Landscapes are for Lovers

As I continue to work on my new series of paintings, my gallery in Dallas asked me to make some smaller paintings to take to the art fair, Art Market San Francisco. I made a couple of small paintings based on my larger Cluster work for the fair which took place from April 27th-May 1st:

NoSmallcluster1,2016,16x20inNo Small Cluster 1, 2016,  acrylic on birch panel, 16″ x 20″

The title continues the Cluster theme and basically expresses the idea that there is no small breakdown, no small heartache, no small “falling apart”. To that end I titled these pieces No Small Cluster.

NoSmallCluster2,2016,16x20inNo Small Cluster 2, 2016, 16″ x 20″, acrylic on birch panel

I also finished the first Cluster Painting which is comprised of four panels with an overall dimension of 36″ x 48″. The installation which will accompany the painting is still in progress. I have designed and ordered the fabric from which I will construct the installation. Here is the painting:

Cluster201636x48in

The second Cluster painting is in progress and the fabric for the installation is currently being designed. Here is the four panel piece in progress with a working title of Cluster 2. The title may change to reflect the emotions of the moment I learned that my ex was going to take me to court for full custody of my girls after he was ordered removed from the house. While I knew it was impossible that my children would be taken away from me, the intense shock of the moment was acute. This painting is about that moment and the agonizing but silent sobbing of catching my breath:

Cluster2InProgress

My paintings have often been compared to virtual landscapes. Some may see the lines as horizons or ripples of water and others have described the colors as relating to nature. So I guess it was a logical next step to design an actual landscape. Beautifully shot by photographer Felicia Lasala, my landscape design really came to life as she used the lily pads in a playful homage to the movie Mon Oncle. The shoot was styled to be vintage yet futuristic. Here is a link to behind the scenes as the shoot came together for the newest edition of WOMN Magazine.

Here is one of the photos I shot of the behind the scenes action:
BehindtheScenesWOMNmag

For this month’s music, I cannot help but reflect on how Prince shaped my life and especially my adolescence. I have been reading accounts written by friends on social media about their favorite Prince songs and what they meant at pivotal times in each of their lives including a great tribute written by Questlove of The Roots for Rolling Stone Magazine. Reflecting back to my earliest memory of knowing who Prince was as an artist and the first song I remember loving, I started to trace my life as a fan. My earliest recollection has to be practicing walking in my first pair of heels in front of the mirror to “When Doves Cry“. I had recently had my braces removed and the ugly duckling image was beginning to shed. That was a song that could be played endlessly. I never grew tired of hearing it and it only got better with each play. Soon after, I played “Kiss” over and over on the juke box at our local pizza place (Raffallos on Highland). But definitely one of my favorite Prince songs during high school was “Raspberry Beret“. Prince was the soundtrack to a lot of firsts for a lot of fans discovering their own beauty in the mirror. I was fascinated by how he looked and sounded and the music that resonated with me can be measured by my coming of age more than the subtext and underlying meanings to the lyrics. Was he gender identified as male or female? Was his sexual orientation gay or straight? It just didn’t matter, he was Prince. I’m grateful to have grown up in a time where Prince espoused tolerance, individuality, and the fact that he could not be pigeon-holed into a sexual genre. He was the champion of the “different” and that was huge. In 1990 as a sophomore in college I had four cassette tapes in heavy rotation on my Walkman: The Pixies, Sade, Nirvana, and Prince. And of course when it was 1999, you can imagine what the song of the year was. We, the kids of the 80’s, all mourn the loss of an artist who helped shape our musical vernacular but more importantly an artist who taught us that being an individual was not just to be tolerated but celebrated.

My favorite Prince tribute by far is this beautiful poem by OT Pasha:

he talked 2 me about my own sexuality
before I hit puberty
+ said being different is a gift
he showed me that being an artist came with the divine responsibility 2 uplift
he screamed at me 2 find my god
but my god
my god was him
I felt like I was his only disciple
+ he my light when days were dim
he showed me how 2 love myself
+ take the world in my own hand
he taught me how 2 talk 2 a girl
+ show her I understand
he was supposed 2 live forever
beyond my future, present + past
but he told me once upon a time
that “all good things never last”
I loved him so for so many years
assuming there would always be more
but now I’m confused
full of tears + rattled 2 the core
the whole fabric of my reality now
simply feels untrue
because I never had rose-colored glasses on
my glasses were Purple in hue

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