Romantic and young, I used a $10,000 inheritance as a downpayment on a 20 acre ranch in Central Oregon in the 1980s. The nearby town of Bend, Oregon, was a failing mill town, half boarded-up. I was only 23 and clueless about most things, including ranching. But, I had grit and a remarkable romantic streak fueled by Zane Gray and Louis L'Amour books. Six years later, I was a changed young woman. I painted this piece to celebrate my memories of the horses running to the back 5 acre field. They kept me company when I moved irrigation pipe.
What is a post about intermittent fasting doing on an art website? In one word, desire. Because in my life, those two things seemingly disparate subjects are interconnected with desire. I experience desire interwoven with the Divine Feminine. It pushes and pulls my psyche in directions I either embrace or resist. As a young girl raised in a fundamentalist Catholic household in the 1960's, adults in my life introduced desire as the handmaiden of the Devil.
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Finding the next great art lost to time is a lifelong quest. I love visiting estate sales, auctions, and more in search of lost art that needs to be saved from oblivion. Its a treasure hunt. I've yet to find "the big one", but I'm having fun and finding little treasures. Making room for new treasures, I sell vintage pieces on my Etsy store.
Picture Los Angeles in 1924. A young woman, dressed in buckskins and feathers wraps herself in a Pendleton blanket and steps into a canoe. Her friend pushes the canoe from shore and it skims slowly towards deeper water. The clear green-toned water catches the canoe and it slows, then stops. At the center of a small pond in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, the young woman adjusts her blanket and awaits instructions from the photographer.
Mountain modern style, cabin art and bear art, both contemporary and traditional artistry define the artist roster at Gallery 5830', Truckee, California. I'm especially grateful that many of my original paintings from my Natural World art series are exhibited at Gallery 5830'. During the COVID-19 crisis, the gallery offers gift cards and shipping for collectors.
I saw the quote, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood," Tom Robbins, on a movie marquee, many years ago. My childhood had been a slog and I grieved not having a preponderance of happy memories. I wasn't willing to gaslight myself and "forget" my childhood, but I was willing to mine it like a forensic anthropologist, sifting through every last piece of the past, looking for the pieces that linked into a form that gave me joy. My Paint Happy series was my self-healing adventure into an understanding of the happiness within my control.
A melody played on the piano is recognizable but different on a violin or flute. Each instrument gives the artist a different form with which to express that melody. In the same way, visual artistic "styles" are like different instruments. The style that I choose to paint in is suited to what I want to say through the image I create. Which is why you see a few different visual styles on my site. What you are not seeing are styles I ventured into that never grew legs. Growing legs is what I call a direction that deepens and widens as I work, causing a cascade of images to flow towards me.
Painting for a paycheck as a outdoor advertising billboard artist during the 1980's taught me to paint fluidly, fast and to be elegantly precise in the relaxed way that only completing miles of painting can engender. Only twenty years ago, a young artist could find paid employment painting pictures. Fresh out of art school or with a good portfolio an artist could find a job that increased their skills at the same time they made a living. Sign painting shops, billboard companies and printing shops used hands-on techniques and tools to make their products. That reality is now a thing of the past in all of those businesses.
Painting from my family photo album inspires my images of Native Americans. About two to five times per year, my father put on his eagle feather headdress, suede loincloth, ankle bracelets of bells and feathers, then prepared to dance. Before he fastened his headdress, he carefully positioned a small medicine bag on a string hanging from his neck and double tied the moccasins he had made and beaded himself. Everything he wore he had made himself.
Sometimes, when I'm beginning a new painting, I wonder what I'm going to paint. I may have an idea, but mostly, I think of something that caught my interest and wait for images to appear. Usually, ideas for images feel as though they come through me rather than from me.
Horses are more than a ride, they take us to our dreams and teach us to journey. I was never a horse girl. You know the type -- completely obsessed with everything horse. But I was a child who lived in my imagination between the pages of my favorite encyclopedia or the latest book from my ever-present stack checked out from the library. And horses were in every culture that caught my vision.
I came in contact with Amy Remensnyder when she researching her La Conquistadora book. She had found my ex-voto retablo titled, La Conquistadora / Dine Spider Woman / Puebloan Corn Maiden.
Amy interviewed me regarding my inspiration and intent creating my La Conquistadora. Her passion for the subject of the Virgin Mary as La Conquistadora supported by scholarly discipline and historical clarity makes Amy G. Remensnyder's book, La Conquistadora - The Virgin Mary at War and Peace in the Old and New Worlds, the current masterpiece and go-to book on the subject of La Conquistadora, New Mexico's patroness and the oldest Marian figure in the United States.
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