1991 Man, Ink

Christmas and the New Year holidays are the most difficult;  always stressful even at the best of times. Trying to make them perfect, and never having the financial security to ease some of that insane need to do it all. 

Actually loved to bake, sing in the choirs, make presents, decorate the house inside and out and of course design and create the yearly cards or inventive greetings!

I made up the cards this year from a photograph Eddie took of our granddaughter sleeping. Tucked inside was a small cellophane bag containing shredded foil and glitter with the words celebrate 2000 on a sliver of paper.

It was an easy and relatively comfortable flight . The stop over in Kansas City gave me the opportunity to wheel around, go to the restroom and grab a pizza slice. The first time out in the world on my own since 1993! Six years of work to get to this point. I watched everything with a childlike exuberance.

Albuquerque...the children were there to greet me. I know that love has kept me from falling; it has given me the strength to keep going despite the pain and loneliness.

The first live Christmas tree that I can actually touch and put on a decoration or two. They got theirs from the mountain nearby. 

We do some last minute shopping in Rio Rancho's Cottonwood Mall. How normal it all is. I go out almost every day to eat, shop or visit. We attend the Presbyterian church on Christmas Day. All the children gather around the female minister to hear the story of the birth of Jesus. I tell myself not to cry.

1990 Sea Cliff Garden

One more wood relief before calling it quits.

The Watch Girl (detail,1989) has an HO figure with a pretend picket fence.

No one seems interested in showing these pieces let alone purchasing one.

Although constructions are  exciting and all-encompassing (inherent in the medium: recycle/build/paint)  it's time to switch back to canvas and oils.   

Always natural for me to switch gears; like lovers, art forms seamlessly segueing into another dimension.

Back and forth between watercolors to oils; the former concrete subjects; the latter delving into the subconscious. 

Huge sheets of watercolor paper, almost as thick as cardboard, are laid down on the dining room table. One flower, picked at the zenith of its season placed beside the supplies. When the light comes in just so; I begin the creation. 

In the outside studio it's another type of performance. Approaching a clean canvas as if for the first time; excited, scared until the first stroke, as the sensuousness of oils and colors take over. Then the eventual layering of impastos. This series is tackled with brushes and palette knives, almost sculptural.

Bill wanted all the flower watercolors for the 19th century part of his restaurant. The more recent building suited my more abstract pieces. He paid me at a group rate! There was no telling him no.

The oil paintings became more and more fragmented and visceral. Certainly not for public dining rooms.

 

One Step Beyond (1990) was exactly autobiographical. My relationship was driving me crazy; I never knew what Bill was doing or thinking. I'd refuse to see him only to have him badger me until I'd  give in. Usually because he'd need some design or other and the cash was just the carrot I'd fall for.

Kyle introduced me to an artists rep; Linda Simpson lived in NYC and knew the gallery/auction house games We started hunting down venues for exhibiting. A party on Central Park was the first event. I invited David Herbert. A Broadway gallery asked to try out one of my wall constructions. Nothing sold. An artist in the galleries' stable asked them not to handle my work.

Caroline Stern accepts art for dental work. The office is on 57th Street; I do the galleries after fillings and cleaning. She  lives in an art filled apartment on Central Park West. My former teacher from Cooper, John Kacere, is part of that enormous collection. She chooses One Step Beyond.

Marriage On The Mountain Top (1990) evolved from a desire to find a spiritual and physical bonding. Certainly not happening with the current affair. An angel forms the central focus. Shortly after finishing this it was shown and sold at an exhibit in Washington, DC. 

The smaller works are exhibited briefly in a gallery uptown. I lose the situation after my rep and he refuse to come to terms. Linda gets pregnant, marries and I never hear from her again. No rep or gallery.

I decide to take a working vacation in Massachusetts. Experimental printmaking in North Adams                          

<story next>