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.
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!
This is my new canvas painting I am working on. It is inspired by an extremely small painting on watercolor paper I did back in San Jose (about the size of a large card).
The idea is that she will probably be wearing pink and black, and likely has dark skin. Though all this could change depending…
Obviously I am still working on the cat!! This time it won’t be brown. It will be a contrasting color… And yes I want the cat to feel alive with movement!
I often like to make an underpainting like this before I go ahead and paint the whole thing in color with all the shading, contrast etc. This way I make sure I get the composition worked out in a simpler state rather than have to remake the whole thing if I didn’t get it right.
I am nearly done with this painting. Just needs a bit more shadow and other little fudging. I have had some delays finishing it, but now am on it again. This painting seems to express the dilemma of the feminine principle going through a rebirth in the world. She wants her male counterpart to participate, but is having some trouble getting that point across…
Another update on my painting, “Legs Like Vines.” A bad headache the other day (from an egg I hadn’t boiled quite enough–I have histamine sensitivity) slowed me down.
But late tonight I was back at it again. There is more to do with it of course. But am sharing my process. I am not one of those really quick painters. Am a perfectionist more or less in this area of my life. Plus all those intricate patterns take time to get right! I use the principle of spontaneity and structure working together to create tensions and harmonies.
On yet another level, this painting is starting to make even more sense to me considering the fact I discovered very recently that I need to take a lot more silica than I thought I’d ever need in order to be OK. My legs etc. have truly in their way been like vines.
I laugh since what else can one do. There are both positives and negatives to being what is considered to be too flexible. The big problem for some of us is that we have a hard time making enough collagen. This eventually starts to become a real negative, especially as one gets older. And yes, more silica is needed to make the collagen.
Now even my eyes are improving, as well as my hair, teeth, nails, nerves, joints etc. I am even having less jerking at night. And overall fewer headaches. I am now able to exercise more regularly without hurting myself. Have less reflux etc. Amazing! Its only been two months since I started taking the food grade diatomaceous earth. Literally a dirt cheap source of silica!! and healing…
With everything improving, who knows where I will be at in a year. Though one thing is for sure, more than likely I’ll be painting up a storm!!
For more info on this condition, I suggest you look up Ehrlos Danlos Syndrome. If you think you might have it, please consider joining some of the EDS support groups on Facebook. The Cusack Family Protocol is the best!
Its been a rainy Thanksgiving so far. Plenty of chance for me to work on my painting! Though today I was able to go out for a walk before it started raining again. I wore my poncho just in case!
This painting is changing before my eyes. I am really uncertain what I will call it. How the pillow or rock/Mayan Calendar (!!) turns out will affect it quite a bit, of that I am certain.
I still have to work on the male figure quite a bit, it needs the definition shadows bring. I also need to finish the edging around the carpet.
And yes I do like the carpet. The rectangles and triangles are subtle but effective. They echo the Calendar symbology nicely.
This piece is kind of blowing my mind, such as it is. Not at all what I expected! But that is the fun of painting for me–I let my unconscious come through and have free reign.
I had a dream last night that suggested I put in roots around in the blue area, but today am uncertain that would be right for this painting. Maybe the next one? Might be too busy and unnecessary. However I will play around with it and see if it could work or not…
I just got started putting the color in. Thought I’d do something a little different, more like what I sometimes did working on clay. Let design have it’s say more and keep it playful.
As you can see, I am not done!
I have not worked on the bodies or pillow (except for the sketched in underpainting) or even finished the background. I like the bold design and colors so far however.
I may or may not put any actual leaves into the painting. I’ll be playing around with that concept in my head whether or not I try it.
As you likely can see, the painting is in my studio in the unheated garage next to my kilns. I was working there late tonight all bundled up. The weather is starting to get chillier. Nevertheless, the act of painting seems to keep me warm!! I even took off my coat and hat! Though this time my second sweater stayed on…
I have been musing about what style is it I exactly have–at first I thought it should be called “Ancient/Modern/Surreal Art.” But now realize “Goddess/Surreal Art” is better. “Goddess” is inclusive of both the ancient pastand issues of ecologyas well as howwe feel and relate. In addition, often the women depicted in my art are powerful in subtle ways (though its not just the women!), thus incorporating both ancient and contemporary feminist values. And Surreal given how much I tend to add extra joints plus combine personal or mythic symbols and unusual environments and color.
Yes it is true, I obsessively focus on feelings expressed in body language. To tell the truth, part of my obsession no doubt is influenced by the fact my mother simply could not read body language at all. I have thus had to learn what body language means on my own. It has not been a given like it is for most people. My art thus helps me figure out what this or that movement or expression means. In so doing I believe it is also helps the viewer since many of us may miss these nuances of expression otherwise.
Both of my parents worked as archaelogists when I was very young. Thus I have been influenced by ancient art from an early age–and certainly its influence shows up in my artwork. I was exposed to Native American art here along the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest as well asancient and indigenous art from around the world as a child. In addition I was very much influenced by my great Aunt Lottie’s amazing artwork and rugs she brought back from the Philippines.
Further I’m very much interested in imagery inspired by Carl Jung‘s notion of the Collective Unconscious as well as the New Age Arts such as Astrology and the Tarot.
I see the changes beginning everywhere: spontaneous expressions of Love rather than Hate, Renewables rather than robbing the Earth of its finite resources, values of Nurturing the Earth rather than killing off its plants, animals and oceans etc. The thing is that we are all connected.
I believe the Alienated isolated individualist is becoming anIcon of the Past. Of course, the old Paradigm is not going out without making a huge struggle to stay Top Dog. So this is not an easy time. But I believe we are winning on the side of making progressive change simply because we have to in order to survive.
It is my hope my art can make some small difference in helping create this paradigm change by expressing some of these new values while reconnecting with the ancient Goddess in a new and contemporary way, by having the Goddess and the patriarchal God finally begin to work together rather than be at odds.
It is my opinion we simply cannot forget what we have gained through science, technology etc. However we have to temper those gains with the realization we live in a finite world and must learn to take care of itandeach otheras stewards rather than continue to destroy our world out of greed.
Now finally back in the Northwest, I am focusing on being the full time artist I was meant to be, and was, many moons ago. Though now hopefully, both healthier and wiser.
To keep at it, I will need your support, whether just as a friendly “like ” or note, or a purchaseofsome of my sinuously expressive Goddess/Surrealart.
If you get a chance, please check out the blog pages as well as the artpages too of course! And feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org in case you would like to purchase (or show) some of my artwork.
I had some excitement today–finally got most of my studio together! Am looking for just a couple more things (my paint pallets and some of my paints etc.) and I should be back at it likely sometime tomorrow. Tonight sitting there, I was feeling a rush of bliss! Fortunately my friend Graeme was able to capture this wonderful moment with my phone camera.
This after having had a very painful couple of days. I made myself a new table and then tried to move my heavy studio furniture around by myself the other day. Moving the furniture was a big mistake for me. I was in intense pain the last two days. I just am not strong enough to move things like that likely due to my old injury to my L-5 vertebrae and sacrum as a kid. Plus EDS (Ehrlos Danlos Syndrome) as it turns out. It makes me super flexible, but not as strong as I might otherwise be due to having weak joints.
After joining a couple of EDS groups on FB, I have just been learning however how to increase my collagen, which should gradually help strengthen my joints a lot. And some of it is working already, since normally my neck would have been out too, but it wasn’t!! Taking diatomaceous earth and d-ribose appear to be godsends for me.
The other good news here is that I went to see a new chiropractor today who was able to adjust me better than any other chiro I have seen. Turns out she has 5 other EDS patients. So she knows gentle is the way to go.
The fact I am still very flexible at age 67 is why I am usually able to adjust myself using yoga, or my sacro-wedgy, or get Chris to pull on my leg. But it does not always work since sometimes something gets stuck, mainly I think due to that pesky childhood injury.
My plan is to slowly get stronger again. I go for walks almost daily. And do yoga at least every other day. Next I need to use my modified pilates chair again to create more strength. The nice thing is that these days I can do modified push ups and crunches too, when I haven’t gone and hurt myself over again, that is! To be an artist, I have learned, its important to be strong. It just won’t do to have joints etc. that don’t work. Thankfully through persistence and figuring out that I need more silica, plus of course, avoid things like gluten and, in my case, also high histamine, it has really paid off, and will likely just keep getting better.
My artwork, as you might be able to tell, has a style that exaggerates but really expresses this EDS condition. I think of how we are often like mermaids and mermen, lol!! It is kind of amazing that I created this style without knowing I had EDS. It just came out of my being. Although of course I discovered my body was super flexible since I can’t remember when.
Now finally after a year of getting our house ready to move, selling it, finding another and moving into it in another state, I can express that flexible sensitivity I have again in my new art studio. I believe I have earned it!!
I am very much looking forward to completing my painting of the “Music Genie”–inspired by my husband (Chris) playing music. Its the painting you can see me sitting next to in the pix above. More on that and lots of other art projects as I go along, eh?
I finally finished the pen and ink I shared with you all a few days ago. Its now transformed
with color and a few other additions–though to do it justice I really should do a version of it as a painting on canvas. We had a picnic at the beach last week during sundown, thus the colors and the theme…
I decided to let my natural surrealistic tendencies to come in with more force by adding the Earth Sprite reaching towards the Tree’s all knowing Eye. I almost called this piece “Connected” since that is the energy I was trying to express, how we are connected to the Earth and the Universal Spirit around us.
And yes its mixed media (ink and watercolor pencil and colored pencil) on watercolor paper.