Sunday, August 27, 2006

Death Of the Muse

Is art about feeling really good or really feeling? Some people find this piece disturbing. Mai-Liis wrote:
“Oh, my God! You have painted the horror of LBD! I can barely look at it. Don't show it to Wil because he will know....some part of him will know.“
It’s not really about LBD. It’s about my mother, my constant muse, in her last few days.
What about Mai-Liis comment that she can barely look at it? This has been an issue in my artwork over the years anyway: How to express the negative. I have made so many drawings that I have had to put away and hide. Will others mock or reject the work? What do I care? But Do I care? Is art about hiding or showing? Is the best art where you are the most vulnerable to attack? Inside (ourselves) vs. Outside (family, parents, the duties of life): Not sure I really know the difference.

Friday, August 25, 2006

My Day Out

I finally had my day out in NYC. I went to the Met and focused on the medieval stuff. Here's an ivory (sorry elephants) of people being tortured while the torturers high five each other. Enjoy!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monkey War

This is an image inspired by Goya's painting, "The Third of May" at the Prado.
My monkeys inspire me and I have great plans for them, as soon as I can dig them out of the far corner of the closet where they have been sitting since we moved.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mama's Tenacity

I've been thinking a lot about Jon's post, 'Ghost Story', the 8/10/07 blog on
Was that really our mother, trying to communicate with Jon? And why Jon? Is he her 'favorite' or is something else going on?
Then I remembered: Mama, in her usual tenacious way, was going on and on about Jon throwing out the washing had 'something' in it....he didn't check....he threw out something valuable, all was lost, etc, etc.
So, the way I see it, she is still going on and on about it, throwing Jon's furniture around, telling him he has to look INSIDE of stuff before he throws it out.
Along the same lines, after Mama died in April, my phone started going dead. Yeah, every few weeks it would just....DIE. What is she trying to tell me? Maybe she still want to talk. I know, amazingy, I do miss talking to her. It's amazing to me cause I thought it was such a pain in the neck at the time. Now the daily phone call, unmade, unspoken, is like a big hole in my days.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Penis Man

By popular demand, I have included a copy of the Penis man mentioned in the previous post. This was about 30 feet in the air, but someone, over the centuries, had managed to knock his poor legs off. But the important parts are still there.
I leave it to your vivid imagination to figure out WHY. Why a man with an enormous penis would be sculpted on the outside of a church. And whether he had any designs on the open mouth lion next to him.
Perhaps that is the moral: the foolish man is thinking about putting his organ into the mouth of the lion.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

La Virgin de la Pena

This was the vestibule of a church in Sepulveda, a small hill town near Segovia. There was an incredible richness of detail both inside and outside the church. Wil and I visited it in the late afternoon. It was hard on Wil, being in Sepulveda. The whole town is on the side of a mountain. I remember that I put him thru a lot to get there. And then the climbing up and down the streets, many with stairs, every day. He certainly doesn't remember that anymore. But I do.
My fascination with the images and scultures on the church is related to all that. It isn't all pretty angels and cherubs. It's torment and struggle. A knight fighting a demon beast, dragons and deformed creatures writhing and eating each other. All displayed in sculptures encrusting the walls of the church which is in a sunny plaza where old abuelos watch the children play. Go around to the back of the church and you will see the rarest of images: a man with a penis as large as he is. It's high up and you might miss it. Bring your binoculars!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Mouth

This column is from Puente de la Reina, on the Camino in northern Spain. It was a stopping point for me on my 9 day journey from St. Jean to Los Arcos, where my feet gave out.
The Mouth was just one of the many tormented souls, forever preserved on the outside of one of the town's churches. I spent an hour photographing and drawing it. Then I went back to my hotel room and called Wil. I told him about my feet and he, in turn, called a podiatrist he knew. Then he called me back to give me blister piercing directions. That was true love. Imelda

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Small Column

This is a small piece, hence the unimaginative name, that I am submitting for an auction. It's BWAC's Fall Pier Show in Brooklyn. The column shows figures from a church in Galicia, Spain. They are being industrious. Perhaps gathering the wine harvest in the bucket they are carrying. In the background are the misty hills of Galicia. My favorite place on earth.
Not that I've been many places on earth. I have my own theory of travel. I could go to the same place a hundred times and still feel like I need to go back. There's always something I missed or heard about or didn't get to. Or maybe, if you just stand in a different corner of the same plaza, you will see everything in a new way.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Homage to De Chirico

This is a drawing I did a few years ago. I was working on a psych ward at a large municipal hospital. I had gotten myself promoted to acting director of my department: a soul killing job involving being mean to underlings and obsequious grovelings to overlings. I also had to attend every day, hours of meetings where other directors dozed or stared angrily at each other. But no one really cared about the topic at hand, whatever that was. I took to doodling. Some of my finest drawings came out of those meetings. This is one.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A bad omen?

Another hot day in Brooklyn. We moved to this neighborhood 3 years ago. I should be used to it by now, right? Our other apartment had room to spare. And in one of those spare rooms was my art studio. I haven't gotten over resenting having to give that up. This apartment is plenty big but laid out all wrong. There's just one huge living room, a kitchen and a bedroom. My husband sleeps in the living room now and it's full of all varietes of equipment for him: the 3 wheelchairs, the commode that is useless now, the exercise equipement, the walker. STUFF. No room for an art studio. I paint in a corner of the bedroom. And there isn't one place around here to buy decent vegetables nor a pharmacy. UGH.
But me, ever the Pollyanna, try to see the bright side. We are across from the lake with all the geese flying to and fro: To in the morning and then back, fro in the afternoon. And the gardens on our street are lovely. Last year I actually saw a preying mantis, right there on the sidewalk. I bent to pick it up, to save it's little life so it wouldn't get squashed by the next pedestrian. The creature thanked me by biting my finger. Still, that day was one of the hightlights of life in our new neighborhood. I think of it every time I walk down the street. I wonder if I'll ever see another preying mantis.
Today was no different, except much hotter. So hot there were dehydrated earthworms scattered all over the pavement. I was feeling sick and tired of the area once more and made this zany vow: If I ever see that preying mantis dead, I'll know it's time to pack my bags and get out of here.
No sooner did I think the thought then there, all curled like a fallen leaf, I saw my hand-biting friend. I swooped him, no her, up and brought her home to show you. It's an omen, really it is!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Why is the centaur shooting an arrow at the mermaid? This setting is Galicia, in Northwestern Spain. Home of my father, my cousins, the familial home. I had hoped to teach myself Gallego, the language spoken there. Which is pretty ridiculous; I've been struggling to learn Spanish for 20 years. Still, I managed to spook my relatives by understanding some of what they said. "Be careful", they would say to the neighbors, right in front of me, "She understands Gallego". I wonder what they were saying before they thought I understood.
But my trips to Spain were abruptly halted when Wil developed Lewy Body Dementia. I want to drill that into everyone's head...maybe literally. Those damn lewies destroyed his life and mine. And forget about the happy dementias, like Alzheimer's, where the person forgets everything. No, he remembers a lot. But how it all fits on the streets in his world I have no idea. It's not exactly a nightmare. More like an amusement park. Horrors set in stone. Retribution for what sins?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

San Joan

It's 100 degrees and something here in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, at the Antartic, it's 180 degrees below zero. Do I have that right?
The painting, San Joan, is, of course, from Spain and, of course, Romanesque. I've done so many paintings on this theme: the archway, the bridge, the mountains beyond. But no matter how many I do, I'm stuck on the inside looking out. Well, that's a whole theme which it's way too hot to write about today. Yes, of course, I'm destroying the enviorment by having my A/C on but my brain is out on the street, frying. Or is that dying?
Remember when you were a kid (oh, YOU were never that kid) and you really wanted to see if an egg would fry on the sidewalk? But where to get an egg from? Your mother was not about to hand over an egg for such an experiment. You just sat there, on the front stoop, your neck dirty with those little balls of wet dirt that formed in the crease, your braids, two hot ropes encasing your shoulders. Too hot to move, too hot to play, too hot to think. Until Uncle Miley came home and treated the kids to 'drumstick' ice cream cones from the place around the corner. That was New Orleans, the summer I was 7.