Spring Arising

In the spirit of Easter I cobbled together this relief print .



relief print, ink on paper

After my last post on Good Friday I went back to the studio with the specific desire to just paint. not to fuss, not to sketch, employing a limited palette, not to overthink; just play with paint and linseed oil.  I also only allowed a specific amount of time, the few hours before I needed to prepare dinner for David. The result is far from stellar, in fact I hesitate to post it at all, but in the spirit of honest exploration I will anyway.

Let’s just call it an experimental daub, awkward, tentative, but an effort to change- that is what spring signifies anyway.


 Good Friday Daub I

oil on board

Happy Easter,


Post Script: I noodled with this daub a bit more, resisted fussing but I felt it needed more definition. My intention was to accentuate the projectiles coming toward the Son of God.

I’m happier with the painting, I can now let it be. I appreciate the kind words of encouragement I have received concerning this experiment.


Strange Fruit: a Mayan Alternative to the Passion

I am in my second semester of printmaking and frankly it has been disheartening. The exhilaration of the first few prints, successful or not, has been eclipsed by technical problems, some seemingly insurmountable . I recently finished a labor intensive, time sucking reduction relief print, a technique in which one linoleum plate is used, and each color is ultimately scraped away for the next. Engineering the color seqquence was daunting enough, but I think I was able to resolve that issue; but  by my final press, down to final color, a sepia, the finished result was disastrous .

I was taken aback by my visceral disappointment to the final image, I frankly had to walk away. I still have not have had the will to face the sad pile of wasted paper, ink, time, effort and optimism; spring break ends Sunday, perhaps I will face my demons on Tuesday.

In the mean time I am determined to avoid that sad route, eliminating reduction reliefs with individual plates for each color. This was my initial instinct but the assignment demanded the one plate approach.

The following, the first printing thus far, is the line work. The second plate, most likely red, is still being carved out. I post this unfinished print as it is appropriate to Good Friday, a day of sacrifice and reflection, frankly my favorite holiday of the christian calendar . This image which is one I have explored several times is that moment in which the Maize God,  the savior character from the Popol huh,is discovered by the princess of the Underworld Xquic. This fateful encounter results in a miraculous virgin birth, the severed head of the Miaze god spits into the open hand of the virgin princess (subtle Freudian imagery). Clearly I am fascinated by this twist of our familiar Christian sacrifice & rebirth theme . 


Strange Fruit

relief print, ink on paper

Some sketches prior to cutting:

IMG_3831Wishing all a happy Easter if so inclined, certainly happy spring Sunday.

Take care,


From Today’s Notebook, The Dead Mother

As David and I have very little time together, just the weekend, we try to find ways of integrating our interests. Lately David has been joining me in the workroom on Saturday evening , I paint, he chats,  drinks wine, but sometimes he reads an analytic article that piques his interest. This weekend the theme was the Dead Mother by the French psychoanalyst Andre Green.

I will not pretend  that I comprehend much of  the complexities  David found so thrilling ; but it did strike a chord- like many folks I have issues.

My instinct was to create a painting around this archetype. After discussing the Dead Mother with my own psychologist, I was determined to at least get some idea on paper. Ultimately I would like to  create a small secular, analytic icon, gilded ground with glowing green figures; but for now, this sketch will suffice.

For David, The Barren Breast.


The Barren Breast

graphite and watercolor on paper

Until next time, take care,


Black Smoke, White Smoke, Same Old Bigotry

Moments after the papal decision, one of the first tidbits that surfaces about His Holiness is his active engagement in opposing same sex marriage.


Can’t I have just one small moment of optimism, that maybe this  new fellow will be a generous chap and not a bigoted asshole?

I guess not.

I  had been frantically trying to finish up a small watercolor I had begun last evening, working against CNN and its breathless coverage of the gathering of Cardinals.  Alas pretty Anderson Cooper beat me to the finish line.  

So now, several hours after the election of Francis, I post this little daub in honor of the new pope, hoping against odds he will shy away from the Church’s  traditional  stance of misogyny and homophobia and instead focus on what the Church does best, honoring the poor and the forgotten.

For Francis


Holy Smoke

watercolor on paper

13 by 19 inches


For Clive,


St. Ignatius of Loyola

Peter Paul Rubens

Norton Simon collection, Pasadena, CA


The Perfect Man, birthday greetings

Today is my husband’s birthday , he is quite frankly an amazing man- too bad we are many miles apart at the moment. But seemingly, to compensate for that fact, not one but three Perfect Men arrived in my mailbox. Three perfectly constructed, anatomically ( although rather neutered), little grey plastic men. 


Although diminutive in scale, they are gorgeous in their detail. They are three anatomical models my thoughtful and often extravagant husband purchased as part of my Christmas present. They have just arrived and I am tickled by their beauty. This flayed mannequin has the most beautiful glass eyes.


source: http://www.anatomytools.com/allmfv2-1-6scale-p517.php


the skeletal mannequin


the flayed mannequin


the flesh and blood mannequin, although with a Barbie “package”

I am tickled by my gift , typically thoughtful of David, investing in my painting career with the proper tools. They now stand at attention in my studio.



My beautiful skeleton reminds me of my recent trip to LACMA. Although we have been going to the museum for years I have never visited the Pacific Oceanic collection, my loss. One of the most delightful and strange objects, in a gallery full of many wonderful oddities, was this Skull Rack. I was struck by the whimsy of the fellow which contrasted sharply with the dangly skulls. I was of course delighted.


Skull Rack (agiba)

Papua New Guinea

c. 1925


Detail of some of the skulls, I love the prosthetic noses, the eye plugs; I am definitely using these in some upcoming project.

This is certainly a disjointed post , but I want to wish David a very happy birthday, i am looking forward to seeing him tomorrow evening. until that time I will end with the THE  Perfect  Man ( as a boy) in a box.

davidinbox copy