HI! I'M MCKENZIE!
I'm an unschooled artist living just outside Baltimore. I photograph people in Maryland and illustrate whimsical characters in nostalgic scenarios. I go thrift shopping in search of vintage linens and screenprint them with my original artwork. I make custom wedding invitations, birth announcements, and children's books. My first book is called The ABC's of Homesteading and I self published it in 2015.
When I was little, my mom was an artist and my dad ran a deli and coffee shop. I worked with my dad and skipped school to make art with my mom. My childhood was mostly spent escaping suburbia for the woods. I wanted more than anything to live like Laura Ingalls Wilder.
So when I grew up, I did. I spent five years homesteading and working at a Montessori school. I raised sheep, alpacas, bees, chickens, and learned to grow vegetables. My *life* became my art. Whether I was gardening, shearing sheep or shooting photos, a common thread of intimacy, awe for nature, and appreciation for the unconventional set my work apart.
Things weren't picture perfect. I was married- and divorced- during this time. I want to share my pain as part of my story because I want to use it to help others. The truth is, too many women experience domestic violence and then continue the pattern of staying silent. I love capturing happiness with my art, but it's also important to me to use my work to advocate for those who can't speak for themselves.
When I moved to the city, my business was still tiny. I nannied for two years and then decided take the leap to full time artist. I spent that year creating my first children's book, about homesteading. Through it, I made peace with not being a farmer anymore. These days, I'm painting girls who are fascinated by outer space. It's combining my love of nature, female empowerment, wonder, and sci-fi!
I am a regular contributor to Taproot Mag. My partner Matt and I have worked with our community to bring the culture of crankie making to Baltimore. We also play twinkly kalimbas together. I'm a dollhouse maistro, but, let's face it, that's just because my inner child never grew up.
I'll never stop looking for ways to make the world more beautiful. My photography and my artwork interweave together and influence each other. As I build relationships with my clients, I love weaving new forms of creativity into their lives at different stages.