It’s Personal

It was mid-September 2018, and my husband and I had just spent a few hours on a Sunday afternoon at Devereaux Beach in Marblehead MA, him sleeping in the sun and me reading in the shade. We were in our car getting ready to leave, when I looked up to see two women on a bench under the canopy in front of me. I was immediately struck by the notion that the woman on the left looked like my mother, who had died in 2002. Of course I knew it wasn’t Mollie…but in that haze through the windshield, she did have her profile. I took two photographs with my phone from inside the car: one of the two women and one of her alone, reading a paper. I didn’t get out of the car. I didn’t walk over to her. I didn’t want to know if she actually didn’t look like Mollie, because for that moment and, honestly, the rest of the day, I was somehow feeling comforted by the thought that i had been visited by a vision of my mother.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago…having finished a very large painting of a roseate spoonbill and wanting to paint some humans again, I had a small canvas that I thought would be perfect for painting that apparition of my mother. Of course I still had the photographs! Even more of a personal painting than those I’ve done of my grandchildren, now she’s on the wall of my bedroom, in full view of my bed…someone to watch over me.  

Performance Art

Polarized

Polarized

I’ve been painting Polarized since February, taking a long time on a large canvas that I could only work on when I wasn’t in Florida…in the winter. When my fourteen year old granddaughter Maddie saw the grisaille FullSizeRender (69)with just the background painted in, she admired the yoga pose…until I pointed to the pole. I’m not sure she approved. Every time I worked on it in Marblehead, at the Acorn Gallery & School of Art, it attracted attention and comments from people passing by—more than any other of the paintings I’ve done there—often by men who signaled thumbs up or wanted to know, “How much?” As it turns out, pole dancing is quite a legitimate form of exercise, practiced by professionals and amateurs alike. There are even pole athletes, both men and women—think Cirque Du Soleil. You can find pole fitness classes all over the country and even attend the annual Pole Expo, in Las Vegas of course.

This beautiful blonde may not be a professional, but she’s got game! And I must admit that I like the suggestive nature of the subject. Just as my whispering paintings are meant to hint at secrets and lies, I would hope that with Polarized the viewer becomes a voyeur, imagining the interaction between her and that pole.

More to come…