Fireside Women Warriors

Fireside Women Warriors

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Chaos, was the first picture I painted when I started this series of work for my show this March.  The interesting element in this painting is that the reaction of the viewer is either love or hate.  There are quite a few people that have viewed this painting that are very facinated by it.  The inspiration for the work was an article I read in Vanity Fair magazine about Peter Max, the pop artist.  His work is very colorful using many primary and secondary colors.  It was the first that I did in mixed media for this project.

I had this canvas at the cabin and started the painting with the sailboat image.  I painted in a backround and used tissue paper in the work.  It sat on my easel for about 4 months.  When I returned I looked at the work and it was really boring.  It had the holy card of "Our Lady of Guadalupe and was to be a vision looking out a window.  However, I started with the colors and couldn't stop myself.  I like abstract expression and the feel of the pure color in this work.  It has layers built up with paint and papers. 

During my show in the Gallery, I put the painting in a prominent spot.  Walking up the stairs, it was an image that attracted people to engage themselves in the work.  Watching people looking at this painting was really interesting.  With this work the emotion was either love or hate.

Now that my work is home, this one I am hanging in my hallway.  

Yesterday was life drawing open studio at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.  I sometimes refer to it as a "class" but it isn't.  Life drawing is a group of artists that get together to draw a live nude model.  In this case, Jessica, one of my favorite models.  She is a beautiful woman and one that I have a connection with.  This painting was a 25 minute work.  Some of the other stuff in the session was great.  We work for 3 hours with a break.  There is great music and the studio manager, Dona, a treasure.  So, this is "hot off the press."

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Lady of the Flowers

This painting is in the Gallery at Marina Square as part of my ongoing exhibit.  Tomorrow I will be taking down my show.  It was really an interesting experience having this show.  I am very grateful to everyone that came to see my work. 

The Lady of the Flowers started with a different story.  But one day while working in the Gallery, a man was looking at the work and I struck up a conversation with him explaining the stories of some of the paintings.  I told him my story of this lady.  He told me his which is the one I now will relate to you as it is much better than mine.

Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States,United Kingdon, Canada and Germany during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil "morale booster" — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens become a part of daily life on the home front. 

This lady planted the veggie, fruit and herbs as people did during the war.  Her garden was wonderful and she worked in the garden every day she could.  Her garden was so sucessful that she was able to share her food with others that herself.  She considered herself lucky to have land to plant a garden.  She even planted her front yard rather than grow grass. 

After the war, she planted flowers and when they bloomed, she celebrated her own victory.

This painting was a vision of a woman that I wanted to show in her garden with her dress blossoming into flowers.  She is one of the models from my life drawing sessions.  I love her happy expression and this painting was done in a couple of days, the weather was sunny and nice when I painted it.  It is an 12x9" painting. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Coyote Woman of the Praire

She looks out at the Prairie seeing a lone buffalo in the distance.  Stopping at an oasis, she takes a sip of water.  Her faithful companion is coyote.  This woman has led a hard life.  She is forever influenced by the elements.  The weather changes with each season and she must adapt.  She walks in the tall prairie grass.  The wind brings sweet breezes.  Forever she can see, she is part of the big sky.  The music of the prairie is the birdsong, the call of the animals and the breeze itself.  Her shelter, she builds where ever she decides to spend several days.  She is a nomadic woman.  There is a scar across her face, she considers it a part of her beauty.  She has a clear voice and loves to sing.  There are others like her but they are all solitary creatures. 

Coyote has been called the trickster and he is both the great one and the foolish one.  Coyote does not consciously  try to trick us, but because Coyote and two-legged are very much alike, he mirrors our own human capacity for displaying cleverness and stupidity, sometimes both at once.  Just like Coyote, we can work with others to get what we want in life or we can dive into the lake to catch a reflection.  We can send troubles away or invite them carelessly.  If Coyote has wandered into your life, you are being asked to look at something you have been avoiding.  Coyote is the mirror for the lessons we need to learn in order to walk a good, sacred road.  Coyote will hold up the mirror relentlessly until we finally get the picture.  Call on Coyote as an ally for negotiating a difficult situation.  Or thank him for coming and showing you a trap that you are caught in, or a way you are fooling yourself.  Coyote is an especially powerful teacher with regard to relationships, because it is when we are in a relationship that we can fool ourselves the most.  Coyote is not out there to get us but to teach us, whether we want to learn or not.

Well, considering events of today, it is interesting that I would choose this picture and story to post.

Gallery closed for Friday's Exhibition

So, this morning our daughter sent her Dad a text to tell her about the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.  In Morro Bay, Embarcadero Street has been closed and evacuated due to high waves.  It seems there has been some damage and 6 foot waves.  So, what can I say?  My sister says it is an Act of God.  My husband wants to know what we are going to do with all the food.  The Featured Artist and Guest Artist provide food for the show.  Me, well, I have worked for over 6 months on this show with 25 paintings.  These paintings will be at the Gallery and may be seen by visiting the Gallery this month.  However, this will not stop me with my stories about the work...

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Lady of Windsong

She stands in a field of red poppies.  There is a warm breeze that blows along the praire.  Some have suggested that she is in Tuscany Italy but in fact she is in Montana.  It is late summer and she walks along a path and stops to enjoy the sweet smell of the plains.  She thinks of places she has been and hears the music on the wind.  There is the musical birdsong of meadowlarks and in distant, their singing echos in the air.  It is this sound that always makes her think of her home, the place she was born.  She remembers that clean fresh air from her childhood that is still in this place.  It fills her soul with happiness.  Wherever she is in the world, there are places that compare to her home.  But, there is that special feeling that she feels when she enters Montana that makes her heart sing.  It is this special longing that brings her back from time to time. 

This painting was actually painted in Montana.  There were suggestions from my family as I worked.  It was fun to layer the papers and paint that contribute to the work.  The poppies are torn pieces of paper.  This was another fun painting to do that has many layers to create depth. 

I worked in the Gallery on Wednesday and the people that looked at the exhibit saw their own story in the work.  I may add one gentleman's story to one of the paintings for fun.  I like the viewer to invent their own story.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Our Lady of the Comet

It is the tropics at sunset.  She turns to look at the sky and sees the comet. There are also stars and it is a moonless night.  There is music in the air.  She longs to travel to distant places and wonders about the other people and their thoughts as they watch the comet.  There is a floral fragrance to the evening.  Her eyes look into the distance and she sees the tropical shoreline.  The night is so calm, the bee travels back to it's home.  Her friends are laughing and enjoying the comet as they watch behind her. We are also viewing with them. It is warm and a soft breeze starts to move the air.  As the stars fill the sky, she and her friends decide to walk to a restaurant to have dinner and enjoy their meal outside.  Everywhere people are talking about the comet.  Here in this part of the world, they experience sunsets quickly and the day is divided half by night time and half by day.  The birds are now gone and the only sounds are the sea, the music and conversation. 

She is a wonderful musican and writes music.  He voice is clear and when she sings people are in awe.  She is filled with happiness and wonder.  She will write a song about this day.

This was one of the first paintings that started with the image sketched and then painted on the sheet music.  The colors are metallic and shimmer in different lights.  They are layered on the canvas to create depth.  The flowers and the bee are watercolor.  I like the back of the female nude and it is one of my favorite things to paint.  It seems there is always a mystery with a person painted this way. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Lovers Story

They see each other from across the room in a cafe in Taromina, Sicily.  She is young he older.  He realizes that he can only talk to her but not have a relationship with her.  Although the women are no longer chaperoned, it is still old fashioned in this part of Italy.  The years pass by and she turns 21.  He sees her again with her friends.  They start to date and then get engaged.  He has waited a long time for her and his heart still yearns for her.  She is happy and fun.  He is charming and very much a gentleman.  He sends her flowers, love letters and small gifts.  She finds that she has loved him from the moment she saw him.  They marry and she has saved every scrap of paper and gift he has given her.  Always, they enjoy the sunset together and walk  the passegeggiata in the evening.

This painting started with the dark papers and the blue paint.  You can see Mount Etna in the distance next to the town.  It is both painterly and linear.  It is my impression of my favorite town in Sicily, Taromina.  The town has no cars.  You drive to a large parking lot and walk to your hotel.  The view is to the south.  Taromina lies on the slopes of Monte Tauro and overlooks the sea.  It is a treasure and the site of remnants of its Greek and Roman past.  It is very romantic.  It is my favorite town in Sicily.  I chose to keep the colors in the painting and draw the town rather than paint it.  For almost a month, I left the spot where the Lovers are blank.  Then one evening, I picked up a watercolor pencil and added the Lovers.  She has several trees in her hair. I think it is time to go back to Taromina.