Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sphinx 2011

A sphinx (Greek: Σφίγξ /sphinx, Bœotian: Φίξ /Phix) is a mythical creature with, as a minimum, the body of a lion and the head of a human or a cat.
In Greek tradition, it has the haunches of a lion, the wings of a great bird, and the face of a woman. She is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer her riddle suffer a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster.... a unique demon of destruction and bad luck. Wikepedia, the free encyclopedia.

Its been a tough year.  December particularly rocky:  two days after the death of my father, 27 people were gunned down in Newton, Connecticut, 20 of them young children, only days after a mall shooting in Portland and four months after the Aurora Theater shootings(I thought of my father wondering at the sudden onslaught of young souls). This fall, Sandy made us all aware of the destructive side of global warming. When I opened my Internet browser yesterday, one of the headlines told of the rape and murder of a young Indian woman, a medical student on a bus on her way home from a movie with a male friend. The crime stood out because it was so horrific, not because its unusual for women to be raped and beaten to death.  On a more personal note, I've just "unfriended" a  personable and attractive young relative whose posts are filled with hated and vitriol against President Obama.  Global warming, gun violence,  the abuse of women and political dissonance are all things we have lived with for years, it's just that this year all seem bigger, heavier and more out of control than in years past.

I wonder what our riddle is?  Is it something like, "What has two legs, walks upright and ruins everything it touches?", or perhaps a little more in keeping with the original, "what walks on four legs at dawn, two legs during the day, three legs at dusk and can't seem to understand that its days are limited if it doesn't start behaving in a responsible way?"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Woman with Wolf Dress 2011

Self Portrait:  a portrait of oneself done by oneself

Today, the day after my 61st birthday, I wanted to use an image that would best describe me as I am now.  This image, done over a year ago, combines many things:  a self portrait after applying facial cream taken when I was in my late twenties; the side profile of one of my daughter's high school boyfriends; and the fur and paw from a dead coyote that my daughter Teal photographed.  The images were printed on ink jet transparencies which allowed the surface under the photo to come through.  In this case, the painting was a crackled surface using two different colors as the crackle contrast--subtle but effective in dividing the little painting in half. The cooler side contains the young man's face looking down, eyes almost closed.

The painting is about aging--drying up, cracking, and finally blowing away, fine dust in the harsh spring winds. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Man with Child Inside 1994

On Wednesday, my father died.  He was 86 and had recently suffered a fall, cracking three ribs in the process.  He was ill for about six weeks, and finally, I think, had enough and asked to be taken off  life support.  He died within about 24 hours of his request. 

Man with Child Inside was based on a multiple photographic panel of my husband and our daughter Ramey when she was still quite young.  In this image, the father figure nests the child inside himself.  The child is calm and peaceful.  Content, she knows she is cherished.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Longing 2000

In my late 20's I lived both in Mexico and then, a year later, in  Ecuador.  I was young, blond and, most significantly, American.  Walks on the street would inevitably attract Latin men, either in groups, or alone, calling out, whispering of their love, trying to get physically as close as possible to convince me of their passion and ardor.  Because I was an American woman that meant I possessed lose morals and with just a little urging,  I would probably do any manner of things of an explicit sexual nature.  Kissing noises, hands on private parts, arms around my shoulders.  Every once and awhile a breast squeezed in a crowded space. All this to excite me?

Over Thanksgiving, I was hiking with my daughter, her boyfriend, and my husband.  We were on a low cliff trail overlooking the flood plain of the Rio Grande River.  Below us were two young Hispanic men.  One waved to me, I waved back.  Then, from below, "Can I suck your titties?". Giggling, they ran, losing themselves in the thick growth of Tamarisk that grows along the river banks. I wondered if they knew just how old those titties were that they wanted to involve themselves with.