Thursday, February 28, 2008

Indian Summer

This is what I'd like: the sun pouring through my bones, lighting up my wing and dripping gold into the garden. Tip toe bones among the lacy foliage, never crushing, only kissing.
...and a dizzy swarm of gold bees cascading off the wingtip...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Fish that Loved Maya II

This is a watercolor study for the new painting. I heard on the news tonight that the police raided some of the small stores on Canal Street for knock offs. On the right, in the watercolor, is just such a place full of its wonderful, glittering ticky tack. I'm on the left, in the studio, surrounded by the progeny of my Piscean brain.

Cobysaun Loch & Company

This is an old painting (1983) of a character from a short story I wrote.

This is a portrait, from memory, of a catcher on a show I worked with. He was walking out of the tent, and into the sun, after finishing his act:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Looking Up

I went to see my friend Carla Cantrelle's play: Looking Up, yesterday afternoon. Its about trapeze, physicality, aging past your art form, finding an art form, laughing and love. Its also about New York. I took my son and we both really enjoyed it.
On the way over (its at Theater for the New City) we passed a toy shop that had wonderful stuffed animals in the window. We went in and my son bought me a rabbit for my birthday (soon, in the Pisces wet window of March). This was doubly perfect as my Chinese astrological (year) sign is the rabbit, and also because I'm in the midst of trying to make a stuffed catspider. This way I can crib off of the rabbit which is beautifully constructed. I put it in my purse with the head poking out to watch the passersby.

Here is the set of Looking Up, hastily sketched before it began:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Music at Five Myles

The other night I went out to Brooklyn to a place called Five Myles to hear Gato Loco play.
They are a group of young musicians who do a kind of free form Latin Jazz...very up, very fluid and wonderful to listen to and wonderful to draw to:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Burning Up Fish

The fish may be burning, but outside in NYC the snow was 4 inches deep at 6 AM. The headlights of dark trucks starting up on the side streets lit the descending flakes in their pale amber glow. These sections of confetti warmth floated in the glittering expanse of blued snow. I made very quiet footprints with my furry boots, thinking that a snow picnic breakfast would have been fun.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

War & Water

Soldier in the Mist....done in 1987...I gave it away to a friend who walked into the studio and said he really liked it. My Dad has forever been asking me where it is. He liked it, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fish & Chairs

I did this painting right out of art school, and sold it to a friend of my Dad's who also worked at MIT. He hung it in his office on a brilliant yellow wall. Looked great. I bought a winter coat and a pair of Frye boots with my profits, which I believe were a couple hundred dollars.
I still like it and its given me ideas...wouldn't mind doing a new variation of it.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I went to see Shirin Neshat's show at Barbara Gladstone. The two videos are very beautiful. They are also very female in a way that male work never is. There is always a place of familiarity in her work for me, even though our cultural histories are completely different. The way her eye works is always a door, a window, an invitation, a liberation.
Above is a portrait of a woman and of her funeral. She died very young. The funeral was in Spanish and a very surreal experience for me. I think that what I wanted to do with the painting is not so far from some of Neshat's intents. Its an old painting so the connection is only in my mind, now. It has to do with the deep flowering quality of female energy as well as magic realism.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Best Friends with Chaos

This is a painting of the Challenger explosion with a woman running down the beach wearing a skin lifted from a Reuben's picture (don't remember which one). The woman is taken from a photo of myself running down a beach, not naked with a fur cape, but very happy nonetheless.
I understand exactly why I did the painting--but its an odd one to view many years later. It gives you a certain moment to see it as a stranger would--just before memory makes it familiar.

Death of Rubin Suarez

Another old painting about the circus. I hadn't realized how many of those I did. This one is about a Mexican circus family that had a horse act. Rubin did a back somersault from one horse to another as they cantered around the ring. He died quite young and suddenly from some sort of brain stroke.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Night Jitney in Cebu

Now I'm deep in the archives or painting stacks or whatever. This is from 1984 and it is a portrait of an Escrima Grandmaster who lived in Cebu City. In the early 80's I traveled there and studied with him for a month. His name was Momoy Canete. Momoy was a nickname. In the Philippines people have wonderful unlikely nicknames. The little boy holding his arm was one of the neighborhood kids who always hung around watching us practice. Next to him is the woman who owned the house where we stayed. Next to her is the mythological Blind Princess who was suppose to have been a master of stick fighting even though blind. Next to her is a nice looking, shirtless guy to round out the group.
All are riding the jitney at night which is pretty much as it was.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Secret Act

I'm off on another tangent via old paintings. This one combines both the circus and the ocean--allowing two of my obsessions to hold hands: the magic of transparent, moving water and aerial work.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Finding Things

Today the rain pours down on top of the snow and sleet. Cars are crashing, sliding and falling off of parking garages (true--it was on the news). Someone has meat cleavered a shrink to death. A garbage truck has jumped the curb and run down two tourists.
Meanwhile I've been working on the rather dicey job of constructing the pattern to make a catspider in cloth. Not sex & death, but very interesting anyways.
This painting is called: Finding Death. Its my Dali rip-off, with me in circus gear holding our double trapeze.

I'm glad to say that today I found odd triangular shapes were necessary to get the flat shapes to conform to a cat's three dimensional head. I found that my sewing machine was happy to sew and perched jauntily on the edge of my green table.
All is well.

Dream of Truth

Sueno de la Verdad......painted after the dream and haunting me ever since. In the dense cascade of my dreamworld this one has always kept its structure (plot and aesthetic), never dimming in the overlay of images that came after. That creature has stood on its many, varied legs waiting for 30 years for me to get it right.
I'm still working on it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Indigo's painting

This is an old painting that left for Indiana many decades ago. My best friend, Indigo, bought it from me and then packed it up and took it westward. It lives in her living room with many other paintings and images, a fair number of cats and a jungle of plants. Seems just about right.
I called it: Dracula's Bicycle

Monday, February 11, 2008

Plot Structure

Sometimes I think that plot structure is the sole purpose of art. It has its personalities, ideas, philosophies and aesthetics, but the formation of plot is paramount. I don't mean like a mystery novel. More of an invisible graph of purpose to gently lay down on the chaotic fluidity of life. It lends a beauty to the undescribed, which is probably beautiful anyways, but humans love to be involved.
...a focus that brings the eyes and mind to a place of rest and delight

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rich flavors

This evening I went with my son and his grandparents to Bouley--a French restaurant in Tribeca. They serve elaborate, delicately flavored foods with innumerable in between clean-your-palate inventions. For desert we had chocolate souffle with vanilla, chocolate and maple ice cream. On the way out they handed us take home bags with lemon tea cakes, for breakfast they suggested.
The collage of flavors, with their balance of sweet and savory was a delight. The room had curved red painted ceilings with velvet couches. Individual lights and a basket of multi-colored, tightly furled roses were at each table.

The Wolff Museum

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Snow & greys

I'm upstate where its snowing. The flakes are tiny, but dense and continuous. The trees are grey with the faded amber of old leaves embroidered into the ground. A grey bird was on the branch of the grey tree outside the window. The sky's bright overcast face is oppressive and quiet. The tree right outside the window has a greenish watery quality. It stands completely fixed in the current of snow, holding its breath until spring.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Studio Window

From the interior of a studio in the Catskills looking out at the ferns that grew under the hemlocks there...
I love studio windows, implying all that studios contain and the vistas outside: beautiful and mysterious, their boundaries unseen and possibly nonexistent.
...a world of looking and making
love with a hammer, love with a brush
a loving eye

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Time Loop

I'm reading Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke. Its a fantastic, chaotic, brain-razed book about the Viet Nam war. A few days ago I watched Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn.....a movie about the same subject from a very different point of view.
Meanwhile my son is studying the 60's in school.
I found these images of my own floating in the same universe but created in a very different time zone.......

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Alma del Corazon

...from 1988. I don't know if this is where my fascination with green began or it simply surfaced here. While awaiting the wood for the next painting to be constructed I fall through imagery like a pinball, buzzed by this and that. here we fall into heart, literally into the jungle green of it and into the symbology of its geography, its waterfalls and central concept of love. The crucifix image was inspired by an old sculpture from the Cloisters. I like its embryonic state, shorn of limbs and head, personality erased by time, leaving only the open, innocent breast.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Painted Instructions

The simplest of words. The single syllable directive affixed to the fluid. Every morning climbing out of bed to meet this event face to face, foot to fathom, wing to wind, and arm to Atlantic.
I think I'll go make another painting...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

On the Wall...

Its amazing what you can do with some wire and push pins...
ha ha ha
artist is gleeful