Monday, January 30, 2012

Painting up a Storm

Storm / 48" x 48" / acrylic on canvas

These are my favorite months to be in the studio. The holiday festivities are over and there are few interruptions to the flow of my work at this time. One painting seems to lead to another and I love to work on different series at the same time. I am so often surprised by where the paint leads me. For example, I was completely absorbed in some highly textured, hot colored paintings when all of a sudden this piece appeared. I always chuckle to myself when this happens, its as if I am being reminded that it is not really me in charge but the paintings will decide when and what is to appear on the canvas.  At least I have learned to trust that process and follow where I am led. I truly am painting up a storm these days! This was so fun to play with the muted palette and let the tree forms emerge and recede as I applied the layers of paint that veiled them more or less.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


In many of my paintings I collage in a handmade Japanese paper called "Washi" One of these papers is made with the repeated motif of a spiral. I am often asked about these spirals that appear throughout my paintings. The spiral holds a dynamic, swirling energy for me that expresses the ever-moving, ever-flowing nature of our lives entwined with that of the natural world and all sentient beings.

The spiral is the universal symbol of the life force, both cosmic and microcosmic. Spiral forms are seen in nature from the great galaxies of outer space, to the whirlwind and whirlpools, to coiled serpents or conical seashells, to the tips of the fingers—our finger prints. Modern science has discovered the double helix structure of our DNA, the very basis of every cell of our body. 

The spiral is also an archetype for the spiritual journey, representing spiritual growth.

Unexpected Joy / 30" x 24" / acrylic / 2010

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Roaring RIver ~ Final Version ~ a painting for and of the earth

Roaring River / 72" x 54" / acrylic on canvas
I think this one is finally finished! I have been dancing in this river for almost a month now! I started without my usual
reference photos or sketches and just from the inside of my belly! I let the paint splash and fall how it wanted to as I
thought about and felt all the pain of the earth as it sighs and heaves under it's heavy human load. I am so in love
with this planet and it breaks my heart a thousand times to see what we have become as we stand apart from the
earth and think ourselves to be greater than the whole. This painting is for the earth and of the earth. I can think of nothing else to do but paint my way through these turbulent times of change.
Color is a language with soft whispers or passionate vibrations.
Some details of the canvas that are difficult to see in a jpeg. Lots of tar gel, sometimes applied with tenderness and love and sometimes applied in a violent release of anger.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

River Roar

Roaring River / 54" x 72" / acrylic on canvas

 Forest and River

"I wish I were like you,"

Said the forest

to the roaring river,

"Always travelling,

always sightseeing;

Rushing towards the pure domain

of the sea,

The kingdom of water;


The passionate, vigorous spirit

of life,

The liquid turquoise of light

With eternal flow ..."

"But what am I?

Only a captive,

chained to the earth.

In silence I grow old,

In silence I wither and die,

And before long

nothing will remain of me

But a handful of ashes."

"O forest, half-asleep, half-awake",

Cried the river,

"I wish I were you,

Enjoying a seclusion

of living emerald,

And illuminated by moonlit nights;

Being a mirror

reflecting the beauties

of Spring;

A shaded rendezvous for lovers."

"Your destiny, a new life

every year;

My life, running away from myself

all the time;

Running. running, running

in bewilderment;

And what is my gain

Of all this meaningless journey?

Ah ... never having a moment of calm

and rest!"

"No one can ever know

what the other feels;

Who does care to ask

about a passer-by

If he really existed

or was only a shadow?"

Now a passer-by

Aimlessly walking in the shade

Comes to ask himself,

"Who am I? a river? a forest?

Or both?

River and forest?

River and forest!"

~Jalal al-Din Rumi

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