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.

*https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/16/politics/blasey-ford-kavanaugh-letter-feinstein/index.html

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. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Angry Mother 2016

My mother-in-law was a very elegant 1950's mother.  She was--and is--quite beautiful, now 92,  Albuquerque's own Jackie Onassis. In our scruffy little western city, my mother-in-law stood out like a sore thumb, always dressed to the nine's with beautiful clothes and scarves, always with makeup and hair done, and always in heels.  Something that couldn't have been easy with four kids and a husband who sometimes brought home the bacon, and sometimes didn't.  At one point, she and my father-in-law went to the Mrs. America contest in Florida, and they returned with a pink vacuum cleaner for her and a billiard table for him.

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

Wild Pony 2018

Most recently, I've found myself becoming involved, once again, with horses.  A friend purchased a horse in March, having never owned one before, and I have been helping her out with him.  It's as if a sealed door to my past has opened, and memories have been flooding in.  So much of my childhood was based on my life with horses, hours spent riding by myself in the open ranch land around our home in Santa Fe, or treating my horse much as other kids treated their bicycles, using him as a way to get places as effortlessly as possible. My library was awash with horse and dog books:  Misty of Chincoteague, the entire set of The Black Stallion, King of the Wind, Smokey, and of course, Black Beauty, just to name the ones I still own and treasure.  The stories formed my moral compass and gave me an understanding of how things worked, at least from a horse's perspective.  As an adult, it was my 20 year old mare's inability to conceive that convinced me that, if I was going to have children, I'd better get going or I would soon be too old.

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.