Sunday, May 22, 2016

Snake Truck 2016

According to folklorists and other narrative scholars, the hero's journey forms the basic template for all great stories. Described at length in Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the hero's journey serves as the tale every culture tells. The journey's path is described variously, but in general it includes the call to adventure, a supernatural aide or mentor, initiation by trials and adventures, victory, and return.   Chegg Tutors, Hero's Journey

My own Hero's Journey would be as follows:  the call to adventure would be the dedication of my life to being an artist, to making images that reflect what isn't known to me.  My supernatural aid would be the animals that have inhabited my life, providing me with the smallest glimpse into another world that runs parallel to mine but that I can know only slightly.  My trials and adventures are numerous, but most of my trials have originated in self-doubt and fear, and the adventures in a courage I'm always surprised to look back on and realize I posses.  The victory is in my continuing the journey, ignoring my fears and following the adventures my unconscious proposes. Although  I'm on the downhill side of my journey, I haven't yet returned.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Guard Dog(with Open Window)2016

Cash was another throw away dog.  Roaming near the farm of my older daughter's then boyfriend's parents, he was afraid to come near us, but continued to stay close to the highway where he must have been dumped.  This was in the spring of 2009, so it may have been that he was just too large a dog for someone to have to pay to feed.  He was finally lured in with bits of pork loin from dinner from the night before.  My youngest daughter, a sophomore in college in Kansas City, claimed him, and he became her best and closest friend for the next six years.

Huge, with a head the size of a platter, and deep booming bark, we figured Cash to be mostly Mastiff.  In the spring of 2015, our youngest daughter's life took a turn  where dogs weren't allowed, and Cash came to live with us.  For the first few weeks he was depressed, and ate just barely enough to keep going, but gradually, he began to adjust to life without his Goddess.  It wasn't so bad--two little dogs to play with, a huge back yard to protect, dirt to roll in, and best of all, a fairly constant desert sun to warm his aging bones. This winter, on a daily basis, a murder of crows filled the branches of the elm trees in our yard, keeping the air alive with their continual cawing, co-existing with Cash in his new life.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Blue House 2016

Here's what I can tell you about the painting:  it's about trying to do what's best, but still living with the fears and anxieties of both the known and the unknown. There is faith, but there is also doubt about doing the right thing, about being the best parent or spouse or partner or friend.  It's about what happens inside that house: good, bad or indifferent, we don't know, but can only guess.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Angry Mother 2016

I'm  a child of the 50's, as is my husband, and we are both products of Angry Mothers.  To this day, my husband gets nervous when someone starts vacuuming, PTSD from having his mother yank the Hoover around as she furiously cleaned house.  My Angry Mother memories are of slamming drawers and smoldering silences, her anger flaring up when I would become sad or angry myself.  50's mothers weren't supposed to show anger or be angry or even have negative thoughts.  But of course they did, and because they had to appear to be fine, all went inward and then projected back out when least expected--fires that, once they received  oxygen, couldn't stop burning.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Friendly Woman 2016


Simple Definition of change

  • : to become different
  • : to make (someone or something) different
  • : to become something else
Earlier this winter, while working in the studio, I suddenly found myself--brush in hand--doing a  simple line drawing into wet paint with India Ink.  I haven't drawn in years, and was surprised to find myself, in one motion, shaping and defining this figure.  The panel I had in front of me was small, but, still, it was a real challenge for someone who has defined her images with either paint or paper for over 40 years. When I lifted my brush from the surface, I was surprised at what I had, but pleased.

I have been working with Photoshop quite intensely for some time now, trying to learn the ins and outs of this complicated and very deep computer program.  One of the things I had learned to do in Photoshop was to create a smooth, continuous line to define the image I was trying to create, usually based in some way on the photograph that was underneath.  I realized that this little line drawing was both a reaction against and at the same time, based on what I had been learning in Photoshop.  The reaction against was my frustration at not being able to directly hold/touch/feel what I was doing with my hands, and having to stay so much in my head.  But what I had learned to do in Photoshop was to make and follow a  continuous, single line that defined the image. However in Photoshop I can erase  and redraw that line with with total impunity, something I can't do with India ink and wet paint.   It's both extremely exciting and at the same time very frustrating to work this way.  For a person that likes to keep all her options open as long as possible, it should be an interesting ride. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Young Man Sitting Down 1994

In the late 80's and then through the 90's. I made multiple panel pieces. David Hockney that got me started.  I'd loved his composite photographs, and started taking my own.  They never matched up the way I thought they should, but, in my bad photographer's way, they were quite wonderful in the way they didn't. I would start with someone's head and then work my way down, often turning the camera sideways to accommodate arms and legs, or tails and ears. With the building of my new studio, and the acquisition of large, 30" x 40" trays and a large sink, the sky was the limit.  I made large, anywhere from 24" x 36" to 30" x 40", prints by projecting onto the wall, processing the images, putting them together and then painting over the photographs.

Mostly they didn't sell.  They were hard to show, hard to make slides of to show people, and hard to frame.  They were large and often they were complex in their configuration.  They were expensive, and of course it didn't help that the subject matter was usually pretty tough.  With titles like Man Crying with Red Hands, Bully, and Boy Ghost, one can only imagine how they didn't fly off the gallery walls.  I did sell some, have destroyed quite a few others, but still have the bulk of what I did through those years.

I was recently asked to be in a show curated by Dan Estabrook at the Penland Gallery  called This is a Photograph.  When Dan invited me to be in the show, he specifically asked to choose from one of these multiple panel pieces, and Young Man Sitting Down was one of his selections.  He was so enthusiastic and excited about showing these pieces that it made me remember how excited I had been making them, and now, looking at them again, realizing just how wonderful they are.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Couple Holding Hands 2002

At the age of 4 1/2, Bob remembers kissing me in the back of my mother's station wagon, my mother having gone inside to pay the electric bill.    Not long after that, Bob's family moved to Albuquerque, mine staying in Santa Fe, a distance of some 60 miles.  Time went by, we lived our lives, and then one day, 19 years later, he came looking for me, like a knight in a fairy tale.   Reunited, we became friends, then lovers, then married some 14 years and one daughter later.    A few years later we had a second daughter--this time in wedlock,  much to my mother's great relief.

From the beginning of the rekindling of our "romance", Bob has been the subject of a multitude of images that I've done of him over the years.  I've done strange things to him, photographing him when he was asleep, watching TV, raking leaves in the nude, or simply sitting on the couch sewing, then transforming these photographs into any number of images with titles like "Two Men Inside their Mother", "Stolen Snake" or "Man Waiting to be Held".  One of the biggest pleasures in my working day is when I'm done with a piece and get to watch his face when I show him in his latest incarnation.  He will stand in front of the painting, face serious, not saying anything. Then he will began to nod ever so slightly, and finally he will say ¨that's great".  The last thing is that he'll smile his lovely, warm, big smile that lets me know how pleased he is, once again, that I've turned a photograph into something unexpected and wonderful.