte paper and printed with archival UV-protected ink. Signed and numbered by the artist and in a limited edition of 25. Ships rolled in a heavy-duty 3″ wide tube. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery as these are printed to order. Frame not included.
Giclee Prints are produced with a unique, Giclee printing process that provides higher image detail than traditional photographic printing. Using 7 dye-based inks, Giclee Prints offer improved color reproduction, a wider color gamut, and enhanced image clarity.
This is the original story of Evanston
It would take a life-or-death situation for me to move back to Chicago, but if I had to, I would live in Evanston. The North Shore is special to me in a way - enchanting and familiar, like a portal that is all of the good of Chicago without being there. Just like Red Rock makes up for the shadow that is Las Vegas, Evanston for me is the light within the shadow of the city where I fought for a long time to make my very unmanageable life feel like it worked.
If you’ve never been to Evanston it’s kind of like a fancy city town in a romantic comedy with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Both Northwestern and Loyola Universities are located there too, so there are all kinds of young people in the coolest sneakers and glasses you’ve ever seen.
I always felt like an immense failure for not going to college. I was extremely jealous of kids with meal plans and day planners when I was that age. Like graduating high school, getting a new bedspread and plastic containers to go off to a university was not my experience at 17 going on 18 years old. I always thought that made me less than. I believed I would never be a functioning member of society or contribute anything because I had a number of learning disabilities in the years of school I did attend. I hated every minute of school, with the exception of one ceramics class in high school. I believed I was unteachable and stupid, and the only thing that gave me a unique sense of identity was the resentment and insanity I used to separate myself from “everyone else.”
That resentment and separation of always believing I was a victim almost killed me, so eventually in 2010 I was trying to get clean from all mood-altering substances as well as see a new therapist. I chose her specifically on a find a therapist forum because of the depth of her blue eyes. I took one look at her photo and knew I had to go see her. Even though she was in Evanston - about 2 hours north from where I lived. She was a ballerina, an artist, and a doctor of psychology.
I was such a mess at that point in my life. I had just begun trying to paint canvas, which was really just me panicking in my basement, staring at the canvas and trying to figure out what color to put where next. My therapist insisted I bring my art to her office for our appointments so that I could tell her about my life that way. So that was what I did. That is how I learned how to write out the art and give my paintings the voices and stories - which are my stories in my voice - that we all grew up and into the ability to tell.
Her office was on the third floor of a building that had a cute diner on the first floor. Loyola was across the street. Around that time of day, I could find parking a few blocks into the campus pretty easily. After that - sometimes, I would experience something that was more profound and healing than the nine months of weekly appointments I had with her.
I would get out of my car. It would be sunny. Now there is something to be said about experiencing those first few days of spring in a city like Chicago after the kind of winter capable of the area. There is a certain sweet smell, the pitch of sunlight, and warmth as it hits your skin that every year from October to May you lose all knowledge of existing. It feels like suddenly remembering you’re alive to experience, not survive when you feel your senses experience something other than cold and layers again for the first time.
I would go into my trunk and pull out all of the art I made for that week, tuck it under my arm and walk a few blocks through the campus. In those moments it felt like I belonged there. Like I was a real artist at a really good art school. Once someone stopped me to ask me about the art. I had never felt that before. Walking amongst all of those students in their fancy school and felt like I was doing something important. Felt like for the first time in my life, I looked like I belonged somewhere, and it was somewhere important. Even if it was just for a few minutes.
It took a whole lot of years for me to understand the value of the experiences I had instead of college when I was around that age because those unique lessons and complexities facilitated the kind of freedom and gratitude I have today. My yoga teacher says every day “What do we do with things that are easy to get?” And we say “We let them slip away because they don’t matter as much as the things we work for. The things we work for we know to hold on to and appreciate.” That is not to dismiss anyone that worked for their education or whatever foundation their adult lives were built on. Just for me - I had to learn a whole lot about absence and feeling like I’m not, never have been, and never will be anything in order to appreciate everything I am, have always been, and will always be. What I learned through all of those life experiences is the knowledge that can only be taken from me by me.
I have worked at having a healthy and happy life where I bend light into art and stories. My very first memory of that being possible within this life was in those short, sunny walks in Evanston, my paintings under my arm. If you would have told that girl she becomes a full-time commercial artist she would have dropped dead.
So for me, Evanston is this place in Chicago that in my memory lights up differently and more distinctly than the rest. It is a place where the sun came out and I grew the courage to move forward. This painting, in her antique frame with her sky-like contrast and illumination - is a portrait of that feeling of change, possibility, and of course - spring. The light beyond the illusions that I felt in those moments in that city - held onto and ran with.