XO Numia, 2015

To start the series, I thought back to my childhood when I would spend hours playing with coins. The elongated or “squished” coins were my favorite, and yes, I have a collection.
Recently, I learned that elongated coins belong to a category known as Exonumia, which are numismatic items (such as tokens or medals) other than coins and paper money. From the elongated coin I drew from the shape and surface quality with it’s embossed imagery and metallic patinas. I combined these qualities on the oval wood panels that references another numismatic item, the wooden nickel. Since I love to play with symbols, metaphors and especially wordplay in my artwork, I took the word Exonumia, pulled the letters X and O, which have long represented 'Kisses' and 'Hugs,' and began my love letter in which I gave myself permission to play.
Many of the panels were begun by paying homage to the life of the tree and creating what I call, Found Compositions, in which I would simply separate the various wood grain shapes with color. Each panel documents small moments in my life with renderings inspired by dreams, interactions or the exploration and experimentation of materials.