Sunday, October 7, 2018
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
Sunday, September 2, 2018
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
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
But there was another side to my mother-in-law--not the Donna Reed side. It was dark and frightening. To this day my husband has vacuum-noise-induced anxiety because of his PTSD around what we call "angry vacuuming". One minute she would be the Loretta Young of the Northeast Heights, and then, there it would be--pure rage over something seemingly trivial at the time. We still see it in her, now with inhibitions gone as her dementia increases. This small painting must have hit a note with others, either angry mothers or the children of angry mothers, because when this piece was taken to the Dallas Art Fair in the spring of 2016, it sold immediately. Soon after that, several of the buyer's friends returned to the booth, demanding to know where they could find their own "Angry Mother".
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Many of my horse memories are painful, having to do with problems that arose with my horses, or accidents that could have been fatal--a friend being dragged by that same 20 year old mare. Some of the worst memories are ones of having to say goodbye to a favorite horse, or having to say no to being offered a gift of a horse because I didn't have the money to take care of him. And now, I'm not sure where I've landed with this new horse life. Something has shifted, but it's a wobbly shift, with no clear direction and no real sense of where I'm headed or where I'll end up. So I find myself watching YouTube, giving my chair directions on how to make a perfect 20 centimeter circle using my inside(imaginary) rein and my(real)outside leg.
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Since painting is what always guides me, that's my first jump off the cliff: how can I paint in a way that's new to me, or newish, after all these years of painting? With that in mind, I recently discovered how to make clean hard edges with masking tape and polymer medium using colors new to me, purchased at Michael's, where all the serious hobbyists shop. Painting finished, then another precipice to leap off of, this time finding, from my hoard of materials, the right photographs in combination with the right hand-painted papers, along with materials that have no logic to the painting but that somehow work--in this case, a page from an Asian textbook. As well, I used my mother's pinking shears to cut the bangs, beautiful scissors that are probably as old as I am. And finally, after weeks of trying things out, putting different elements together, discarding, then reforming, I have a finished piece that pleases me. It seems new and different, a self portrait of a much younger me, something I didn't realize until I finished writing this piece.