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.