Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Barefoot Riders 2013

Barefoot Rider(Girl) 49"x41"  

Barefoot Rider(Boy) 48"x45"

The “Barefoot Riders” series is about the journeys we take in life: what we are given to start with and what we will encounter along the way.  “Barefoot Rider (Girl)” is the portrait of a young friend whose mother immigrated from Mexico.  Although born and raised in the United States, she grew up in a home with no father present, where Spanish was the primary language, with a grandmother who didn’t speak English and a mother who had to learn the language in order to support the family. The white horse she is riding has shuttered eyes, letting us know that her journey has not always been clear or easy.

Barefoot Rider (Boy)” is also about life’s journey, in this case a young indigenous boy with a monk’s tonsure. His mount, also white, has no bridle, and only a whip in the boy’s hand to guide the two.  Both riders and their mounts are constructed of imagery drawn from multiple sources.  Trees, sticks and earth combine with part of a Navajo rug make up the Girl’s horse while a cluster of flowers make the saddle.  The Boy and his horse are made of different elements, including lava rocks and urban graffiti—elements somewhat harsher than the Girl’s. By being aware of what the horses and their riders are made of, it’s possible to see the bits and pieces of two life journeys, similar yet very different. 


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Rough Ride 2022

For the last four weeks, I've been teaching a six week concentration at Penland School of Craft in Penland, North Carolina.  Six weeks is a long time for me to teach--I usually do one to two week workshops in different locations around the country.  It is intense.  We meet every weekday from 9-5 and students are expected to apply what they've learned  in the first few weeks to their images, going wherever that takes them. As the students do more and more of their own work, I'm able to work as well, both for demos and to try new processes. My rule in making work in a workshop is that everything I use has to come from somewhere else--the trash, materials the students don't want, magazines, or anything I find along the way. I do have access to my photos, but only what's on my phone, nothing that I brought from  home, although I did bring paint and brushes. "Rough Ride" is about teaching this long workshop while still not having quite recovered from Covid(June 6 of 2022), being older, and dealing with the various complex problems that present themselves in working with 12 very different, very emotional, and very sensitive people.  In other words, artists.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Old Man Walking 2022

Recently, I tried to leap onto the back of a bareback horse the way I had as a younger woman.  I would stand by their left side, facing their rump, then, with a little jump, swing my right leg up over their back, catching it with my heel and then pulling myself up and over.  It never failed to impress--I could do it on any horse. Imagine my horror when I went to spring onto my friend's horse to impress her and instead of my foot hooking over his back, it smacked right into the middle of his belly.  He gave me a somewhat concerned look, and I tried again and again, finally succeeding, but just barely.  He stood the entire time, waiting patiently for whatever dumb human thing it was that I wanted to do. I tried on another, smaller horse a year or so later, and this time couldn't get my leg over her back. I gave up after a few tries. Where the heck did those loose muscles and powerful legs of mine go?  I guess, turned to sticks.

Mirror 1998

An email came into my mailbox a week ago from a lawyer representing the estate of collectors of mine who had recently passed away.  She wanted to know if I had information on "Mirror", which surprisingly I did(I'm not know for my excellent record keeping). A few days later she emailed me back to let me know that the piece was for sale at  "Consignment Warehouse" in Santa Fe.  She also gave me the price of the piece and suggested I could buy it back and then resell it.  I had loved the piece, and after thinking long and hard and, against my better judgement, I called up the store and bought it back, driving up to Santa Fe the next day to pick it up.  It was an upscale consignment store, with $4000 second hand couches and large heavy tables for much more.  There was lots of "art" on the walls, most of which you would  find comfortably hanging in a hotel lobby.  I wandered around and looked at things, then went to pick up my piece from the front desk.  The clerk had brought it out and laid it on the counter with no wrapping or any kind of protection, but it was in perfect shape.  It sat there glowing at me, and then rested in the back seat of my car and did the same.  I was filled with a kind of quiet joy that "Mirror" had come back home.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Mother and Daughter with Small Dog Walking 2005

In 2005 when I made this little painting my daughters were 12 and 9.  Now they are 35 and 32, grown with their own lives, the elder daughter married with a two year old son, and the younger daughter soon to be married.  The mother is walking into what seems to be a rough and rocky landscape with a bleakly overcast sky, holding the daughter's hand, the dog following close behind, as good dogs will do.  I didn't know then what was to come, what would happen to those two dearly loved daughters, only that we were going forward into the future with courage and the belief that things would work out.  What is to come is still unknown, and now, with grandchildren, it still seems the same: we will continue to go forward as a family, hoping that love and courage will take us where we need to go.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Woman with Worries 2022

So much to worry about, so little time.  Big problems like a terrible, senseless war that doesn't seem like it will ever end, bad forest fires in your back yard. A country so divided that you count your friends by the party they voted for, and you make snarly faces when you meet someone who voted for the other party.  You have a grandson in Texas, and the Uvalde shootings suddenly seem very close. The old person chute that you started sliding down not so long ago is going faster and faster, and you know you can't get off or slow it down. Friends your age and younger, have dementia.  At first you were alarmed but now it's becoming common place(this after many of your parents and your friend's parents have died with this awful disease), and you worry that you will be next. The specter of covid hangs over everything, and even though you just got it, you know you aren't really safe anymore as the variants spread like wildfire: vaxed and boosted seeming to make no difference. There seems too be no silver lining to any of the dark clouds looming on the horizon, and the lightening strikes keep getting closer and closer.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Coyote Watching 2021

If I had to use just one term to define the coyotes that live around us in our semi-rural environment here in New Mexico it would be "wary".  Like the murders of crows that startle and take off en-mass when I lift my camera to take a photograph, the coyotes are completely aware when I share their space.  It might be a casual glance to let me know they know I'm watching, or more likely, taking off at a dead run when they see that my attention is too acute. They are so very different from dogs--their close cousins--with their noisy, unaware, and blundering ways. I so love this about them--that intelligence and awareness that lets them exist in both worlds simultaneously--that which is natural and that which isn't.