I would consider myself a San Francisco contemporary expressionist cave painter. Painting for the possible future, past or present civilizations intrigues me. I have always for some reason felt like an outsider, so I like examining my views of the world through paint. Leaving clues for my future self or other perplexed people like me is my motivation.
As a child, art was where I not only received praise but where I could explore and communicate my deeper truths. It started off being the place I could talk about my pain and try to understand the world. So it makes sense that in my early work I explored and examined injustice and taboos. For my master’s thesis, I painted “The Working Women Series“, where I explored and exposed the inequalities in “women’s professions” (at the time). “Women, Aging and Reproduction” was next. While these series are great, they are dark, and I wanted to focus on more positive ideas. My next series was “The Natives Are Winning.” Then came artichokes, Bay Area Scenes and random people. Artichokes were probably my most lucrative subject, but my passion is and has always been people and culture.
That passion led me to musicians, “Hendrix“, the first of my paintings of musicians, was almost an accident. While starting a painting of a woman with curly hair, I happened to watch the movie “Woodstock.” After that, I knew the face I had started painting had to be Hendrix. It was so invigorating learning about him. Going through several articles and internet searches on him, to come up with the perfect image of him, I realized was my thing.
Musicians are a great subject for several reasons. They are so expressive when they are playing or performing. I think of my painting of “Lead Belly”. He looks so happy and content playing his guitar, one would never know he was in jail, although the striped prison pants give it away. Musicians capture my love of creating.
Secondly, musicians affect and are affected by culture. Some musicians are born out of culture or out of bucking up against culture, like “Seven Year Bitch”, a band that was part of Riot Grrrl. It is an underground feminist Punk Movement that started in the early 90’s. Their video 274000 miles was my inspiration. Other musicians adapt culture with their unique style, like “Carlos Santana”. He was part of Woodstock and rock but always held onto his Latin roots. He was able to realize the brilliance of collaboration and yet always stay true to himself. There are also the non-conformist like “Grace Jones“. She infused contemporary Pop music with her iconic style and self-portrayal.
The great thing is there are so many more amazing musicians that I get to try and portray in paint. Musicians are a never ending supply of people, creativity and culture. And I think my paintings Rock.
I grew up in Wichita, Kansas. My childhood was wonderful and I had great parents. However, when I was 8 years old, my 4 year old brother died suddenly from a brain aneurism, which sort of capsized my world. I could have used some therapy or to talk about it, but my parents were just trying to hang on. So, I learned to shove my emotions down and if they came up again, shove them down harder. I escaped into art. Art was where I could talk about my pain, my ideas and my dislikes. It was my escape hatch.
I moved to California after one year of college in Kansas. I got my B.A. from S.F.S.U. in Art/ photography. My M.A. was in Inter Arts. I have two wonderful daughters who I raised as a single mother. They are truly my biggest creative accomplishments. In 2000, I had an Art show in my house. I painted my self portrait as the invitation. As part of a ritual dedication to being an artist, I shaved my head that day.
From 2000 until 2018, I tried several different ways to support my art.. I sold hand made products at Oakland First Friday, Framers Markets, Treasure Island, and at the Ferry Building. However I usually just scraped by, as what I really loved doing was painting. I have shown my paintings at several venues in San Francisco, (listed below). To be perfectly honest, I love my paintings and it is surprisingly difficult to let them go.
One day a woman looking at “Hendrix” asked “Did you mean to spell ‘humanoids’ wrong?” I had not, but her pointing it out made me love the painting even mores I was dyslexic as a child. If stamps increase in value because of the little screw ups, I think “Hendrix” is worth more for my bad spelling and how this makes it a work of art that truly could only be created by me. This is the kind of thing a true collector would appreciate.
Art is a business, and creating any sustainable business is a step-by-step process. Paintings are my products. While the only one who has difficulty with this concept is me, I have seen the light. If I sell some paintings I will do more of what I love: Paint. Please schedule a Zoom meeting today, it would be a great pleasure to meet you.