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The Anxiety Series

Feb 23 2019

Typeforce 10 opening night

I was never encouraged to talk about my feelings. That changes today.

Through art, I am expressing tough things that I’ve never attempted to talk about before. Art talks in a way that words don’t, at least for me. I found it therapeutic to paint while going over things in my head – recent developments, people that are no longer in my life, memories, etc. In some cases, I painted during the height of an anxiety attack or during the throes of depression.

The series works because each piece fits together to create a new self, one I'm recently getting to know. I’m dreading putting this work onto the Internet. But I’m doing it because I know it’s one of the last steps in healing for me. Sharing will hopefully help me close the door on some open situations while gaining clarity on other emotions that I rarely choose to feel. This is a turning point.

May I present – The Anxiety Series.

Opening Night

Typeforce 10

Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago

February 22, 2019

"As a visual person, and as a woman with an anxiety disorder and PTSD, I have felt each one of these canvases. The compositions seem representative of the physical sensations while feeling anxiety at different levels and for different reasons." – Leighanna Marie, viewer

Each piece has an interactive card. A handwritten quote on the front, much like a journal entry, and a story on the back. Shown: the card for #5, "I'm Never Coming Back Home to You."

With the person who devised and encouraged this project. Thank you, Seth!

The Paintings and Their Stories

in order of creation

#1 Imagine a Blue Square

"Now, imagine a blue square at the end of the hallway. Notice the shade of blue…”

Hypnotist in San Francisco

This piece is the first of the series. You can tell because it’s the only one on canvas board. It’s because I painted it without thinking it would lead to anything and I didn’t want to waste a canvas. My work is usually pretty calculated so exploring the free form nature of this series was challenging for the perfectionist in me. I liked the outcome and I liked not having to question my choices as I went – I acted on instinct.

“Imagine a Blue Square” is about therapy. Like most, I never thought therapy was for me. I had a pretty normal, eventless upbringing and only felt the need to go once my long term relationship started to unravel. I didn’t realize how out of touch I was with myself. My therapist was frustrating–she never answered any of my direct questions, which forced me to think about the answers for myself–something I hated at the time but can appreciate now.


12 x 16, acrylic on canvas board

#2 Body Image

"I'm gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and confidence free."


I struggle with body image, especially around the topic of weight. I have an idea of how I should look and how things should be. When my weight fluctuates or I’m not feeling my best, I have a million reasons why and I tell myself those reasons to justify my failure. I’d like to get to a place where I accept who I am and how I look. Where aging is okay, where a number on the scale isn’t the end of the world. Less stringent standards and more acceptance. Less hate and more love.


#3 Perfect is the Enemy of Great

"Perfect is the enemy of good."

Probably Voltaire

Perfectionism is one of my greatest struggles. It’s an overarching umbrella that impacts my daily life. Some days, the idea of failure is so great that it paralyzes me. This was one of those days. I’d been blindsided by a creative slump that I couldn’t find my way out of. It was unacceptable and I panicked, unable to forgive myself for failing. I felt hopeless and out of control. Painting this was a small victory during that dark week.


12x16 acrylic on canvas

#4 Like I Care

“Anger clouds the mind. Turned inward, it is an unconquerable enemy.”

Splinter to Raphael

I’ve only ever used anger to express myself. It’s become a catch-all for every other emotion that I refuse to feel: sadness, vulnerability, regret, fear. It’s big and bad ass and powerful. It’s easy to hide behind. I use it too often and I know it’s poisoning me but sometimes I can’t stop it. Most of the time, I’m a solid rock, impenetrable. Sometimes, a little crack of light gets through.


12x16 acrylic on canvas

#5 I'm Never Coming Back Home to You

“It doesn't matter how much you clean the vulture up, it never looked like a dove, you still gave it your blood, and that's love.”


Trying to justify why a relationship failed is something I truly struggle with – especially when the really good memories mix in with the bad. It’s hard to let go, even now. Especially now. I’m not sure where to put this piece of my life – under the bed, up on a shelf, buried in the yard or in a box of memories. I just don’t know.

"[...] in these kinds of relationships, none of your actions to try or change yourself or fix things would have mattered or altered the can't make something lovely and pure from something aimed to suck the life out of you." – Cassandra, viewer


12x16 acrylic on canvas

#6 The Loons

"Tutti a tavola a mangiare"

(Everyone to the table to eat)

I recently realized that something I always thought was right and stable – is not. The family unit is rotten, the foundation unstable. My vision was warped for decades, a cog in the wheel of a machine rolling downhill to its death. I wish I’d seen it sooner. The process of extracting myself from a family that was once so powerful is transformative. It’s painful and positive. I used to look to them for my identity, my sense of belonging – who do I look to now?


12x16 acrylic on canvas

#7 Backyard Cherries

“If an experience was wonderful, don’t try to re-create it. It will never be as beautiful as it was the first time.”

Iris Apfel

I have so many fond memories of childhood freedom but one sticks out. I remember it was a summer night in our backyard at sunset. Family members were on the patio, drinking near those coiled bug repellers. I felt so much peace in this moment. I think I was about six years old, so long ago yet the feeling is still with me, as vivid as ever. I go back to that place sometimes, even though it makes me sad in a nostalgic sort of way. Even though it can never be again.


12x16 acrylic on canvas

#8 It's How You Disappear

“You have the world by the tail...don't let booze screw it ain't worth it.”


There is a place inside that I don’t visit often. It’s vulnerable Adrianne, the one who can cry with ease and express her deepest fears with words. The one without a facade. This version hides from waking Adrianne and is very hard to catch. I wish I could catch her like one would catch a fish in a vast pond. I wish these selves were clay that could be molded together to create one piece of pottery. I can’t catch her though, unless I have the right tool, the right concoction of gin to soda or the right number of whiskey shots.


12x16 acrylic on canvas

#9 No One's Gonna Buy This

“You would never talk to a friend that way so why do it to yourself?”

My therapist

It’s a painful thing to hear audible self doubt, especially while creating. Especially when the naysaying came from your mouth. They say you should create for yourself but it’s not that easy, especially if you get validation from others’ approval. What’s the point of creating for yourself if you can’t pay the bills? Is it really worthwhile if you have nothing to show for it? If no one likes what you do then it must mean they don’t like you either and you’re worthless. Who am I and what the fuck am I doing?

12x16 acrylic on canvas


#10 Venus in the Sky

1520 Gough Street

Apartment 603

San Francisco, CA 94109

(My old address)

I always go back to the memory of looking out my kitchen window, due west, to the ocean, even though I was too far away to see it. You could smell it, though. And feel it when the sharp Pacific air hit your skin. San Francisco wasn’t for me in part because of the loneliness. I hated the loneliness but it did give me space to think, reflect, evolve...things I’d never bothered with before I left. It was there that I felt sadness in the realest form.


12x16 acrylic on canvas

#11 What Would Happen if You Cried in Front of Him?

“It would be the worst thing. I don’t want him to see a side of me that I don’t know.”

My answer to my therapist when asked the question that's the title of this piece

Being vulnerable is a new, terrifying frontier I’ve started to explore in my current relationship. I can’t hide behind anger anymore, he won’t tolerate that. He challenges me to dig deep, to think, to communicate. It’s hard and I’ve got a long way to go. But...I’m learning that I’m safe here. I don’t need a barrier to hide behind even though most of the time, I hide anyway. I’m not ready to be seen. I can’t trust that what he’ll see will be enough.

Available – $150

12x16 acrylic on canvas

#12 I Only Saw the Pink Parts

“But if this card comes up frequently, it indicates you are attracted to negativity. You choose to walk the hard road.”

on “The Ten of Wands,” my most frequently pulled card. Taken from The Wild Unknown Tarot Guidebook by Kim Krans.

Sacrificing myself and my own boundaries seemed easier than dealing with the painful disappointment of the people and situations that I believed were good. I’m afraid to feel disappointment because I can’t trust how I’ll react. Maybe I’ll blow a fuse or get deeply depressed. Maybe I won’t be able to bounce back. Focusing on the pink parts is easier because sometimes reality is too hard.


12x16 acrylic on canvas

Closing Ceremony

If you'd like to learn more about The Anxiety Series straight from my mouth, you're in luck! I'll be giving a PechaKucha-style presentation about this work at the Typeforce 10 closing ceremony on March 7, 2019 at Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Paintings and their availability

All are 12x16 and on canvas, except #1 which is on a thinner canvas board.

1 – Imagine a Blue Square, $125 (SOLD)

2 – Body Image, acrylic on canvas, $150

3 – Perfect is the Enemy of Great, $150 (SOLD)

4 – Like I Care, $150 (SOLD)

5 – I’m Never Coming Back Home to You, $150 (SOLD)

6 – The Loons, $150 (SOLD)

7 – Backyard Cherries, $150 (SOLD)

8 – It’s How You Disappear, $150 (SOLD)

9 – No One’s Gonna Buy This, $150 (SOLD)

10 – Venus in the Sky, $150 (SOLD)

11 –What Would Happen if You Cried in Front of Him? $150

12 – I Only Saw the Pink Parts, $150 (SOLD)

A huge thanks to Dawn Hancock for including me in the Typeforce 10 show. What an incredible honor.

And a big thanks to you, for reading / inquiring / purchasing / supporting me in countless ways. Love you guys.