Following Meryl Streep’s advice when quoting fellow actor Carrie Fisher, I’ve “taken up my broken heart and made art.” Post 2016 election, I've been pouring my heart out and using my artist’s voice in creating this mixed media series, “Preserving Democracy.” The series celebrates what I hold dear and believe keeps our democracy strong, among them: women and women’s rights, civil rights, and cultural diversity. Each painting starts with a mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल, lit, circle), a spiritual symbol representing the universe. Each work is done in water-based mediums with collage elements – photographic and/or design images -- and mounted on canvas.
Recently, I spoke to the docent group at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, on the art of Richard Diebenkorn. The research I did in preparing for this one-hour lecture on one of my favorite abstract expressionist artists, inspired this new series of works. In creating these works, I've experimented with a variety of mediums – oil, acrylic, patina, gold leaf, collage, and acrylic/encaustic –for a series rich in texture and abstract form. Like, Diebenkorn, the works feature places where I’ve lived and worked.
One of our favorite museums on our recent European trip was the Lensbachaus in Munich and, in particular, The Blue Rider Collection. Der Blaue Reiter was founded by a number of Russian emigrants including Wassily Kandinsky. The group organized exhibitions that toured Germany in 1911 and 1912 but was disbanded with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. While I’ve always loved Kandinsky’s work, I was truly taken with some of his early landscapes as well as the work of others in the group including August Macke, Franz Marc and, new to me, Gabriele Münter who was one of the few women associated with the group. I felt a particular affinity to Munter's work – her depictions of rural life and her “feel” for color. I can’t wait to get back in the studio. Oh, the places these works may take me.
Thousands of artists before me have come to New Mexico, inspired by the light on high desert landscape. In preparing for an upcoming show of small works, I focused this series, "Small Jewels," on the effects of light -- sunlight, moonlight, starlight -- on this amazing landscape of small adobe homes and pueblo villages.