Sunday, December 9, 2018

Bird with Spots 2017

Drawing for "Bird with Spots"

Drawing:  a graphic representation by lines of an object or idea, as with a pencil; a delineation of form without reference to color.
When we do one of the transfer techniques that I teach,we end up with millions of little pieces of paper from rubbing the backs off of our photographs.  It's obsessive-compulsive work, and most of us like doing it, at least for awhile. Then we'll get bored, or our fingertips will start to hurt from the constant rubbing(some of the more obsessive of us even getting blisters).  The paper lays around on the table top in a messy, annoying way, but then--something happens in that part of your brain that makes those kinds of connections that you have learned to listen to.  You decide to collect and lay out all of those paper crumbs, then spray them with black ink. What you are left with are thousands of little black rolled up balls of paper. And after pleading not to be tossed in the nearest trash can, those little black balls began to really speak to you. They might, for example, began to want to be a bird.  So, you move them onto a piece of white paper so that you can see them clearly, and before too long, a little bird shows up. With the addition of a photographic eye taken of one of your students, you might then have a tough little bird with a soft, warm, human eye.

Although you love the drawing you've made from the tiny rolled up pieces of paper, black ink and the eye of your student, you probably feel that it isn't quite enough. So, you go through all the smallish, abstract paintings you have(and there are many) until you find one that suits your drawing.  Then, through the magic of Photoshop and another equally magical transfer process, you marry the two, ending up with "Bird with Spots".  You feel good about your strange little drawing and it's final home.

"Bird with Spots"

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Coyote Drinking 2018

On almost every major intersection in Albuquerque, I see pan handlers, usually with signs asking for help.  Hand written on cardboard, often misspelled with the writing getting smaller as it gets closer to the bottom, they are missives wanting us to know that they are hungry, cold, disabled, and sad.  They look to make eye contact with us as we wait for the light to change, hoping that we will roll down our windows and hand them some money.  Not far away, on the corner, their metal shopping carts sit patiently, filled to overflowing with blankets, sleeping bags,clothes and who knows what else one needs to survive without a home.  At night, the panhandlers in our area are gone, headed for the Bosque, the dense cottonwood forest along the Rio Grande River, to set up camp.  If they are unlucky, someone will call the police and while they are panhandling, their tents and sleeping material will be swept away, so that even that temporary home will be gone.  They will need to find another place in the Bosque, that hopefully won't be raided as they stand in the cold, or sun, or wind waiting for something to make their lives a little better.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Adam and Eve(with Apple) 2014

Here, we only see the aftermath of the Big Event, Eve having taken a bite of the forbidden apple, which of course, causes she and Adam to be cast out of Paradise, nude, into the world.  Paradise, which had been theirs, is no longer available to them, and for all time going forward, there will be woe and strife between men and women, men and men, and women and women(but not so much as the first two).  The devil, disguised as the snake that tempted Eve, lays under Adam's foot, accidentally being crushed by a bumbling and unaware Adam.  The two float on clouds of different colors, Eve striding forward confidently, Adam hesitating, unaware that, from now on, the two of them have doomed all mankind.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sad Woman/Angry Man 1992

Because of the attention brought to the "Me Too" movement by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford*, I've been looking at my own "Me Too" moments, and, as well, asking my close woman friends about their experiences.  It's been eye opening, to say the least.  Friends I've had for years, good friends, I'm now finding out were raped, and in some cases, not just once, but twice. Of the three close friends that I see on a regular basis, all have had some sort of negative, aggressive sexual encounters as younger women. I myself had bad experiences as a child, a teenager, and as a young adult, some events worse than others. Something that was so traumatic to us, so devastatingly harmful, we seem to have swept under the rug so that we could go on with our lives.  Like Dr. Ford, we had chosen to live our lives without comment or conversation about these awful things, until finally, the door has opened and we see that it wasn't just us.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Hungry Bear 2018

Fall usually finds me in the Roaring Fork Valley, in West Central Colorado.  Because of this I've become familiar with the community of black bears that live in the area.  They come down out of the mountains each fall to bulk up for their winter hibernation.  Some falls are rougher for them than others, depending on how much forage they've had in the high country that spring and summer.  If it's been a bad year(drought usually, or a late freeze in the spring), then, desperate to fill themselves with enough calories to last them through the rough Colorado winter, they head for the luxurious, million dollar homes that fill the landscape.  An open window, an unlocked car, the smell of something cooking in some one's house, a fruit tree loaded with fruit, and that's where they go, using their paws as a human would to open things and start feasting.  One late night, as I headed down the highway towards Basalt, a small town in the valley, I spotted what I thought was a human figure, laying in the middle of the road.  As I got closer, I realized it was a bear, having come down looking for food, then gotten hit and killed trying to cross the highway.  When I finished this piece, and stood back and looked at it, I realized that "Hungry Bear" was an homage to that unfortunate bear.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Alter Ego 1999

 At various times in my life, I've had short hair, but for the most part,  I've had the same hair style since I was six years old:  long and straight, worn in a pony tail or down.  After years of threatening to cut my hair short again, I finally made my way into Crazy Jane's Hair Salon, clutching a photo of Jamie Lee Curtis so that Jane would have a good idea of what I wanted my hair to look like.  After carefully braiding it, then securing the braid with rubber bands, with a few cuts of Jane's very sharp scissors, the braid was off and ready to be sent to Locks of Love . 

Now, with short hair, I find that I don't really know who I am.  I startle when I see reflections of myself and I'm constantly looking at women with short hair(mostly older) and thinking, "Yikes, is that me?"  Some part of me has wanted a change, but I'm not sure if that part wants to be more masculine or more feminine, to stand out more or be less obvious.  I know that part of wanting that change has to do with aging, and trying to look either more age appropriate, or, conversely, younger.  Two days after my haircut, I spoke with the eye glass adjuster at Costco, and told her that I'd had my hair cut because I thought older woman shouldn't have long hair.  She thought for a moment, then said, "People in my family that are older all have long hair.  It's our tradition(she was from Taos Pueblo)".  It gave me pause, and made me rethink my hypothesis about older women and long hair.  In the meantime, I keep staring at the stranger in the mirror and not really believing people when they tell me how great my hair looks.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Two Giants in Their Garden 2018

These two giants are brothers.  The older brother is in front. He is the smarter, stronger one, but not very kind or caring.  Because of this, the younger brother is full of insecurities, and worries constantly about what the older brother thinks of him.