A Bed of Roses

A Bed of Roses

Acrylic on acrylic 35x38

A Bucket of Crows

A Bucket of Crows

Acrylic on acrylic 40x36

An Act of Imagination

An Act of Imagination

Acrylic on acrylic 23x20

Behind the Veil of Tears

Behind the Veil of Tears

Acrylic on acrylic 23x20

Casting Spells

Casting Spells

Acrylic on acrylic 20 x 30

Garden Guardian

Garden Guardian

Acrylic on acrylic 18x20

Morning Catch

Morning Catch

Acrylic on acrylic 27x30

Old Cat New Moon

Old Cat New Moon

Acrylic on acrylic 27x30

Skating with the Pepper

Skating with the Pepper

Setacrylic on acrylic 22x28

Still Life with Toddler

Still Life with Toddler

Acrylic on acrylic 41x36

The Pepper Planters

The Pepper Planters

Acrylic on acrylic 27x30

Port and Starboard

Port and Starboard

32 x 48

Octopus’ Garden

Octopus’ Garden

Reverse acrylic on acrylic 30 x 32

A Girl's First Axe

A Girl's First Axe

When I was in Waitsburg last winter visiting friends and having my guitar refurbished, I ran across an article in a Walla Walla periodical about a woman named Jo Kay, now in her late eighties and still playing the mandolin in local bands. There was a photo of her as a 13 year old, taken around 1942, standing in a Minnesota field and proudly displaying the Mandolin she had worked and saved for during the previous year. A separate photo showed a lonely log cabin in which Jo had been born and raised.

As a young girl, I often found company and solace from my guitar, and also from the things I could make and do when my hands and heart came together for the sake of music or art or craft. I could certainly relate to Jo Kay and her mandolin.

This is a tribute to what a girl can do with her hands and her heart.

Angel Wing Begonia with Stag Horn Fern

Angel Wing Begonia with Stag Horn Fern

Reverse acrylic on acrylic 25” x 20”

Tim and the Elevator Governor

Tim and the Elevator Governor

Reverse Acrylic on acrylic 36” x 35”

Tim is a friend of ours, whom Bruce knew growing up in Southern California. He helped build our house and was a member of the crew for 5 or 6 years. He is a collector (possibly hoarder) of interesting objects too. Here he is seated on the stairs to his cellar — which I had to clean up a little for the sake of composition— fondling his elevator governor. In the case of this painting, I’m using the Governor as a metaphor of hope for our culture and democracy….

"Governors activate safety systems in case the elevator car moves too quickly, usually in regards to a rapid descent. This type of system is constructed around a governor sheave with a weighted one at the shaft’s bottom. The rope connects to the car, which moves up or down. When the car gains speed, the governor does too. However, if the speed becomes too great, centrifugal force pushes the flyweights outward against the spring. The ends of the flyweights will then hook onto the ratchets to stop the governor thanks to a movable actuator arm that eventually tells the brakes what to do.”

Let's Away to Oyster Island

Let's Away to Oyster Island

Reverse Acrylic on Acrylic 47” x 36”

This is a wonderful family friend named George Bruen, who lives in Rosses Point, Sligo, Ireland, and owns a part of Oyster Island, one of the two Islands in Sligo Bay (the other being Coney Island). Over the years George has regaled us with stories of his youth in “The Point” attended by all the colorful characters who populated the area. He has fished for and offered up lobsters, offered shelter and, as the Captain of a Merchant Coaster employed several family members on voyages through the Mediterranean Sea.

I’ve taken some liberties with the landscape in order to include the Light House, The Island, Strandhill and Knocknarea, the resting place of Maeve, the “Warrior Queen”. I’ve also posed George to recall “The Metal Man”, a famous monument that points the way to the safe channel for ships entering the Bay.

Oaxacan Daydream

Oaxacan Daydream

Reverse acrylic on acrylic 41” x 38”

In February of 2017 We went to Oaxaca with a group from Pratt Art School. The first week was spent in the studio of Enrique Flores, learning printmaking techniques and eating the fine lunches provided by Enrique’s wife and her mother.

The Second week was ours to explore.

One day we went to see the gardens and museums at Santo Domingo, which had originally been a colonial monastery made of stone with vaulted ceilings of brick.

The afternoon was a study in stark contrasts; in to out, hot to cool dark to light, sun to shade, old to new.

To me, the ghosts were everywhere; conquistadors, slaves, monks and merchants; weavers and dyers, farmers and fiends. So much history!!

I spotted a pre-Columbian mask, made from an armadillo shell and needed to find a way to put it into a picture….

Reluctant Traveler

Reluctant Traveler

Reverse acrylic in acrylic 52” x 36”

This is Kay Parsons, a local artist and art advocate who was born in Korea, at the end of the Korean War. She was adopted by an American soldier and brought to the United States where she was raised and naturalized. Her new father bought for her a traditional Korean Costume, which she still has, and has shown to me. Every single piece of silk, cotton, fur and satin, and each embroidery, is beautifully hand stitched. I referenced an old black and white polaroid photo and “embroidered” an imaginary back ground. The cherry tree seems just ready to pluck her up and take her away.

I named the piece “Reluctant Traveler” partly because I find it hard to contemplate the challenges of being pulled away from a family and that which is familiar --no matter how well meaning the benefactor-- without experiencing an existential sense of dread and apprehension.

So, I gave her a pet cricket, for whistling in the dark. Her mode of conveyance, a box turtle, symbolizes strength and fortitude; key characteristics for survival on such a journey.