represented by: Plush Gallery in Dallas TX; Artist Abbey Gallery and Zia Gallery in T or C NM
The act of painting: may give pleasure, enjoyment, and healing; may search, discover, and educate; may be driven by irritation and injustice; is a way to process the world; is a conversation with the past, present, and future; is a performance with the canvas as your stage.
Painting is sensuous pleasure - a movement of brush across a surface. I love the lushness of oil paint. It is messy and textural. I will work with a slow, thoughtful action or sometimes quick and aggressive - mixing colors on a palette or directly on the surface. I love the transparency of watercolor and its proclivity to produce unique colors and tones as layers are painted over one another. Watercolor painting is clean, flat, meditative, and quiet. Gouache has a soft opaque charm I enjoy. I love the versatility and flexibility of acrylic paint.
My work is somewhat conceptual and I often include realistic objects. I continually make changes to the paintings - shapes, colors, direction - and will consider them done and then days, weeks, months, even years later, find something I don't like and began working them again. I use color, contrast, and texture to form the structure of the composition and to produce space and depth. I paint the edges or attach painted wood frames to accentuate a painting's presence and physicality, or sometimes leave the canvas un-stretched and present as a wall hanging.
My room installations are floor to ceiling, sensory expanding, immersive environments. My performance pieces are festishized multi-cultural rituals with repetitive actions driven be multiple music and sound sources.
I create art I want to see by combining art history with my history, by mixing mediums and sifting through genres, and by striving to create cultural activity.
Mystical Lolo was started on an unstretched demo canvas from my teaching days. I began covering the colorful imagery with yellow and red stripes before adding chakra balls and a kudalini form. Then I injured my foot climbing and was forced to work on this large painting on the floor. It covered almost the entire studio floor and gave me an altered view point. I wanted to create spatial depth within this totally flat surface. With color, line, and shape, I was able to visually twist and lift the surface, making a three dimensional illusion. This is something to explore further, begining with Soror Mystica and Frater Mystica.
The Vessel Series
At about ten years of age, my mom signed me up for a summer drawing class and one day our college art student teacher set up a still life of clay pots. That is when I discovered a knack for shading and modeling - and a fondness for vessels. Jump forward a few decades and I'm making monochromatic silhouette paintings of vases on canvas attached to wood. Then through the 1990's, I painted melancholic alchemic vessels - shaded and modeled - on stretched and un-stretched canvas. In 2002 I started painting on repurposed redwood and found a different type of vessel for my subject - skep beehives, which are upside down, dome-shaped baskets. Then in 2017 I came full circle and returned to clay pots or more precisely, ancient pottery. It started with a series small watercolor paintings, the first dozen painted in muted earth tones - for a faded, historical appearance - and I soon switched to more vibrant colors and then painting with oil on canvas, as well.
Clay pots and vessels are the most ancient of items and have changed little since humans began taking modest materials from the earth and shaping into functional, life giving art. The making of vessels evolved into a refined and coveted art form that took on a ritualistic importance. Different communities and cultures developed individual styles that were traded, sold, and shared with peoples far and wide - each piece a timeless beauty with a strong connection to the land and maker. I love vessels' sensuous forms - breast shaped and womb like - charming whether empty or full, and I feel, a subject worthy of honoring.
note: symbols on the paintings are taken from markings found on ancient pottery
Rue 39x30" oil on canvas attached to wood 1989
The Time That has You 26x26" oil on canvas 1992
Sex is the Wasp Trapped
in a Jar 20x16" oil on
The chalk drawings began as I was creating art programs for K through 2nd grade students. To help obtain grant money, it was always helpful to include math and science or STEAM. To add math ideas we would create a grid (matrices) by snapping chalk lines.Using the grid, we would make drawings with one, two, or three continuous and overlapping lines. From this we progressed to creating geometric (mandala like) drawings. Sometimes this was done on cement, but more often we drew on a large canvas. The science part came from the chemical reaction created when making our own chalk by mixing pigments, plaster, and water.
This was all done while living in Dallas, but upon moving to New Mexico, I still had the chalk but no longer the non-profit organization that could write grants and schedule programs. So July of 2019, I began creating chalk mandalas on the sidewalks in front of art galleries and bookstores. Expecting either a negative or mild response from the storeowners and the community, instead became an overwhelming positive reaction, which exceeded any of my expectations. The mandalas are temporary as foot traffic removes them and rain will wash them away. I love the comments and conversations that happen while making the mandalas, and the idea that they bring a small bit of beauty to a sidewalk, but I also receive a deep calmness during and after making the drawings.
Chalk Mandala in Park 8x10 feet
chalk on canvas 2015
Tipi and canvas cloth ready for chalk drawing in a park built over a freeway in the Dallas Arts District
Water is Life chalk drawing performance at MFA Art Gallery, Oak Cliff, Dallas