A continuation of my "Moulton Ave" piece that I did last week. Not sure if it's a series yet but this is part two: "Moulton Ave II", oil paint on linen, 54" x 54", April 2021. Here we see someone under a bell jar. My idea was that when light hits glass- things, in this case the figure, get distorted. It doesn't make sense in variety of ways and is my take on mental illness- which many of the people in my neighborhood suffer from- so just as the glass distorts, mental illness distorts. The cyclops is a recurring character who has shown up in my work before on a piece called, "Pretty" that I did back in grad school. I like this piece and surprised when a friend vociferously objected to it and said it could possibly be interpreted as being racist- because there's a horse leg and the cyclops's head is brown and he thought I was making a reference to black men being used as studs- which I'm not. A good example of how art is subjective...
A new piece! "Moulton Ave", 48" x 48", acrylic and oil paint on canvas. Inspired by the homeless encampment outside my window in LA. When I pull up my blinds and look outside I see piles of refuse amongst graffiti-covered campers with colorful flags crisply flapping in the breeze. Things like broken treadmills accumulate in the dumpsters and spill out onto the street. Fireworks go off at random hours and people wander around in towels playing the harmonica and talking to friends. It's a cacophony of sound, color and chaos alight by the pinkish tones of beautiful California light. Maybe I can do a series on this theme...
Back in LA and getting used to the grind of things. I was disparaging the condition of the homeless encampment outside my window in LA. There's a whole street full of people using power tools and playing the harmonica and opening the water out onto the street etc. My friend Pete advised me to look at it all with the same eyes as I appreciated the forests I was in recently. Good advice and true. The human condition can be felt through all of our detritus and downfalls. No experience is a bad one for Me as I can always use it for content for artwork. Do I want to paint a pile of trash? Perhaps. Maybe a good exercise for me. Be well. :)
Back in LA and I was pleased this past week when two of my pieces were picked up and used for a day on a movie set in LA. I don't know which movie- but it is delightful when I can make a little coin occasionally from renting out my work! They would've wanted a third piece...but I had foolishly cut up the painting hoping somehow to improve it and then of course ended up throwing the whole thing out. That's happened to me a couple times now. Ug.
I’m back in SoCal after a four month sojourn at my spiritual home, feeling refreshed, healthier and happier. The time out from the craziness of the States was a blessing. I got caught up on sleep, learned to bake bread and experienced wild winter storms with trees chucking down sharp, heavy branches like spears from the sky. There is such tremendous and immense natural beauty there. I touched base with my friends a little, but mostly stuck close to home…suffered through power outages, slow internet and got used to the slow pace of sitting in one place. Now I’m in a holding pattern until I can secure a vaccine. I’m looking forward to being back in my studio and regrouping.It’ll be interesting to see if my watercolor/oil pastel experiments can translate to larger pieces. It’s exciting to be part of the world again. Hope you’re all well.
The first month I was here, I didn’t make any art. Instead, I delighted in being outside again and was a shutterbug- constantly clicking my phone during hikes, documenting the many marvels, large and small, of this gorgeous island. When I don’t work in the studio, I get a slightly restless feeling after a while, and so dug up some of my old art supplies. Being a product of a patriarchal society, I inherited a snobbish idea about watercolor being less serious somehow- perhaps I’d inherited a misogynistic idea about it being a “ladies” art? That was dumb- because it’s really fun and I love it! Plus, I’ve been astounded by my grad school classmate, Griselda Rosas, who has been making some absolutely epic pieces using watercolor and embroidery and has received a ton of press for her pieces, even winning the San Diego Art Prize, and getting a show at the downtown modern art museum in San Diego. (I’m so proud of her). I’ve been playing with oil pastel, watercolor, a space heater and salt and trying to figure out what they can do. And of course, Trump will provide. I’ve been working on a series about the attack on Capitol Hill. Here’s one of my latest pieces. The orange Cheeto dicks are for both genders, since the women attackers acted like dicks too. Now let's see if I can get some eyeballs on it. #attackoncapitolhill #capitolhill #dicksforTrumps #schmucksforTrump #violenceontheHill #capitolhillviolence #mobviolence
I have so enjoyed this time. Being here with my family in the forest, in the trees, walking along the beach, has been so amazing. Given that the pandemic epicenter is currently in Los Angeles, I have extended my visit here a second time. I haven’t been with my parents this long since I was a child. I love them so much and am helping out as best I can. When you live in the woods and have animals, the critters bring the outside inside, so cleaning always seems to be an issue. But- what is a bigger priority, is to go hiking on the mountain, exploring wonderfully mossy, verdant trails, rainy streams, discovering new paths and getting lost and not being worried about it. My mother introduced to one of the neighbors below us and he looked at me and said, “This is a wonderful place for healing. It’s a good place to examine your life and reevaluate things.” And I thought…how does he know about me needing to be healed? (Which of course I do). So I’ve been using this time as a precious gift- soaking in the forest bathing and thankful that I can be away from the oppressive situation in the States. And… probably an overshare, but as this blog is more like a diary than anything and I’m not exactly overrun with readers (lol), I shall indulge my one reader and indulge you in knowing that I’m slowly tapering off anti-depressants, which I’ve been on for about twenty years or so now. It’s a good thing- so far so good. Let’s see how this goes. No more pills. The world can be a sad place and I tend towards the melancholic- but let’s see if I can channel it towards a creative endeavor.