If there is pain in my art then the act of making the artwork is proof of pain overcome. The teenage daughter of the tenant above our apartment was invited into my art studio to see a finished painting. She brought with her a painting of her own to share. Her painting was a little dark. But she couldn’t help being cute. She was an infant artist with the shiny hope for the future that all young artists have. She really liked my painting. With enthusiasm she said, “I want to paint just like you!” And I replied, clasping her hands in my own, “Oh no! If you want to paint like me then you will have to live a life like me. And you do not want to have my life. Most days I do not leave the house. It is a big deal if one morning I do art, and then walk into town to have a bowl of soup. You should have much more out of life than a bowl of soup.” I know that my neighbor’s daughter will make art different from my own because she is mentally free from the constraints and limitations that my mental illness forces upon me. Our styles must be different because we are worlds apart. But in no way is my life a life of horror. To get a gist of how I live, try to imagine the dedicated monk in his stone dorm room. Maybe he has one window above his head that he cannot see out of. Maybe he kneels on a stone floor at the foot of his bed for hours while he says prayers. Perhaps he has taken a vow of silence. And perhaps like me, the one time in his day that he can savor freedom and companionship is over a bowl of soup. Like the monk I live a life stripped down and denuded. And when you think about the monk, think about the strength of his inner vision. Does he roam free across vast interior landscapes with the Lord as his companion? He may have such mental fecundity that he wants no other life than his own. When we mentally restrict ourselves in some ways, it often enables other forms of mental release. I like my art and I like my life.
"Love is Complicated", oil pastel on paper, 22" x 30", 2014
"Tea Time", oil on canvas, 22" x 28", 2013
"Life Flower", oil pastel on paper, 10" x 8", 2015
Both my husband and I have mothers who were virgins at their wedding. This painting is about the wedding of a virgin bride. However the groom is not a virgin. The groom is smirking because he knows what is going to happen on the wedding night. If you follow the trail of the wedding bouquet, follow all the flowers and impossible objects across the painting, the trail ends with a baby boy. The long passage of the wedding bouquet is a symbol for the time lapse of nine months. Nine months after the deflowering of the virgin a baby boy is born.
"Superpowers are Coming", oil pastel on paper, 22" x 30", 2014
"Naked Man and Vagina Plant", oil pastel on paper, 8" x 10", 4" round, 2015
"Adam, Eve and the Devil", oil on canvas, 28" x 22", 2013
"The Source", oil pastel on paper, 30" x 22", 2014
The ouroboros is fascinating. Originally the ouroboros is a Greek symbol of a serpent swallowing its tail. Like any symbol the meaning is hard to pin down with words. For me I think it is a symbol of eternity or a symbol of sublime power. If I could have one symbol for the genesis of my artistic creativity it would be an ouroboros. Here the ouroboros is recast in art as a male swallowing his own penis. By re-imagining it in this way it is shockingly primordial.
"End of Life", oil pastel on paper, 30" x 22", 2014
"Shot to the Head", oil on canvas, 28" x 22", 2012
"The Virgin's Fate", oil on canvas, 32" x 40", 2013
I was thinking about the story of the three Greek Fates and their string when I made this drawing. The string was the lifeline of a human being. The three Fates measured a life out, and then without pity, they cut it. The Greek Fates gave each human being a beginning and an end. I only have so much time on this earth. I do not believe my time of death will arbitrary or a thing of chance. Death is not random because birth is not random. The Universe has rules and plans and paths for us to travel. This artwork is about the merciless character of having a foreordained life.
This drawing is a symbol for war. It was created when Russia entered the Ukraine and seized control of Crimea. I like reading news on the BBC website but often what I read troubles me greatly. Sometimes I can’t look away from the horror in the world. Is there anything worse than the slaughter of a unicorn?
"Sin", oil pastel on paper, 10" x 8", 2015
"Knock on the Head", oil pastel on paper, 10" x 8", 2015
How can I express through art what sex with my husband means to me? There is a threat. There is some fear. But just to be certain that you understand my husband is not a bad guy, I put in his belly a little baby with a halo. My husband is pregnant with a saint.
"Innocence Under Attack", oil pastel on paper, 22" x 30", 2014
One of the most important details in “Adam, Eve, and the Devil” is the female devil. She is a redhead wearing Dior’s greatest contribution to fashion, the 1947 New Look. The devil is sophisticated and cultured and she knows enough to be wearing an elegant outfit while Adam and Eve are ignorable rubes walking around Eden naked. While planning this painting I realized that that there was enough space between the radiating lines where I could convey a message in script. Howard Finster is an example of an outsider artist who combines biblical stories with verse. Finster likes to write commentary on the sins of society. But it seemed more interesting to me to write the thoughts of the two angels that are peeking out of hollows in the trunk of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And while I was wondering what the angels would say it occurred to me that they wouldn’t be talking in English. They would speak an angel’s language. Does the angel’s language has an alphabet all of its own? Suddenly, the English alphabet was boring. It was more thrilling to make up new symbols of an angel’s language. So the blue symbols in the radiating pink lines surrounding the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, these are angel song.