Healing via Paint

11665655_10207299354907294_8179770684902720442_nOver the last several months, I have had a really difficult time. A family member had been living with us and as can be expected of such arrangements, it made life very challenging and it ended terribly. I am working toward recovery, but it’s been a long journey so far. What has resulted is the end of a formerly close relationship with said family member, and a lot of grieving. I poured some of this into the largest painting I have ever done. It isn’t finished yet, but here it is.

It felt good to do it. I haven’t done much painting since October 2014, which, as I think about it, was when the whole scenario began. Wow. Amazing how deeply impacted you are by the presence of toxic people.

I hope that once the dust settles a bit more, I will be better able to begin again on my goals in posting at least once a month with a project. And I should clarify that I haven’t been totally creatively dormant. I took up embroidery over the winter and in accordance with my wpid-20150404_002328_lls.jpgsomewhat caustic humor, I made some fun projects. I also started playing with clay a bit and made these three likenesses of my cats, (L to R) Henry, Gilly, and EZJ (Eliza Jane). Lots of fun. Imperfect, but who cares? Not me. I have not played much with clay. I took a pottery class around 10 years ago. Made some cool bowls, which my cats eat and drink from, but I am not a wizard by any means. Anyway, I really hope I can get back to it very soon. So do my furry ones. I think they think I am irritating, always taking pictures and stuff… but they are just so cute. ❤


PS – I should add also that I have begun a rather enormous undertaking… I am compiling my written works, drawings, etc. into a sort of zine… kind of akin to wringing out a sponge. More on this later.



diego-y-frida-en-detroit-1933-8hFor my 36th birthday, my family took me to the Detroit Institute of Arts to see the Frida & Diego in Detroit exhibit. I’m not a huge fan of Diego Rivera, though I certainly do appreciate his work. Rivera Court is nothing short of mind blowing, if only looking at the scale of it, not to mention the incredible skill. But Diego simply isn’t my favorite. He isn’t Frida.

Little Frida and I are not impressed.

Little Frida and I are not impressed.

I don’t think I could ever keep it secret how much I adore Frida Kahlo. Being given the opportunity to see her work was like spending time with her. I could feel her presence in the room with me, speaking to me personally, inviting me in. The tough part was sharing her with so many other people when I really just wanted to be alone with her for a while… to feel her more intimately.

In lieu of this, I still connected with her. The presence of other humans did not detract from her beauty, or her voice… And, for a few moments, there was a special bond that I experienced with the other women there. No one spoke of it, but it was very loud, and it all came about because of one little painting.

Henry Ford Hospital

Henry Ford Hospital, Frida Kahlo

It was so interesting to watch and to participate in this… through the whole exhibit, people dodged eye contact, avoided standing too close to each other, acted as though the many others in the room did not exist. And yet, where this painting was concerned, the women couldn’t get close enough. At all times, it seemed that we packed in like sardines. It was okay to be too close, to have our shoulders touching, to lean in to the point where your face was only inches from a perfect stranger’s face. Here the closeness to others… more specifically to other women… felt necessary. Though others bustled behind us, casually glancing over our shoulders, or perhaps passing up the opportunity to look at this very small, yet incredibly powerful work — those who did look, did so in silence, and lingered there.

Frida & Diego

My own love affair with Frida began more than 10 years ago, but until this weekend my connection felt a little lacking. There was always a desire to know her better. I have read books; I have been to Mexico (though not to her home… that is a huge dream of mine that I mean to fulfill!!!); I have been in awe of her life since I became aware of it; and my family has a connection to her through Diego Rivera. A Rivera print from the 30’s or 40’s has hung in my father’s childhood home since he was a boy. The story goes that during a vacation to Mexico, my grandfather (1896-1971) encountered Rivera and struck up a conversation. The two hit it off and the painter gave him a print. Both of my grandparents are long buried, so whether or not this is true will never be known, but I choose to believe it is. I like let my imagination carry the encounter, thinking that perhaps Frida was there. That, perhaps they met and shook hands and that moment was passed through my bloodline. In this way, I can curl up with her like an old friend–one of those with whom you feel such a strong kinship that you actually miss them in a physical sense, and long for your next encounter because you know that you will experience wholeness for a time. I feel this bond with Frida. Though her body perished long ago, her spirit still moves here. She is, in the very best sense of the word, immortal. May we all pour as much of ourselves into life as she did.


Found somewhere on tumblr… please let me use it!!


PS — As I walked the Frida exhibit, one of my own paintings sold! 


It’s been a long time between posts and honestly,  I haven’t painted since November when I posted my green man. He hangs on the wall unfinished and unsold. I keep meaning to finish his eyes but I’m not sure what to do with them yet and I’m concerned about choosing incorrectly.

So instead of actually coming to a decision about it, or starting something new in the meantime, I have done nothing in the way of painting.

Also, depression. Fucking depressing winter depression! I’ve had a very tough time snapping out of this shit this year. I’ve been doing embroidery, which has been really fun for me and has helped alleviate some of the funk.

I painted tonight.  It did me a lot of good. Not finished, but here it is.



Green Man, and “Hi”

Long time, no post! It’s not that I haven’t been painting, but I certainly haven’t been painting like I ought to/would like to. I was commissioned a few months ago to take a stab at “Green Man”. It took me forever to start it, and I wasn’t entirely pleased with it once I did, so I decided to move in a different direction…

Tonight I ventured into modeling paste. It. Was. Awesome. Here is the result… So far! He isn’t quite done, but I’m so very happy with his progress. Glad to be back.



I just got home from the place where I have my work displayed and I got a message that two of my paintings had been sold!!! These two, as a matter of fact:


This means it’s time to up my game. I need to produce more work to display, and I may have gotten a commission out of this. I am so thrilled. SO very very very thrilled!

The funny thing is that I almost took the Rose down and reused the canvas. So glad I waited! This was my first sale!