Here’s my new painting “Pink Cross” I finally completed late this May 2020 just before the world erupted. It was inspired by a pen and ink and went through several changes, since I kept changing the colors. I just couldn’t get it right. In each attempt there was something I learned and some color or effect I kept. Originally it was called “Gallery of Miscreants,” however the color changed the meaning fairly substantially. Now I don’t know what it means to tell the truth except they aren’t necessarily miscreants, rather perhaps its a family, whether one’s personal family or simply the family that is called Humanity. And is one’s family a “cross” we each must bear? perhaps to enjoy even so. So interesting what goes on. I certainly didn’t consciously choose pink, golden yellow, baby turquoise blue and lime green, but they chose me…
I just recently started work on this new painting which I am now calling “Bringing Her Back To Life,” by Bea Garth, copyright 2018. Its for a show I will be participating in this September called “Stories We Could Tell” at The Cave here in Vancouver, WA.
Of course I have plenty of stories in my paintings, but this one is calling to me given my recent health crisis that became a crescendo the last couple of years. Fortunately my broken wrist is healing and is becoming stronger and more flexible with each passing month. Ditto with my knee. In addition, I have gotten clues studying genetic snps that have proven to be very helpful regarding dietary advice. That plus taking Maca and Ashwagandha is making a positive difference with counteracting some of the effects of underlying Lyme Disease that I have been struggling with the last few years.
Fortunately, I am in the process of bouncing back. I am nothing if not doggedly persistent looking for and finding remedies. That and, of course, the Painting Gods are healing me. I honestly often feel a direct connection with the healing powers of the Earth and Sky (represented here by a couple of their emissaries in this painting), especially when I am in my creative element.
I have more to do with the painting of course. Basically it is just blocked in with no shading or anything. However I really like the basic color scheme and feel like it could be very strong once completed. In many ways it reminds me of my ceramics. It has that playful yet structured character. The main thing for me is to stop before going too far! A lesson I keep needing to learn it seems in my life. Hopefully by this time I am getting better at it.
I am finally beginning a new series about the effects of radiation from Hanford etc. from a personal child-like point of view. Here I am falling through a trap door into the waiting arms of Pluto (God of the Underworld–and of nuclear radiation) with my cat falling with me at my side.
I am still planning to put in some shading etc. Otherwise I think this new 2′ x 3′ acrylic painting is close to done.
The pink represents invisible radiation that blanketed the area outside of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation the night of December 2nd and 3rd, 1949 — including where we lived in Walla Walla, Washington. Apparently it rained when it wasn’t “supposed to.” Twice the amount of radiation was released than they had originally planned. I have read they secretly released between 8000 and 12,000 curies of radioactive iodine–and that this was not the only “green run,” i.e., where green uncured uranium was used at Hanford. The scrubbers for the effluent were turned off at night for 12 hours. It was part of the Cold War race for nuclear superiority with Russia.
There was no notification to the locals so none of us knew about any of this, and thus we did not know we needed to protect ourselves. It wasn’t discovered until years later when mention of the “green run” was found inside mountains of paper-work that was given to an enquiring reporter from Spokane (Karen Dorn Steele). The paper-work was supposed to prove Hanford had nothing serious to hide. As it turned out, it was far more serious than anyone ever thought.
Now I realize my recurring dream of falling through a trap door was my child self representing what actually happened. After being a very healthy baby, at age 4 months (coincident with the Green Run) I suddenly became severely ill with pneumonia for close to a year.
Eventually I was taken to the hospital and put in isolation to figure out what could be done. I was given special treatment since my parents were local celebrities for their work as archaeologists finding and carefully uncovering Fort Walla Walla. I was taken off gluten, sugar and milk fat, plus given gamma globulin for my “failure to thrive.” Fortunately I bounced back! Much later I learned that some of the Chernobyl victims were also given gamma globulin and often special diets. Like me, they got better.
It makes me sad to think of all the other babies who could have been helped like me, but weren’t. Quite a few ended up in the cemetery. Babies are a lot more sensitive to radiation than anyone else. Clearly we need a new paradigm where the health of the Earth and those who live on it needs to come first rather than continuing a focus on an insane arms race that forgets we all live together on a fragile planet.
This makes me think of the continuing problems at Fukishima and, similar to Hanford, how real news coming from there is largely suppressed. And the very real threat of bringing back the Cold War–or a hot one, possibly started in the Middle East ,rather than focus on how we can restore our ailing planet.
Meanwhile, here in Washington at the Hanford site, problems with the clean-up continues to be a sore point. The numerous open radiation pits, leaking cannisters and the fact spent fuel rods are stored just 400 feet from the Columbia River, leaves us open for trouble. I wish it would all just go away, but it looks like Hanford’s old demons will stay with us for some time.
Jordan Clark and I enjoyed ourselves this last Sat. night (Feb. 24th, 2018) giving our Art Talk at the Gallery @ Cerulean (Skies Wine) in Portland.
Here’s two pix from after the Art Talk taken by Jennifer Williams:
Later in March I should be getting the video of part of the Art Talk as well as the Poetry Reading we had at the Opening Reception plus original music played there by my husband’s band Climate Strange from Hazel Miller, the curator of The Gallery @ Cerulean.
Jordan Clark and I are also talking about possibly doing a collaboration, which I think could be amazing. Our styles are very different, but our colors, movement, line and feeling are very similar. More on that later!
Here’s two more pix of me with some of my work at the Opening Reception, Feb. 1st 2018. I had just finished The Music Genie 2 days before the Reception! Fortunately its acrylic on canvas so it was dry. Its the painting in the middle in the pix on the right:
–And yes you can see my arm in a brace. I am still recovering from surgery on my wrist after a bad fall in December. Thankfully now the brace is off. It helped but was very uncomfortable. Am doing massage and exercises to more fully recover use of my left wrist. Its happening. Am very grateful I am healing well. Even though its still painful its not at bad as it was. This exhibit showed me that positive expression was and is possible even during difficult passages in life. Just needed a little push and help from my husband and friends.
NOTE: Jordan Clark and I will be giving an Artists Talk Sat. night Feb. 24th, 2018 from 7 to 8 PM — with folks gathering at 6:30 — over at The Gallery at Cerulean, 1439 NW Marshall St., Portland OR, PH: 503 308-9137.
I have a bevy of paintings @ ‘The Gallery at Cerulean including my newest, “The Music Genie” you see below. I welcome those that can come hear us and see our work. The show is up through Feb. 26th. It is well presented with both my work and that of Jordan Clark harmonizing with each other by means of color and shapes–though his work is frankly boldly abstract and mine figurative.
The Cerulean is both a wine bar and art gallery on the edge of the Pearl district in Portland.
The Music Genie was inspired by my husband who was in one of his reverie’s composing music. The watery depths in the background and the ghost like Genie to his right show him exploring his musical imagination of harmony and inter connected feeling.
I finished this painting just in the nick of time with putting in final touches just moments before putting the painting in with the rest before my husband drove off with them to take them to the gallery the day before the exhibit. Fortunately acrylic dries quickly with the aid of using a hair dryer! I had pulled an all nighter and had to crawl into bed–satisfied but curious as to how it might be received.
This photo of me standing in front of my newest painting (The Music Genie) is from last night’s reception of my month long exhibit. It was a very fun night while we were entertained by the completely original music by my husband Chris Arcus’ band Climate Strange.
I also read poetry to an appreciative crowd. While reading (accompanied by Chris on his keyboard), I realized I often have repeating images of nature, the everyday, eros and relationship, the mythic and the subconscious in both my paintings and poetry that seem to echo each other.
I was very impressed by the beauty of the gallery and how the curator Hazel Miller arranged everything exquisitely. My art and that of Jordan Clark’s was grouped by color and shape for instance–which really works even though he is an abstract painter and I am a figurative one.
The Art Gallery At The Cerulean is at 1439 NW Marshall St., on the edge of the Pearl district in Portland, Oregon. The Cerulean is a great place to go to buy wine and a bite to eat, hang out and experience fine art.
And yes, you can see I am still sporting an arm brace. I fell while out for a walk and severely injured my left wrist in late December which then required surgery. It likely will take at least 2 more months to heal. I am determined not to let it stop me now that I am a bit better and remember to use ice quite frequently while painting. Am getting better each day–and at managing with one hand for now–with help from my dear husband and our room mate who both help me with food preparation etc.
Finally ready (well almost!) for Open Studios which begins Saturday morning Nov. 11, and runs til 5 PM, and then again the same hours on Sunday Nov. 12th, 2017.
I am loving how my studio looks especially with so much of my artwork up on the walls and on a couple of my tables.
I even got out my sculpture of ” Eos Re-emerging”. Eos is the Greek Goddess of the Dawn. I see her as presaging the work the feminine principle needs to do to save the planet from humanity’s greed and unbalanced throw away culture. I have her sitting on the slab roller table in front of several of my paintings up on the wall.
I am prepared to do work with both clay and painting, depending upon the moment. It should be fun meeting so many people interested in supporting their local artists here in Vancouver, WA.
I finally finished my new painting “Discovering Joy.”
My paintings are a lot like dreams where everything gets mixed together–thus the surrealist edge. For me what I am after is an exploration of the unconscious that helps me realize what it is I am feeling and thinking of underneath.
In this case it was and is the joy of experiencing summer after a difficult winter earlier this year. It got me to remember joyful times in the past such as swimming in Mexico when I was seventeen. I remember swimming in the warm waters off of Guaymas and being thrilled by all the fish! And yes I loved being on my own with my sister and enjoying the Latin culture.
I think my trip to Mexico as a teen reminded me of my early childhood when the boy I played with next door had parents who were from Spain. I was in love with their music and dancing and very different approach to life to that of my family. I was sorry when we had to move away.
This painting mixes experiences since quite obviously I am not a red head, nor did I even have a boyfriend at age seventeen except perhaps in my imagination.
I am thinking of visiting Mexico again sometime soon when I get the chance. I bet it will help foster a whole new series of paintings celebrating life!
Am nearly finished with this piece “Swimming Underwater.” Its been good to make a work that expresses the joy of life in these troubled times. What else can I say about it? Except that I feel its so very important not to lose sight of what is is that makes us happy.
For me I am reminded of swimming down in Mexico years ago off of Guaymas. I was so impressed/amazed by the quantity of colorful fish! That and of course my continual exploration of the dance between the sexes and the fineries of body language and subtle facial expressions.
From it I am inspired to do another more mythic piece of giving birth to a new world, perhaps also from underwater. Will see what and if it happens… Be watching for it. It all depends on what my psyche is ready for!!
Though for now I may want to simply finish some pieces for the Clark County Open Studios happening here in Vancouver, WA this November 11th and 12, 2017. Be watching for that too!
I just started working on my painting Swimmers again in preparation for the Clark County Open Studios in mid November.
Given this very traumatic fall season with massive forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and yet another mass shooting, I feel its important to realize we all have special moments that make this world very worth preserving. Meanwhile we need to do what we can to help those in need and begin to rectify some of the causes of these difficulties such as global warming and creating a better socio-economic system while still remembering to cultivate and savor those happier moments.
After a hard winter/spring, I am starting to feel much better. Finally got going on this painting of mine of a man and a woman dancing underwater. Its kind of a celebratory piece of getting healthier again and enjoying warmer weather finally. I am really looking forward to summer!
I still need to work on the painting Its hardly done since a lot of shadows and gradations are missing, and likely I will eradicate some more of the fish. But I got it all blocked in. I like to work loose and then refine it.
I also applied for the local Clark County Artist Open Studios for next winter. November seems a perfect time to have it. Plenty of time to prepare…
Here’s the beginning of my Majician card for the Tarot. Its quite a project, but I seem to be getting the hang of it finally. I have gotten several tarot decks to get more of an idea of what to do.
This project I think will be life changing in some ways, since its undoubtedly going to improve my ability to remember which card does what in a tarot reading–which I believe will get me more consciously in touch with my unconscious (a good thing for an artist like me)–which likely will influence the rest of my artistic endeavors. I have an intuitive ability to pull significant cards and interpret them fairly well, but my memory hasn’t always been the best, especially what they mean in which order–so I usually have to look it up.
Of course I need to add in more color, shadows etc. Plus its likely some of the colors will change a bit (am thinking of lightening the blue sky–and darkening part of the cape). Nevertheless, I think its all there for this Majician.
I chose red hair to help represent the Goddess. Even though this is a mostly male card, it is displaying some of Her symbols–as well as the traditional symbols for the rest of the deck (which often equates to about the same thing!): cup, sword, staff, pentacles –as well as Sun, quill pen, book, bird, Moon, jar, Mercury–and even the old snake Wisdom. Plus the project many had of turning lead into gold…also representative of the Goddess.
This time I am using acrylic on canvas, and checked the size to make sure its right. I decided to make it a regular playing card size (i.e., that reduces to 2.5 x 3.5 inches). The top and bottom will have a border so I can number and name the cards. The left and right border will be cut off, but is here for now for the purposes of the painting. There is no need for a border for the width of the cards. Am thinking of making the border for the painting gold as in the old Renaissance tradition–though I could leave it white or make it some other color…