Last Saturday I was at MOAH/Cedar in conversation with my friend Kristine Schomaker, artist and founder of Shoebox PR for the closing of my solo show Fairyland. Fortunately this artist talk was recorded by my friend and fellow artist Edwin Vasquez. If you were unable to attend this memento offers a glimpse of the conversation that had taken place. To all who did attend (and snap photos-thank you Samuelle Richardson-yet another fine artist friend), much gratitude for the support and the illuminating questions.
Much to ponder as I move forward in the studio.
David and the pups attended, little Rose a welcome lap dog. I think it is funny how blue everything is , blue walls (Benjamin Moore, Phillipsburg Blue0, industrial blue chairs, and my purple sweater reading as blue. It is as if I am trying to sink into the background, which is perhaps true. I much prefer the work to speak, nonetheless a wonderful conversation with my dear Kristine.
After the talk, we headed to the heart of the Antelope Valley to witness for ourselves the much celebrated Super Bloom. The California poppy a perfect foil to the azure heavens …and still more blue art, a handsome installation in the desert.
I am working on a series of pieces for an upcoming group show devoted to the maligned women of history , folk tale and myth . The show is called “Bad Girls”. There are plenty of so called Bad Girls to choose from and I’ve selected a few that have resonated over the years : Salome , Mary Magdalene, the three crones from “Macbeth”.
My studio progress which had been going well has been interrupted a bit ( even this post , ordinarily made from the comfort of my studio , is now made from my IPhone at my breakfast table .
My little dog Rose is very sick . We nearly lost her over the weekend and her recovery is arduous and fraught with worry . My time and my emotions are occupied with her recovery .
That said , I did manage to bring all the pups to the studio yesterday and put in a few hours . Rose’s whimpering abating , the anti anxiety meds kicking in allowing me some time to focus.
What I focused upon was the Mesoamerican moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, link below :
According to the legend this unfortunate goddess for reasons complicated by patriarchy and misogyny, is mutilated beyond recognition. Forever memorialized in the monumental disc bearing her image found now at the Templo Mayor museum in Mexico City . She is a powerful figure.
I worked rather feverishly yesterday as I knew my time was limited before Rosie became restless again needing my attention and the result thus far , is the corpus of the goddess found above . I myself was struck by the pathos of the being .
As usual with my dollmaking I hadn’t filtered my emotions for mechanics; the figure emerged on her own . And after I held her broken body and posted her image online , only then , over dinner with my husband ( the psychotherapist) did I realize that my Coyolxauhqui was in fact Rosie.
This should have been obvious , Rose has an amputated rear right leg and now a near lame right arm- she is essentially an invalid . That the doll is nearly life sized to my sweet pug is also an unconscious similarity.
I’m of course completely absorbed with Rose’s needs , we both are . David , a medical doctor’s son is particularly adept in assessing in a calm cool manner; but he has his own work , patients of the human sort wrestling with their own traumas .
As the artist with a more flexible schedule, nursing is for the most part, my duty . I’m so happy she is alive I am grateful to have this second chance . But it’s hard , she cannot eliminate on her own , fights me ferociously over her bitter pills and the whimpering, not consistent, but when she does whimper , it breaks my heart in half . Believing myself to be impotent , useless .
This is Rosie yesterday , a better day ( after a fraught night ) , shopping for new bedding and nursing paraphernalia. She loved the attention , her tail wagging with enthusiasm.
Today, after her follow up at the hospital ( it’s predicted to be a lengthy recovery , six months or so of this schedule), I plan to head to the studio and meet my other obligations to the show , my work and to myself .
The following images are of my progress thus far: Wish me luck.
Nicolas Poussin once said, when comparing himself unfavorably to the hyper manic Carravagio, that he felt his day had been productive if he painted one face. I often feel that way as well. If today’s accomplishment is any indication, I emulate my beloved Poussin.
Below is a detail of an oil painting I am now working on.
unfinished detail of a larger composition
As I paint, the pugs rest, Viola standing guard atop a UPS delivery. If being a painter is tough, being a painter’s dog is tougher.
Getting ready for date night with the spouse, Thai for dinner then “Noah” which releases today.
Have a great weekend, be well,
Postscript: for my friend Richard, an update on “Noah”. Well worth seeing, big mythic spectacle. We saw it at the Sunset Blvd. Arclight where they often have actual costumes, sets, props etc. on display in the lobby. The following is the costume of Noah’s nemesis Tubal-Cain. Thought you mike like the jewelry designs.
Last week I stumbled upon a half-finished watercolor painting from a nearly a year ago. I had completely forgotten about it. It pleased me and I was determined to finish it, which I have just a moment ago.
The subject is a phrase my wise friend Rosa has used, “Hosting Grief”. I won’t take the liberty of speaking for Rosa, but I understand this phrase to be that moment when sadness, grief and mourning become more habit than genuine experience. The destructive mindset bent upon a wearying darkness, a mindset I am often way too familiar with. With this painting I wanted to poke fun at my own melodrama, Grief’s headdress tickles the crap out of me, I would certainly wear such a confection if I could .
watercolor on paper
18 by 24 inches
(clicking on the image enlarges detail)
My love of Egyptomania was indulged in this painting; that I happen to be taking a summer course, a survey of the art of ancient cultures, notably Egypt and Greece, only fueled my imagination.
A final detail, tarted up by Instagram.
My regular solution to Grief follows, one of my beasties is sure to make me chuckle with some ridiculous antic, in this case Viola looking at the world upside down.
Must close, but until next time, be well and avoid hosting Grief,
Several months ago I posted my intention to begin a new painting The Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert ; these few months later the painting is progressing well enough that I feel able to post an update. I have been working on it in between class assignments and several other smaller paintings.
It is a rather large painting, 36 by 48 inches. The image is a bit fuzzy as I’m having difficulty photographing the painting ; but as the painting is still unfinished a bit of fuzziness allows for progress. The sheet of paper, which I use to wipe off excess paint, hides the Abbot, he is of yet just a sketch.
Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert
oil on canvas 36 by 48 inches
As I have been noodling with the painting, I am as usual kept company by the pugs Rose and Viola. This image below explains my slow progress, Viola just demands a certain amount of attention, she is my greatest Temptation.
Viola, the vigilant studio assistant
I’m taking a break, my eyes grow weary with the tight work, I have a Dead Mother I am working on, a far looser painting; I will switch off after my dinner break. Viola is at this moment in the study with me, snoring away, delightful company as always.