I came to my art practice the long way. I was always art-oriented, as a designer and art teacher, but it wasn’t until my father died in 2015 that I committed to my art practice full-time. As parting gifts, he gave me courage and time. When we were cleaning out his office, I found some before and after photos of wounds he had stitched up. I recreated these images in encaustic because by using wax, I was able to recreate his stitches, sewing these wounds up for myself, too. It was a way to grieve and spend time with his memory while also learning the power of transformation held within these snapshots. Once I finished all the photos in the envelope, I quit working on them but didn’t quit thinking about them. Growing up pre-internet, halfway around the world from half of my family, and several hours from the other half, family photos were lifelines and portals. They had to do much of the work that phones, computers, zoom, facetime, and planes do now. We had a cabinet with albums that I would flip through almost daily as a kid, not unlike how I scroll through my photo library throughout the day. It’s a way of grounding and knowing. The house I grew up in and the cabinet of albums burned down around 2011. Luckily my dad was 1 of 8 kids and my mom was 1 of 9, so we have regained access to images from many of these events, just from different angles. But in a way maybe I am trying to recreate that cabinet.