Tuesday, December 31, 2013

shiny and bright!

I hope your 2013 was a good one and that your 2014 is amazing!  Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

nightmare in which it is all gone.

I sit on the edge of the room...near the wall, just by the window.   Yesterday there were crickets and cicadas singing here.  Now the noises are strange and I am confused.

My bedroom is a graveyard near a busy road.  Before, the second story room was in a cozy cape...an old farmhouse sheltering generations of other people's ghosts and dreams.  Now the room is elsewhere and cold.  The grounds have been haphazardly maintained.  The lazy sounds of insects and birds calling have been tossed away by the heavy trundle and smell of ill-kept cars whizzing past.  I gag on the burnt oil smell.

My room once had a plush bed pushed up to the window where I could see the stars. Two stories up I was eye to eye with the large willow.  No more.  The room is wall-less.  The border now is a wrought iron fence that lines the road that butts up to the now graveyard once room.  My bed is stone.

The rest of the house is a rundown old trailer that has been dissected and strewn across the graveyard.  The kitchen is near the large mausoleum and the bathroom is in the potters' field.

There is no family here anymore, only ghosts: the shouldas and wouldas and couldas.  If only the were dones.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


watercolor and ink on paper
19" x 22"

 On a recent trip to visit family in South Jersey, my father's wife asked if I could paint one of the dogs.  Rapunzel (the dog) is one of the sweetest creatures that lives on my father's farm- which is saying something as my father and his wife (G.) adopt a huge crew of castaway creatures that, after attention, care and affection, are some of the loveliest creatures around.  Anyway, Rapunzel is a sweetheart.  The request was interesting as G said, "and please no extra eyes."

 "Yes, G.  I will refrain, for you, from placing extra eyes in the painting."

The under-drawing for the painting was a little tricky as I think my work doesn't emote sweetness as much as savage cute things that will devour your soul.  This is NOT what was asked for.

The photograph which I was working from had a small smile curling up on Rapunzel's mouth.  This nuanced little bit was the fine line between the sweetness asked for and my usual soul eater methodology.

There was also a lovely balance of orange and purply-blue in Rapunzel's coloring.  Although, she does have some traces of black hair, the vast sea of her is filled with blond and white.  The cool places in her were luscious pink browns and blues.

No extra eyes...but Rapunzel's playful mane offered curlicues of fur that dared me to pull them into the blue background.  And the juxtaposition of the blue sky with the orange mane is one of my favorite.  And I believe the smile of the lovely creature betrays quite nicely her sweet nature.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Counting Song

Two is for...
(currently) graphite on paper
52" x 34"
One for Sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told
Eight for a wish
Nine for a kiss
Ten a surprise you should be careful not to miss
Eleven for health
Twelve for wealth

Thirteen beware it's the devil himself.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

the sweet man

I work with a traveling circus troop.  My job is to tease hot dogs across a tightrope while singing.

My husband is the strongman and a trapeze artist.  But the stress pushes him to the limit and he splits in half becoming two separate people.  One of these men is ferocious and calculating.  The other is sweet and loves me.  The ferocious man demands my presence sending the sweet man away.

When he was both men together I loved him but now I only feel safe with the sweet man.  I steal away from my bed by the hot dog stand to hug the sweet man.

The sweet man is very thin.  His hip bones jut out and I wrap my arms around him several times.  I whisper to the sweet man that I still love the ferocious man and cannot leave him.  The ferocious man needs me more.  The sweet man weeps.

One day a new circus act comes to the troop.  She is a young girl with dark hair and trained poodles.  She is/was me- I cut her away years ago and now she has grown a whole new body.

She wears a black tunic with lace embroidered out with pink thread.  Her hair is curly and her breasts are round, firm and luscious.

The ferocious man lusts after her.  He tells her secrets.  I hear them at night moaning and grunting.  Everyone does.  The sweet man has long ago left the troop and I am alone in my bed.  It is cold and I am crying.

The ferocious man tells me to leave.  He is going to marry this new girl.  She eyes all my clothes, surveying what will go and what will stay.  Mental calculations tell me most will probably go.  I am old.  Well, not old but I have chosen poorly.
I should have chosen the sweet man.  And now I am alone.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Reality Television

I am playing the game Gloom except instead of collecting pathos I am trying to drown bridezillas in shot glasses.  The deal for the game always shuffles out not quite in my favor. It just leaves the angry brides trying to scratch at my eyes with their long cheap manicures.

Filtering of Ideas
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
22" x 30"
The shot glasses are filling up with the rain that bounces from the ground into the pool then out again.  The wedding party is getting restless.  They are hungry for blood, drama or revenge: which ever comes with the happy meal toy and a side of fries.  I have to come up with something quick.  And it better be fancy.

I take the chopsticks from my place setting and hold the brides under in each shot glass.  They sink down into some cheap mall-like hell.  Their absence in the shot glasses leaves a baby otter and a lava lamp.  The otters do tricks and the lava lamp is amusing. I am relieved to be done with them but I know they will come back to haunt me.  Cheap like that is hard to get rid of.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

What it really is...is...

(work in progress)
watercolor, graphite and ink on paper
42" x 42"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Residual Gazing

 My daughter's kitten likes to watch me while I paint.  Actually, she likes to watch the paint rolling down the wall while I paint.  She looks intently at the wall while I draw with pencil on the paper.  Then when I finish, she looks at me in askance as to why I have stop.  I was providing her with amusement and I should continue.  It seems I have my own cheer leading squad of one black and white cat.

 Should I move from the painting wall, this is what looks at me on the red table as I leave: a compilation of cut out doll pictures sent to me by a friend.  True story: one day I just received an envelope full doll eyes.  No reason, just because.  One of the best things ever.

Dream Generator Totem (work in progress)
watercolor on paper
22" x 30"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hold your arm like this and don't move

Black Hen White Cat (work in progress)
watercolor on paper
42" x 42"
 I am tired and I don't want to work tonight.  I'm not sleepy tired.  Just wanna hide under the covers and make everybody go away tired.  I don't wanna deal.

I dreampt that there was an ark in my backyard.  My husband snuck it in sometime in the day or year before.  Apparently I didn't notice the 200 foot long and 150 foot tall boat in my garden.  He hid it using old furniture that piled up the sides.  Once the furniture was moved away, there was the boat.

The boat is unfinished.  It's just a haul.  Large timbers intersect and swoop down the jut up.  Trash occupies that place between where the furniture used to be.

Because of the boat, my chickens have taken to living up in a large oak tree.  There is a tree fort up there and they roost in the leaf bare branches, waiting for the summer to come back.  They ask me why I am so silly as not to notice the boat.
Stop crying they tell me.
One day my ship will come in, too, they say.
The chickens tell me there is only so much I can worry about and a large unfinished boat is not one of those things.
note from meeting on 11/6/13
note from meeting on 11/6/13

Sunday, November 10, 2013

quick and disheveled

quick and disheveled
watercolor and ink
15" x 22"

Saturday, November 2, 2013

In meditation of my daughter...(progress of a painting)

Smirk (process shot 1)

Smirk (process shot 2)

Smirk (process shot 3)
Smirk (process shot 4)

Smirk (process shot 5)
Smirk (process shot 6)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pulling out the inner Biddy...

Dark Creep (currently in process)
watercolor and acrylic on paper
22" x 30"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Paper dolls for example (of visual social justice)

Some of my feminist paper dolls will be part of the inaugural exhibition at University of New England's School of Social Work Art and Social Justice Certificate Program. This is kinda cool.  This is a link to the page highlighting the artists in the showcase.  As of this writing all my contact info is wrong and missing.  Sigh.

March 2, 2012
Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre
I was also censored in the show, which is interesting considering the scope of the program.  The piece that was rejected was my Feminist Paper Doll from March 2, 2012, Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre.  I am not sure if they took offense to the word "government" or "fuck" but the piece referenced a protest against an invasive ultrasound bill that was being pushed through the Oklahoma legislature.  This bill had it passed would have forced women seeking abortions (any terminations including VERY early ones) to have an ultrasound and in most cases that would result in a vaginal ultrasound.  Frankly, the thing being protested was more gruesome
than any word in the English language.   And I am baffled by the schools censor.  again...Sigh.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Confusion between the planes

There are wolves running through the living room, chasing after a wildebeest.  Except it is not a just a wildebeest.  No.  It is a person who has changed into a wildebeest, like a werewolf but a were-wildebeest.

The wolves howl and snap and yip and jump over the couches and divans and ottoman poufs.  The living room is long and folds out beyond normal space.  The wolves cannot catch the creature.

They jump onto the tea service in the anteroom to the cavernous great room.  They shatter the Limoges, breaking it to bits.  Elderly women in the room frown, cluck but do nothing to help, really.  I am left helping the wolves chase the were-wildebeest out of the hotel while now cleaning up the broken china.  It was that one old broad with the smeary lipstick and the ugly hat who let the damn thing in in the first place.

While chasing the creature with the hairy pack of wolves, in real time my husband comes to bed.  Snuggle up to me he whispers.  I am running and sweeping when he asks me this and am confused by the added request.  As the pack is full speed chasing the thing, they all curl up suddenly on large king-sized beds that appear in the great room.  Clair de Lune is playing somewhere lulling them off to, I suppose another dream-time.  And this were-wildebeest is now wanting to snuggle with me.

Well, there is just too big a mess to clean up here and I don't think it is very wise to snuggle up to cursed and cloven footed animals.  There is a rule about that somewhere right.

Fine.  I'll snuggle with you.  But first let me get that old bat some more tea.  I've ground up the broken china to look like sugar.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Slow Bus to Florida

I have three wives and five children.  They all hate me and have an uneasy truce between each other.  The wives look very similar to each other and I suspect that they are sisters.  I realize one day that I am a man and that I also happen to be a royal asshole.  A super douche bag.  Except I never realized this until just now.

My wives and children are leaving me.  For how long I don't know.  They are all taking a bus to Florida and have told me to straighten up my act.  Maybe they will come back.  Maybe.

I go to hug my second wife and am crying.  I love you I tell her.  I say I am sorry for all the grief.  She punches me in the balls and tells me sorry doesn't pay the fucking rent.  She pulls away from me and mutters about was a sorry piece of shit I am.  I love this woman.  I love all three of my wives- desperately.  I love them and I am an asshole.  These are the things that descend on me- the epiphanies as they are leaving.

My oldest son is solid.  He keeps his room padlocked whenever he leaves it.  Even if he is just walking into another room, he locks it behind him.  He cooks meth in there and has a large cache of guns.  I am afraid of him.  I have raised him to be this. This is all my doing.  As my son gets on the bus with his mothers and siblings, he glowers at me.  Touch my room and I kill you he says.  This I know is not an idle threat.  He will kill me one day.

They leave.  The bus pulls away and I am alone.

When I wake, I am myself again: a 41 year old woman living in Maine.  My hair is braided back and each strand hurts.  I want to shave it off.  But I won't.  The hair are antenna that pull in these other lives in other places not here.
watercolor on paper
22" x 30"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Luddite Selfie

Upturned Self
watercolor and ink on paper
15" x 22"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Progression of a Single Piece (Thus Far...)

Quivering of Leaves
Underpainting and base drawing
Quivering of Leaves
more underpainting and addition of watercolor

Quivering of Leaves
pushing the image

Quivering of Leaves
base coat of watercolor and beginning the addition of top drawing
Quivering of Leaves
further drawing and more layers of watercolor

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Off the wall

 I paint right on the wall of my studio.  I staple the paper to the wall and paint with watercolors and other aqueous media at a 90` to the floor.  Yes, gravity pulls the water down.

This leaves me with rather colorful walls.  In this current studio in the house that I have lived in since 2007, the wall has long stripes of colors pulling themselves down as far as possible to the floor.  Some make it. Some don't.  Some stop midway somewhere on the wall, caught up in the thoughts of previous paintings or else running out of water to pull down.

 Graffiti from conversations litter the walls as well.  My daughter several years ago wandered in my studio and asked my something that I had to tell her no to.  Then we drew hearts on the walls.

 I have to go through every once in a while and pull staples and nails and bits of glued on paper off the walls.  Some locations on the wall are less dense with paint in some ways.

 Some of the paint over the sheet rock is coming up.  I'll have to paint over the whole wall soon. Start fresh.  I will miss those plumb lines of paint.  They offer squared off places for the next paintings.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Works in Person (October 2013 Shows)

Pink Deer
mixed media on paper
 If you are in Maine this month, you will have a couple of chances to see my work in person.  I have a showing of works up at the Little Dog Coffee House in Brunswick Maine.  This show, called "Creatures" features about 12 paintings of mixed media paintings.  All the paintings, of course have various creatures as the subjects.  The Little Dog Coffee House is located at 87 Maine Street in Brunswick and is open between 6 am and 6 pm.

Things that Bind Us are Immaterial
mixed media on paper
 While you are in Brunswick, you should cross the street, Maine Street that is and see is The Frank Brockman Gallery and Belt Shop is open.  I have several pieces up in Frank's space including my Cat Collective Uprising series and the painting "Things that Bind Us are Immaterial."

Frank Brockman Gallery is located at 68 Maine Street on the 2nd and 3rd Floors.  His hours are catch as catch can but usually he is around on Fridays.  Also, he is one of the sweetest people around.  So there.

Ghost Cloud
mixed media interactive diorama
And finally, go down to Portland to the Meg Perry Center while it is still in its current location 644 Congress Street.  The show "The Secret City of the Absent Sane" is not to be missed.  This show is FILLED with amazing art.  I have three puppet based pieces there.

The Meg Perry Center is an amazing place.  The show up now was curated by Abbeth Russell and William Hessian of the Hidden Ladder Collective.  This group of artists is an vibrant crew who play off one another in true collaborative fashion.  The works shown together create a synergy that is somewhat surreal and dreamlike while playful, crass AND innocent.  I love these people!

I hope you stop by and see some of my work in person if you are able.  I'd love to know what you think. Drop me a line!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Love Windows...

"You be the king who digs me and I will forever be  your queen of hearts."
working prototype/ sketch of interactive puppet windows
This little prototype is fragile and still in process but it will be going down to the Meg Perry Center for the Secret City of the Absent Sane show, opening this First Friday. It is VERY crude and I want feedback and information on what works and doesn't work about it. 

I am wondering how easily it will break (or not)? What is about it that draws or repels the viewer? What more (or less) does it need?  Does the story need to be interactive?  Is it interactive enough?

If you wander into the show (and I hope you will) I'd love to know what you think. If you are not at the show and are looking at it online, I'd still like to know what works or doesn't about this little foray into puppetry.