Painting

Note: Please click on the image to see a larger version of each particular painting.

1) “Discovering Joy”

I made this painting dreaming of when I spent a month down in Mexico–after it had rained here in the Pacific Northwest almost every day until July.

"Discovering Joy," acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth copyright 2017 20 x 26i n.
“Discovering Joy,” acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth copyright 2017 20 x 26 in.

As a teen, I had spent a great deal of my time one summer swimming in the bay off of Guaymas, Mexico. I loved the teeming   multi colored fish!

I also befriended this guy who was living out of his car there next to the ocean not far from my family’s camp. He said he was escaping his relatives who were members of the Mafia.  I remember him sitting next to his stack of paper-back books reading “Fanny and Zoe.” In this painting I am imagining swimming with him enjoying the moment — even though I never had red hair.

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2) “Secrets”

This is one of my paintings I made where I used a pen and ink drawing as the starting point.

"Secrets" acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth, copyright 2013 and 2018
“Secrets” acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth, copyright 2013 and 2018

I had been going to a lot of Re-evaluation Co-counseling sessions when I made the drawing.

The painting expresses the discomfort most of us have with revealing our secrets. And yet it is what almost all of us need to learn how to do in order to get better. One thing I learned is that for many of us our secrets are often very much alike.

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3)  Legs Like Vines or The Dilemma of Venus

"Legs Like Vines" by Bea Garth copyright 2017 acrylic on canvas 24 x 30
“Legs Like Vines” by Bea Garth, copyright 2017 acrylic on canvas 24 x 30

I broke a lot of “laws” with this piece. Thus the couple appears to be floating in the air and of course their extra joints are even more pronounced. The woman almost seems to have busted through that green circle while the guy leans against what could be the Mayan Calendar…

In this painting, there is a disturbance between the male and female paradigm, with the female coming up. It is as if she is saying “This Far and no Farther!” Meanwhile the male is not taking her nearly as seriously as he should.

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4) “The Fool”

“The Fool” by Bea Garth, copyright 2016 acrylic painting on paper–sold

was my first attempt at making a Tarot card. Of course I chose the Fool. The Fool has a lot of wisdom, inspiration and inner understanding even though  he/she can look very silly while the daily concerns of life bark at him/her.

To his/her left,  the sacred Inner Child sits in a meditative pose encircled by the World Snake of Wisdom protecting him/her.

The God/Goddess of the Unconscious or Watery Depths   is looking on while pointing to the stars; clearly she seems  concerned.

In the background, the Fool trudges on his/her journey towards the unknown future…
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5) “The Whole World Is Watching”

“The Whole World is Watching,” acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth, copyright 2017–sold

This painting arose in part as a response to the Women’s March on Washington at the beginning of January, 2017 although I did have a much smaller version that thought I had lost.  Then I found it again after I moved and celebrated by creating  this much larger painting.

The hieroglyphic like symbols on a blue and silver background were entirely new. All eyes are watching her, as well as ears, mouths and noses, eh? And there she is petting her cat, contemplating her next step.
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6) “Turtle’s Complaint to Gaia”

Turtle's Complaint To Gaia by B Garth June 2015 f
“The Turtle’s Complaint To Gaia” acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

I created this painting in response to learning about the floating islands of plastic garbage poisoning our oceans and choking our turtles, whales, fish,  crustaceans etc. — even the  birds.

We humans have got to change our ways! We are destroying our planetary ecosystem with our throw-away, toxic culture.

In preparing this, I had a dream about the World Turtle.  While I was working, I realized he was complaining to Gaia while the mermaid and merman rushed to help comfort him.  He’s got to have a bellyache with all that plastic, and that is just the least of it!!

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7)What Did We Eat?”

“What Did We Eat?” (plastic plankton) — acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

This is a fairly large painting I made in connection with my project depicting plastic polluting the oceans. Here I am showing the mermaids having just ingested what they thought was plankton, but actually was small bits of plastic now polluting the oceans.

I liked the idea of depicting mermaids  since most of us can relate to them better than  fish. In case you are thinking the problem is just for fish, they are part of our food chain…thus we are ingesting plastic too!

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8)The Mermaid’s Dilemma

The Mermaid's Dilemmagouache by Bea Garth
“The Mermaid’s Dilemma” gouache on paper by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

is a watercolor/gouache painting I created after hearing a story about a legend from the Pacific Northwest. Originally I made a ceramic dyptych plaque at a festival where i hear the tale. Later it fell apart and I decided to make a painting of it.

The story goes that a mermaid fell in love with a Native American landlubber. She left the ocean to go live with him and then everything in the world started to dry up. Trees and people were dying.

She had a hard choice, leave him and save the world, or stay with him and see his whole world destroyed. The final straw was seeing her friends the whales surface and start to die.

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9)Different Paths

Different Paths acrylicx by Bea Garth
“Different Paths,” acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

is a painting I started after an old boyfriend came to visit. The blond figure on the right is looking like he/she is in a quandary before leaving.

Clearly the figure on the left is more grounded. She sits  holding her cat and taking care of the teapot and mug while she listens.

The scene with its white capped river water, soft purple mountains and a hazy  green suggest the renewal of nature.

This painting is in Al Preciado’s collection.

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10)  “Joy”

“Joy” acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

— I created this painting after watching a modern dance troupe performing an original dramatic dance in Menlo Park, CA. They invited visual artists to get their impressions while watching a practice session. I made several sketches of the dancers in action. I was particularly impressed by the joyful energy of this one black dancer.

Of course I made no attempt to make his body anatomically correct. Instead I wanted to capture the movement and expression of Joy!

When I showed it to the dancer a couple of weeks later after the premier performance, he cried tears of  recognition.

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11)Intensity

Intensity acrylic  Bea Garth LR
“Intensity” acrylic on canvas by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

I was inspired by a free for all drumming circle over at Works Gallery in San Jose, CA.  I was carried away by the intensity and exuberance of the moment and created a preliminary pen and ink drawing on the spot.

The painting expresses the power of Venus and Mars to focus and inspire beauty and action combined in the flow of music.

I like the fluid-like simplicity as well as the complexity of composition, color and emotion.

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12)Perspective

Perspective by Bea Garth, copyright 2014 acrylic painting on canvas
Perspective by Bea Garth, copyright 2015 acrylic painting on canvas

The original pen and ink I did of this subject inspired me to engineer a juried art exhibit called “Healing The Planet, Healing Ourselves” at Studio Bongiorno in Santa Clara, CA.

I remember a friend saying, “Wow, it looks like you are trying to save the whole world!” Thing is I think we all need to take responsibility given the ecological devastation and resultant changes we are facing. We need to act before it is too late, not just for ourselves but also for future generations.

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13)Empathy

“Empathy” by Bea Garth, copyright 2014 acrylic painting

This piece won first prize for Painting in the 9th Round of the 2016 Competition at Art/Slant international magazine. It also graces the cover of a book of poetry by Marianne Szlyk (I DREAM OF EMPATHY ).

Here with this painting I was exploring multiple realities at once. The woman is consoling her partner  while their cat is looking on. The fish represent the unconscious, although I suppose they could just be fish!

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14)Remembering Tim

“Remembering Tim” by Bea Garth, mixed media, copyright 2010

was  a surprise for me. An image that looked like my friend the painter Tim Cottengim suddenly appeared in the painting. He had died that fall  — the result of illness and hard living.

I felt a kinship with Tim given our mutual sensitivity; we were both committed to making it as artists by following our own vision even though for me I had taken a step back. At that time I was more focused on work and healing myself, while continuing to organize part of the poetry and art community. In a way Tim’s “visit” helped inspire me to take my personal artwork more seriously again.