Monday, June 30, 2008


This is a painting you won't see on my website (or anywhere else for that matter) Again, it is an older piece, dated 1991, and the creation of the image was influenced by a combination of personal circumstance and visionary imagery. The background is Northwestern Pennsylvania, where I grew up. It is a self-portrait of sorts, and was inspired by several things, including a painting by Frida Kahlo. The overall feeling of the piece is (to me) "triumph over adversity". The little harlequin image doing a handstand seems to be my inner playful being. I am not sure about the fox......but he has appeared in another painting more recently. Beading circles the border, which is filled with morning glories. This painting remains in my personal collection.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


This is not a great photo of this painting (too bad!) but it also was an older piece, and I no longer have it. The inspiration for this image was the pose of the figure with the ram. Again, I saw it in a magazine---I believe it was a picture of a child holding a goat--and there was something about it that grabbed me. The ram is my zodiac sign (Aries) and the mountains in the background look like parts of California to me. The other parts of the image--the stream running through, the lily, and the white dove in the sky were all intuitive choices. The border pattern echoes the water theme and the eggs in the corners were also an intuitive selection. The idea for the woman's clothing appeared to me during a meditative visualization. The title for the painting came to me as well. A long time after I had finished this piece, I was surprised to read that the rhubrum lily I had included, as well as the egg images, both referred to rebirth.

This painting is 40" x 40" and acrylic on canvas with beading on her clothing and around the border.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The Fish Goddess is one of the early paintings from this body of work that I began in the late 1980's. It was a pivotal piece for me, and because of its importance to me (which I'm not sure I could verbalize even now), I have not sold this original painting, even though many people have expressed interest in it. I was just beginning to allow myself to be aware and to get psychically hooked into the stream of images that wanted to come through. (Sounds wierd, I know, but that's the way it feels. Seems like it really has nothing or very little to do with me as an individual---I just hold the paintbrush & try to get out of the way)
The original inspiration was a photograph that I saw in a National Geographic magazine & it was that HAT---I wanted to paint that hat! But also it was the combination of this woman in the hat, who was holding a fish on a plate.....but the photograph was actually a crowd scene during a religious festival. So I pulled her out of the crowd, changed her around, made her into a goddess (with a changing iridescent halo) and set her down in San Francisco, with the Bay behind her & the fog coming in. Beading was added around the border and iridescent beads scattered across her dress. She has an aura of mystery and all-knowing, and still is a favorite to people who visit my studio.
Image: "Fish Goddess" acrylic on canvas with mixed media


The Foto Forum End-of-Year party at SFMOMA's Koret Visitor Education Center this year honored renowned photographer Pirkle Jones with a private screening of the soon to be released documentary of his work created by SF filmmaker Jane Reed. It was a lovely event and some problems with the projection system didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the standing room only crowd. A lovely food & wine reception was enjoyed by the attendees. A question and answer session followed the screening, with Pirkle and Jane sharing their thoughts about the collaboration of this beautiful film. Jane said she still had some sections to add to the film and was looking forward to a formal release at the end of 2008.
The film was beautifully put together and moves seamlessly from one theme to another, aided by an excellent choice of musical background. This is no mean feat, because Pirkle's ouevre ranges from commercial projects, such as the construction of an oil refinery, to the documentation of the Black Panther Party's emergence during the late 1960's and the celebration of the artistic community that flourished on the houseboats of "Gate 5" in Sausalito.
I was extremely pleased to be part of this celebration for Pirkle, who is a friend and inspiration to me.

Image: photograph of Dorothea Lange by Pirkle Jones, from "Berryessa Valley-The Last Year"

Thursday, June 19, 2008


People are always asking me about my work: "Are they stories?". Well............... they are NOT illustrations for classic stories or myths, which is what most people are referring to (I think) when they are asking that question. However, there are stories connected to the images, and how they came about or how they appeared to me, so I am going to start telling those stories in a series of posts, which will be quite a large project and may turn into something else before it's through. Who knows? At any rate, it's something that I feel like doing at this point & I hope it will be enjoyable for those of you who frequent my blog.

I am going to start by telling MY STORY---of my art life & how I ended up painting these visions. Being one of those kids who got into trouble for drawing on the walls (among other things!) with any scrap of paper in the house was fair game, whether it had another purpose or not. (In trouble again) Having been considered one of "the artists" in my small high school class made for a difficult time when I got to art school, because of the extremely critical atmosphere. Fashion design was the initial goal, but after becoming disillusioned with the reality of that world I dropped out of art school. Next I started doing batik for fun, which developed into soft sculpture, then weaving and textile design (back to art school!). When textiles became frustrating, I turned to ceramics, sculpture and performance art. My senior show at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia was an installation of mixed media and papier mache animals along with pre recorded audio and a live performance of music and sound by my friend Duke.

I migrated to the Bay area in the early eighties and was doing fun papier mache animals and furniture. But completing a piece took so long---one chair in particular took a year to create!---and I wanted to be able to create more of my ideas. I thought-"What is it that I love to do the best?" It was painting the pieces. So it was back to painting again & I realized I had been making a big circle around a painting block that had begun in that initial year of art school.

Once involved in painting again, ideas came up which appeared in my mind as visual images, or parts of images. I wanted to be able to tap into that as a personal resource, and not just hope that the flow of ideas would continue to come. My chiropractor Lana showed me a flyer about Tamara Diaghilev, who was a psychic healer offering classes in personal transformation at that time in SF.

The introduction to Tamara created a relationship and a learning experience that has continued to this day and has allowed me to tap into a very deep well of imagery that is archetypal and cellular and that people respond to in surprising ways. It is quite the exciting journey!

So that's my story & I'm stickin' to it .
The painting shown above, titled "Llama Mama" is acrylic on canvas with beading and mirror work. It is in the collection of Tamara Diaghilev and is a portrait of myself which celebrated my move to West Marin around 1993.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I got an email a few days ago from writer Julia Doughty, telling me that my painting "Golden Hills" (shown above) will be used as the cover art for the October issue of ENSEMBLE JOURINE, a wonderful online magazine featuring "Hybrid Writing by Women". The work presented there is exceptional, and I am honored to be included in their publication. New issues appear in March, May, July and October. Check it out!

Sunday, June 8, 2008


This was Western Weekend in Point Reyes, and today was the parade. The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm and just a little bit of wind, unlike the gales we have had recently. So it was quite nice. The Western Weekend parade is about the rowdiest thing that happens here & it's a lot of fun. There were some good exhibits and lots of horses. These are a few shots of some of my favorites.


I just finished this painting, so I thought I'd try giving you a look at it as I see it on the worktable. It's a full sheet (Arches 140 lb. cold press) done using gouache and watercolor. In the border I also used gold leaf and ribbon. I don't stretch my paper--I like to have it free to move around easily. I also like the rippled aspect acquired during the painting process. It will be flattened somewhat before it gets framed. And it hasn't been officially photographed yet. Nor has it been titled yet. It was inspired by the Olema marsh.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008


It's been one of those days of doing a little of this and that--I fixed my director's chair which I use at shows--the footrest broke last weekend while I was at the Oakland Farmer's market. I had to go to the bank & redeposit a check that didn't clear. And I went and voted--not much action at the polls. I cleaned up the studio a little---I just bought and put together a new bookcase, so I could clear out some more boxes and try to get organized here! So I got rid of the packing stuff. I worked on 2 paintings and I worked in my "garden" (pictured above) which is actually a porch overlooking the gas pumps of the gas station where my studio is located. So I have things in pots and some plants in hanging pots & amazingly enough, they are all really doing well. (Guess they like the gas fumes!) I had bought a couple of new plants, so I put those in the larger pots, and did some trimming and watering & a little reorganizing out there as well. I have a hose hanger I want to put up--decided where it is to go (but didn't get that part done). All in all, a fairly satisfying day as far as accomplishments go.

Weather today in Point Reyes: Socked in drippy fog this morning, but not too cold. The sun came out about 11 AM and it was quite nice until the wind came up. Now(5:30 PM) it is very windy, there is still a bit of sun, but the fog is looming on the horizon.
Images: Top--Looking down the porch "garden"-my front door is on the left.
Middle-Bench with variegated geraniums & primroses
Bottom-Pot with Arctic Summer plant (I love that name!) surrounded by Petunias