Macbeth Act IV.i.90-115

I don’t set out to paint gruesome images yet somehow they keep popping up-in this case literally out of the cauldron. Since  a boy, I have loved Macbeth, it is the only work by Shakespeare that I had memorized passages of, namely the incredible spells cast by the Weird Sisters. In re-reading the play many decades later I find myself still drawn to the witchy drama of the fourth act.

The apparitions the three  bearded ones begrudgingly conjure up for brave Macbeth are particularly terrifying: an Armed Head , a Bloody Child and lastly a Child Crowned with a Tree in Hand. They call to mind armorial devices.

Given this inspiration I have attempted to depict, once again as spontaneously as possible, what I have just finished reading; a form of automatic drawing in conjunction with literature. Or as my dear friend Dr. Claire Barbetti might say, a studio practice incorporating ekphrastic traditions.

That said, it is a bit ghoulish.

IMG_5946Macbeth IV.i. 90-115


The Second Apparition


acrylic on canvas

16 by 2o inches

I now need to go finish Richard III,  but do not expect images of infanticide.

 Until then,

be well,



the UNCANNY,OBSESSIONS AND delusions- an upcoming exhibition

I’m delighted that two of my paintings have been selected for a group exhibition of visual works and poetry here in Los Angeles, called the UNCANNY, OBSESSIONS AND delusions. It opens March 1st 2015.


Please join us for the Opening Reception for
The Uncanny, Obsessions and Delusions
A Juried Art Exhibit and Poetry Slam
March 1, 2015
3:00-6:00 PM
New Center for Psychoanalysis
2014 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Exhibition Coordinator: Esther Dreifuss-Kattan, Ph.D., Chair NCP Art Salon
Co-Curators: Suzanne Isken, Esther Dreifuss-Kattan
Exhibition Jurors:
Suzanne Isken, Director CAFAM (Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles)
Ashley Myers-Turner, Associate Editor at Outdoor Photographer Magazine &
Digital Photo Pro Magazine
Poetry: Bettina Soestwohner, PhD, Comparative Literature

It seems fitting that the  following works were selected by a bunch of psychoanalysts!

Actually the judges were well respected judges in their own right; the artists are in the field. I am the only non-shrink, just married to one.




Tlazoltéotl, a difficult birth

(this one should open up conversation!)

I’m thrilled, my only disappointment is that David will be at a conference in D.C. that weekend; my consolation being that our lovely and glamorous friend Meme will be my date. I’m looking forward to it.


My Shaggy Valentine

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day! 




relief print on rag paper, artist’s edition

9 by 12″

This print makes me giggle, the poor Wildman  just hasn’t a clue, finding himself befuddled by all the romantic hubbub. I can certainly relate to his confusion. So often in my own relationship with David ( 19 years?  ), I mess up on being openly affectionate. Often missing the cues , I can relate to the Wildman’s clumsy efforts …

But in truth dear David, you have my heart.

photo 12 copy

wedding vows, 2008, West Hollywood,CA

Lavinia, she is haunting me

I have been reading the plays of Shakespeare, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, now Richard III, but it is Titus Andronicus that has stuck with me, most particularly the tragic Lavinia. It is such a terrible and bloody tale that I would rather not revisit it yet I feel compelled to somehow honor Lavinia. To capture the brutal chaos that was her life. The following, a spontaneously  dashed off acrylic painting on canvas is one attempt.




acrylic on canvas

16 by 20 inches

I wanted to avoid the obvious ( and seductive) bloody approach; instead I focused on her claustrophobic impotence, the pawn of so many men. And although there is tenderness shown towards Lavinia and empathy for her plight, as when her uncle,Marcus Andronicus, after her terrible rape and mutilation attempts to soothe her with: 

Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee:

O,could our mourning ease thy misery!” 

Act II 4, 56-57

There is this tenderness, this paternal, fraternal love yet she has no say-literally. And in the end, well the end , how does one deal with it all?

She haunts me, this sketch I made just last night before I went to bed.


I’m toying with the idea of making a hand puppet , perhaps. I also wouldn’t mind not thinking about it.

Be well,


Herakles and Telephos

In my ever expanding collection of books , I possess a well worn volume that I treasure dearly. It is The Odyssey of Homer,  translated by Alexander Pope and illustrated with lovely line drawings in the manner of Flaxman. As I mentioned, it is in sorry shape, but I picked up this gem for a quarter at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh  many years ago. I confess I haven’t read this translation, the pages are brittle, the text so teeny I can barely focus on the page. I merely enjoy the book ; its fussy attention to detail, each page framed by an elegant red line, its many musty charms. I particularly love the ornamental spot illustration, micro plates , somewhat Greek (sometimes not) in nature,that intersperse the text; they are often enigmatic and always delightful .

One such micro plate inspired this painting/drawing, Herakles and Telephos.


Herakles and Telephos


graphite and watercolor on YUPO paper

9 by 12″

Initially when I stumbled upon the plate (set neatly between Book  XIV and Book XV) I couldn’t figure out what the hell I was looking at. The image seemed  vaguely surreal in its composition and in its elements: a big headed man, a putto, a doe (with antlers), a strangely phallic cloud and a menacing raptor. But as I began working on my own interpretation I began to realize I was looking at an image of Hercules and his infant son Telephos. In  a nutshell, Telephos born of one of Hercules’ many dalliances, was ill fated, and like the babe Oedipus, sentenced to death, in this case by his fearful maternal grandfather. Our Hero-daddy rescues the boy, entrusting his care to a lactating doe. For a better explanation, this link might help, HERE.

The following is the initial image, blown up quite a bit, the original is the size of a postage stamp; I have no clue as to who the artist was.


If the original was enigmatic, my interpretation might be more so. I of course retained the phallic cloud, and the doe’s perplexing antlers, but Telephos is no mere babe and the raptor/Zeus ( the boy’s grandad) is no mere bird. I’m not going to analyze the drawing to deeply but let’s just say the notion of a protective father figure resonated for me. Session ended.

In this drawing/painting I experimented with a new material, the synthetic paper YUPO ( link HERE). I was introduced to this paper by another artist who extolled its virtues, namely its ability to take a lot of medium and still remain flat and unwrinkled. It also allows for errors in watercolor to be easily removed. Alas it also allows for details you value to be easily removed. It takes a bit of time for paint to set up, and I must figure out how to work with it. YUPO may not be my go-to paper just now but it does have possibilities I would like to explore. It is marketed as a watercolor paper yet it takes graphite beautifully, the pencil glides upon the smooth surface. The following is the drawing before I added watercolor.



Today I will be back into the thick of oils and perhaps venture into a hand puppet ( one idea will not leave my head so I better let it out).

Be well,