Monday, January 28, 2013

Subtropical Intracoastal Sunset

My husband and I often take walks to the Intracoastal to watch the sunset.  The south Florida sunsets can sometimes last an hour or longer, and the colors of the clouds change constantly.  As the sun sinks toward the horizon they are lit brilliantly in bright yellow and yellow-orange from the side and/or directly on.  Later the clouds are embellished below with pale salmon, pink, ruddy blue-violet, and dusty mauve as the sun sinks below the horizon.  The sky itself turns from richest cobalt and electric cyan blue to paler and dustier versions of blue and blue-violet, with pale yellow, orange and red splashes on high cirrus clouds near the horizon and in the east as well.  Finally, as the living rock we sit on blocks the sun completely, dusty rose and violet fade into Kindle-gray, as the microscopic particles of moisture in the atmosphere are lit from beneath by the huge coastal city we live in, and the spell is broken.  We begin our slow walk home as we discuss the amazing light show we have just witnessed.

In "Looking for the Gulf Motel," Presidential Poet, Richard Blanco writes so beautifully about his identity, formed as a child by his poor but loving Latino Family in a natural south Florida.  My husband and I are two of the snow birds responsible for the paving over of south Florida, but we can still find nature in small spaces, and in our glorious subtropical Florida sky at all times of the day, but especially at sunset.

looking north on the Intracoastal as the sun dips toward the western horizon

big fat pink cumulous clouds and the moon

A natural area shows what Lake Worth looked like before Snow Birds

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Looking For My GWASP Past

Upon reading Richard Blanco, President Obama’s Second Inaugural Poet, and listening to the President’s Second Inaugural address, I (once again) do something more than visual art and my art.  The following "prosetry" certainly isn't as good as Blanco's.  Never the less... *

 Gay Dictionary Series: "FAG"(8" x 8") mixed media distressed paint (the painting seemed appropriate to the poem.)

Barack Obama said...

"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth."

The Prosetry:  Looking For My GWASP Past

It doesn’t mater that I’m quintessential GWASP (Gay White Anglo Saxon Protestant).
It doesn’t mater that my grandmother’s ancestors arrived in Philadelphia in 1683.
It doesn’t mater that the Boston Brahmin relatives don’t know me.
It doesn’t mater that my mother’s father lost everything in the great depression –
It doesn’t mater that my father’s mother was one-time-removed from the House of Orange.
It doesn't matter because (Like a soap opera) Dad’s parents married against parent's wishes and left Holland.
It does mater that I never got to know either of them.


I do have memories of a wondrous childhood with loving parents 
Of whom I too am extremely proud.
A tiny cottage on a crystal clear pond, kerosene lamps, outhouse, 
Water pump at the kitchen sink, fresh caught trout for breakfast, 
Blue berries picked from the rowboat for lunch –
And our (by today’s standards) small 1939 World’s Fair dream house to contrast.

I remember sitting on my crippled grandfather’s lap 
As he carved the new wooden-match-stick gun for my broken toy soldier -
Living with my Dad in a little silver trailer while he 
Fought to bring his only love back from the brink.  
And, seeing my mother for the first time in a year -
I thought she lived in that magical Friends Hospital garden.

I remember gasping for breath, delirious childhood dreams of death, and twice since.
Nothingness, blacker than black and empty with a 
Distant eyeless light and a voice that was not a voice 
I know the exact words that were not words
Sending me back saying 
"There are so many things you must do."
Though these "things" the commonplace
Going and coming, doing and sometimes not doing
The diurnal course of an ordinary life. 

I remember my petit grandmother made physically small by childhood illness
How she filled our house with love and light, a gift
For everything and everyone because of Jesus' new word,
And that morning in 1960 as I rushed from the house, turned back
As Sarah Harriet held out the forgotten homework -
How did I know that our goodbye was the last. 

I remember the sunlight-splashed window image on the kitchen floor 
As I sat in the highchair watching mother make WWII molasses cookies.
And amazed by wooden-spoon-stired deepest orange whirling streaks
Turned pale yellow in that white margarine while I,
No older than two, sat soaped-up in the kitchen-sink-bath 
Looking out the window at the backyard –
The woods, and Norma Jean (a 4 year-old) 
Tethered to the close line on a leash next door.
In contrast, my childhood rich with love, 
“Bambi” and my electric scissors, illness-shattered,
But held together by parents who refused to give up.

So, It doesn’t mater that I am GWASP
Because my mother was adopted by her Brahmin family
From Scotch-Canadian ancestors of equal but other nation historicity.
It doesn’t mater that I am GWASP
Because my fathers’ parents fled class division and immigrated to America.
It doesn’t mater that I am GWASP
Because we all came here from somewhere else.
It doesn’t mater that I am GWASP
Because I am a unique history among many varied histories.
And, because our individual histories make us all strong.
It doesn’t mater that I am GWASP
Because of Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall, King, and now Obama.

*  Here is the link  for Richard Blanco's Inaugural poem,  One Today on the White House Website.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Another in the “Gay Dictionary Series" of mixed media distressed paintings.  This one, Fairy discloses some of the various meanings of the word, printed in digital photographs and type, drawn and or painted, implicit and explicit.  Some are totally buried in layers of paint, others are partially hidden in paint and/or torn paper and paint.  In this case, I fully intend an inclusive definition, that is, fairies come in all sizes, shapes, and permutations of race, ethnicity, religion and sexuality, as do people.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Pansy is another 8” x 8” mixed media distressed painting from the “Gay Dictionary Series.”  I’ve buried an image of Andy Warhol in the painting, not because I’m presenting him as the pansy, but because he made such phenomenal images of pansies with his Serigraphy.  Can you find the image of Andy?  I’ve also included Warhol’s “Pansies” in the artwork.   Count the number of times you see the “Pansies,” or an image from the “Pansies” in the painting.  Let me know how many you find.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Presenting another in the Gay Art Dictionary Series, the Australian slang term, “Poofter.”  Once again the artwork is created using my unique combination of mixed media and distressed painting with virtual and actual layering techniques both in and out of the digital process.

If you happen on this, I hope you enjoy the humor involved because I enjoyed thinking it through and making it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


The second batch of mixed media distressed paintings for “The Gay Dictionary Series” is done, and photographed.  I’ve also started on the third batch. Sparkle is one of many words listed as synonyms to "gay" in the various Thesauruses I've checked.  It also just happened to be first in the stack when I took the photographs of all twelve finished artworks.   

The glitter border is not glitter.  Instead, I photographed glittery fabric, printed the image, measured, cut and pasted the paper strips into the artwork.  The center square is a mishmash of Fourth of July sparkler photographs, set type, paint and torn paper.   The rest of the painting has about 5 layers of printed images of set type and distressed paint as well as actual layers of real distressed paint. Between working in actual physical space and the virtual space of the computer the artwork has about fifteen layers, virtual and actual.  Like the other small works in this series, Sparkle is 8" x 8," and I will float it in a 10" x 10" metal frame.

I enjoy working back and forth between both spaces, virtual and real, as well as the many steps necessary to the mixed media distressed paint process I’ve developed over the past twenty-five years.