Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008


craypas drawing, 16" x 20", Seroquil

I wanted to do a full frontal nude drawing of my first husband. He has muscles from working out weekly at a gym but he also has a very large stomach. I found his bulk and curves to be strangely captivating. He agreed to pose for me as long as I didn’t show his face and I made his penis larger than it really was.

My husband had a favorite male cat named The Little One. When I took a Polaroid picture of The Little One the cat was very angry about being held. The angry cat’s face on my husband’s body results in a slightly menacing creature.

The sky is a stormy black. An angel hovers between the sky and the ground. In the background the landscape fades into the far, blue distance. Three horses gallop across the plains. The yellow flowering plants in the foreground are squash plants. I stood in a community garden and drew them from real life.


craypas drawing, 16" x 20", Seroquil

This is a companion piece to Catman. I used my own body for the nude and put my female dog’s face on my body. The sky is still black and stormy and the landscape still fades off into a blue distance. But while Catman’s dark sky was interrupted by a break in the clouds, here there is a rainbow. Dogwoman also has a falling or hovering angel. The wind has swept the angel’s hair across her face making her as anonymous as the angel in Catman. Two wild pigs stand still. The purple plants in the foreground are small weeds that I found growing on the side of the road.

Friday, October 3, 2008

What Jack Saw

large oil on canvas, took several years to make, Seroquil

This is Jill dancing with a strawberry on her head. She is not wearing any underwear. When Jack and Jill fell down the hill Jack saw up Jill’s dress. Her vagina is what he saw.

The white dress that Jill is wearing is a copy of a couture gown designed by Viktor and Rolf. Her face is based on a Polaroid picture of my own face. The tall forest of flowers and leaves was all based on real life sketches of tiny, six inch plants. These plants grew wild like weeds from where I picked them. The strawberries were also sketched from real life and then eaten afterwards. The strawberry plant of course does not exist in nature, but I saw a picture in an art book of a medieval ivory carving that gave me the idea for it.

There is, in this painting, a hint of a threat. One of the giant flowers is leaning over, perhaps ready to fall on Jill. She eyes it warily even as she smiles.

The idea for this painting started with a tube of paint. I fell in love with the strange color of light cobalt green. I wanted to make a painting with a sky this color. To contrast with the beauty of the light cobalt green I then picked what I considered to be an ugly green to serve as the leaves of the plants.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Oil on canvas, 11" x 14", painted over several years, started on Seroquil, finished on Geodone

A girl stands peeling an apple. She is wearing an outfit designed my Marc Jacobs. During its season it was photographed frequently for fashion magazines. At her side is a large oriental fish bowl with a glass top. This is a duplicate of a piece of furniture I own. On the side table are three apples, waiting to be peeled.

In the background is a kneeling, naked girl. She is facing a fireplace and has a small broom in her hand. With this broom she is sweeping up ashes. The fireplace has an ornate, carved mantel. On top of the mantel there are four lit candles and a glowing lamp.

The Proud Lion

craypas, done while on Risperdal

The happy, smiling lion is striped and has a blushing butt. The lion has a rope chain around his neck that runs through a loop on the carriage. The carriage is a fancy cage. There are bowed iron bars and a roof of grapes, purple fruit hanging amongst green grape leaves. In the carriage is a half naked, two headed woman. The hair on one head is blond, the other red. She lies on pink fabric. The earth under the carriage and the lion’s feet looks like cotton, quilting material. The colors are bundled into small patches which repeat. It is a very provincial and homey pattern. In the air, flying near silver clouds, are pigs with wings. The old saying that pigs with wings do not exist is not true in this picture. It implies that when pigs can fly, other magical things happen. Inside the sun is a crouching man.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Disaster is Coming

I like disasters. They get me excited. I am always exited at the beginning of a war. Usually the way I imagine it, all the pain and suffering doesn’t happen to me, it happens to other people. I watch, sitting down, while the images of others are projected onto a screen. I see them cry. I see the rubble. It can not be denied that the loss is terrible. And sometimes, in my dark heart, I wish that the disaster was happening to me.

I wish to experience a hurricane, a flood, an earthquake, a war or an economic depression. I wish for a catastrophic change in my life, something to get my adrenalin going, something that would cut me off at my knees, make me weep in despair, make me collapse in a heap on the floor. I want to be poor. I want to be desperate. I want to be horrified. Maybe I think that if I were in the middle of a disaster I would feel more alive. Am I less than fully alive right now? Yes. Give me the worst challenge of my life. Let me be tested and see whether or not I stay sane or go insane, whether or not I live or die.

Currently I am obsessed with the news that the country may be headed toward economic collapse. I follow the bankruptcies, and the fall, one after the other, of major financial institutions. I watch the decline of the stock market. I read the quotes of big men, men who have manipulated millions and billions of dollars, men who can see the future. I believe those who prophesize doom. It feels like every day draws me nearer to my doom.

In the last recession my husband saw his company let go half of their employees. Everyone who had been employed for less then five years was let go. My husband was second from the bottom of the list. In a recession things aren’t selling and people aren’t buying. Manufacturing slows and in order to stay profitable, manufacturing companies must shrink in size. Now my husband has been with his manufacturing company for a little over three years. Is that enough time to be considered valuable? Can his job only be done by him or can it be done by other people?

I fantasize about what it will be like when my husband looses his job and there are no more jobs to be found. I wonder what the cheapest food there is to eat. Rice and beans? Pasta? Tough or fatty meat? I have made my husband promise me that if he should lose his job we will go to the local soup kitchen every day to eat lunch. That would save us a lot of money. Of course I will have to buy bargain shampoo and house supplies at the dollar store, wear no more perfume, and buy all my pets the cheapest pet food. My dog has delicate intestines, she will probably develop loose stool or diarrhea. I will no longer be able to afford new contact lenses so I will feel ugly wearing old glasses. My husband and I will cut each other’s hair. Perhaps I shall merely allow mine to grow long. If our pants or shirts become faded and frayed we will buy no new ones. Only when something develops a hole will it be thrown out. We will no longer be able to afford new books so instead we will go to the library and see what they have there. We will reuse vacuum cleaner bags. We will reuse tea bags and perhaps run our coffee machine on the same grounds more than once.

The Annunciation

oil on canvas panel, 16" x 20", recently done while on Geodone

I feel sorry for the virgin Mary. She did not ask to be pregnant. She was told by an angel what her fate would be. Did she feel special? Probably at first she felt shocked and dismayed. God up in the sky, surrounded by angels, blows some magical breath and makes a holy gesture. Down on the earth poor Mary feels something stir just below her stomach. Poof! This baby is supposed to feel like a blessing, but maybe, sometimes, a blessing feels like a curse. Mary has fallen to the ground and her stomach is huge. She seems ungainly, not graceful. And she is in the very undignified state of being without clothing.

I have never seen a tiger in a tree but I think that that would be a good place for a tiger to be. An elegant tree is the perfect perch for a handsome tiger to repose.


craypas, 16" x 20", Risperdal

Here I drew something first. The hull of the ship. The red and green geometric pattern excites the eye. To this day I believe that it is the hull of the ship that you see first when you look at the picture. In “Pirates” I had to invent water. Water is hard to imagine but what makes it a little easier is to think of a pattern that depicts waves at sea. Waves are a very orderly motion. Of course if you have a sea you need to put in it fish and mermaids. The one mermaid here has been captured by a pirate who plans on ravishing her. There is some killing occurring, most of it being done by bows and arrows. One sailor’s body is being born aloft and then torn apart by a fish, a parrot and an angel. Another angel is pulling on a rope which winds around a sailor. The third angel has just shot and wounded a parrot. The angels have sexes, both men and women. The captain of the ship is looking through a large spy glass. The lens of the spy glass inverts light, making the image of another ship at sea appear upside-down.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Curious Winged Beast

oil on panel, 16" x 24", recently done on Geodone

This is ancient Greece. Or ancient Rome. Or ancient Babylon. It takes place long ago when monsters used to exist and women ran around in short robes. The button and the zipper had not been invented yet so everyone wore robes.

In all ancient civilizations there were many enormous statues. The people carved them because everyone likes to see a human in giant form. The bigger the statue the smaller we feel. Standing overshadowed by a giant piece of stone generates a great deal of awe. And awe is a lovely emotion to experience. Every important building in ancient times was decorated with several statues. In this painting there is a statue of a goddess holding an infant. Next to her is an old, dignified warrior holding his shield and spear. Next to him, barely visible, is a king.

This winged beast is not necessarily going to eat every girl he can catch. He is threatening and most of the girls are afraid and trying to run away. They fear for their lives. But luckily, at that moment, the beast is more curious than hungry. One girl does not run and instead plants her feet firmly. She tries to reason with the winged beast. She says to him, “Why don’t you eat a pig? They taste just as good if not better than a human.”

The winged beast answers, “It is so much trouble to go looking for a pig. Here there are a lot of humans in plain view.

The brave girl thinks a minute. She pats the head of her friend who crouches beside her. This girl is whispering gibberish, having lost her head completely. “There is one advantage to eating a pig instead of a human” the brave girl says. “A pig can’t hold a conversation with you. But you can talk to a human. Pigs are so dim witted that they only grunt. Grunts have little or no meaning. A pig would bore you in five minutes flat. But a human can entertain you with stimulating dialogue. Have you ever tried to make a friend with a human?”

“No, I only eat them” says the beast.

“Well then I can be your first friend. I’ve heard that most monsters live a very lonely existence. But you know that dragons will on occasion stop to talk to a human. Of course they won’t go as far as to share their gold with a human, but they do give very good advice. Kingdoms have risen or fallen based on the advice of a dragon. Everyone I know would love to be friends with a dragon.”

The beast’s voice is wistful. “I’ve always admired dragons.”

Cleverly the brave girl says, “You are just as smart and handsome as any dragon I’ve ever heard of.”

The beast is hesitant. He decides to confess a secret. “Dragons like to play chess. I’ve always been curious about chess.”

Suddenly the brave girl sees a glimmer of hope. “I can teach you chess! Chess is really good in developing the higher faculties of the mind. But you know, in order to play you need an opponent. Every human you don’t eat is a potential chess partner. If word gets out that you eat humans nobody is going to want to play chess with you.”

The beast weighs in his mind the chance to play chess against the chance to eat a human. Pigs start to look more and more appetizing. “Pigs have more fat on them then humans” he muses.

Relieved, the brave girl now knows she can win the argument. “And the fat in meat makes all the difference in flavor! I never trim the fat off my pork. And I love bacon, even though I know it is half fat. You know, if we were friends, I’d love to share a pig with you.”

“I take mine raw” says the beast.

“Then we simply cut it in half before we cook it. While we eat pig, I’ll teach you chess.” The brave girl is really quite intuitive. She has a sneaking suspicion that what has just occurred between her and the beast is a momentous thing. “I believe you’ve enjoyed having this conversation as much as I have.”

“It’s my first in fifty years” admits the beast.

“You poor thing!” says the girl, and she means it. “I promise, your life will change over night if you start talking to humans instead of eating them. With humans as friends you have an exciting future ahead of you. You will feel rejuvenated.”

“O.K.” says the beast.

“The first pig is on me” says the girl. “I’ll go buy one from a farmer.”

“Thank you” says the beast politely.

“My pleasure” say the girl, just as politely in return.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Three Friends

medium size craypas drawing, early Zyprexa

This is a drawing of myself, my boyfriend Scottie, and my best friend Rocki. I am looking at Scottie and tenderly lay my hand upon his cheek. I took care to get the images of everyone’s face just right. Rocki is black and she rarely smiles. We are all naked, and for some reason Scottie has a breast that he is cradling. Perhaps I mean to do him a grave disservice. I imply that he isn’t all male. Perhaps I like males that aren’t all male.

Each of us is holding a cat. Scottie’s and Rocki’s cats are both quite angry and they show their sharp little white teeth. My cat has his tongue hanging out of his mouth because I am holding him around his neck and choking him.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coventry Gardens

16" x 20" oil on board, painted recent while on Geodone

I don't know where in the world Coventry Gardens is, I suspect England. In my imagination it is an ordered place, a beautiful place, and the perfect place in which to make anxiety provoking things happen. I do love the combination of beauty and violence.

The two central figures are reaching out toward one another. Since their horses are moving in opposite directions they will not be able to clapse hands. In the air a giant eagle lifts a dead horse. In the foreground is a dead, decapitated corpse.

My mother took issue with the corpse. She said, why put such a horrible thing in a painting? So I doubted myself. In the back of my mind I would always like my paintings to be able to be displayed at the local library. In such a public place there are standards to how much violence or sexuality you can depict. Very little. I did make the gender of the two naked figures on horseback ambiguous. And after my mother's comment I went one step further and in the rough draft of the painting, painted over the decapitated figure. At that point I looked at the painting and felt that it lacked something. I could have painted a flower over the figure. But a flower does not send the same thrill up the spine like a dead person. I like drama in a picture. So I painted back in the figure exactly like I had painted it at first.

I had to invent the trees in the garden. Vine and blossom covered. Very precisely pruned into geometric shapes. The spreading vines are a consequence of nature unbound. The repeating trees all shaped the same way is an example of civilized, controlled nature. It always pleases me to have opposing elements in the same picture.

I painted the grand building in the background purple. This painting, of course, is seeped in fantasy and it is a fantasy building.

Thanksgiving Dinner

16" x 20" craypas drawing, risperdal period
“Thanksgiving Dinner”

This is Thanksgiving dinner with a very odd family. The idea for the drawing started with the oriental rugs. I love oriental rugs. I like the real ones that are hand made in foreign countries. I was on disability when I drew this picture, so at the time I had no money to buy an oriental rug. But since I hungered for one, I drew one, to satisfy my appetite. To get inspiration for the designs I hunted through home decor and antique magazines and tore out pictures of oriental rugs. I could then use elements of their patterns in my patterns.

The man in the blue suit is calmly ready to start serving himself dinner. He sits, like all the guests, in a wooden chair that is hand carved with vines, a face, and ball and claw feet. Before him is a red table with the feast upon it; a turkey, salad, greens, a pie, and wine goblets.

Next to this man sits the twins dressed in purple. They are having a fight. One twin forces wine down the other’s throat. The other twin defends himself by holding a knife to his brother’s groin.

The lady at the twin’s side is acting inappropriately. She is masturbating at the dinner table. She unbuttons her shirt and feels her breast. Her other hand is creeping up under her skirt.

The last lady to enter the room is in the process of tripping over a cat. She was holding in her hand a bowl of mashed potatoes which is now flying through the air. There are two more animals in the drawing, a dog and cat in the lower corners that are looking at one another and growling and hissing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


When I see beauty this is what I see. I see youth. I see their energy and how their skin glows. Their skin is tight across their faces, there is no drooping or sagging. I see hair that is its own natural color. No need to hide the grey with peroxide products. Often I see long hair, cascading down a back, looking like the most beautiful piece of jewelry. A woman will always seem less naked if she has long hair. I see young bodies that are lithe, compact and trim. Once we were in a McDonalds and my husband said to me, look at that girl, isn’t she beautiful? And I looked and I saw an obese person. I looked closer. She had a face like an angel. She had marvelous curves. She was probably all of twenty. Her blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She was not trying to hide anything of her face or figure and she seemed happy. And I said to my husband yes, she is beautiful.

My ingrained sense of beauty I get from my father. He adores beautiful women. Thin, young, beautiful women. My husband said not to be confused when I listen to my father speak to his wife. It is not with love that he addresses her, it is with lust. My father loves to show the world that he is in lust with his wife. I had not understood this about my father. But it does make clear why my sister and I have such a hard time understanding his feelings. He cannot be in lust with his own daughters. But what is he to do if he is more comfortable showing lust than love? My sister and I are always trying to perform for him, to impress him, to squeeze out of him something which we have feared may not exist. My father clearly loved us when we were children, but when we became women, he put us at a distance.

My sister has bulimia. She knows that if she is thin people will love her more. This is something I believe as well. It is a fact that we have learned from my father. My sister married a man very much like our father. Her husband would like her to be as thin as a blade. I see from her wedding picture how, after a hard diet, she became very fragile looking. Her husband asked her, “Are you safe being this thin?” “Yes” she answered him, and he was pleased, because she finally looked the way he had always imagined she could always look.

My husband is very different from my father. He does not mind that I am overweight. He calls me sexy. It astonishes me that I do not disgust him. In his presence, sometimes I do not mind that I am overweight. I actually like what the mirror shows. Only sometimes. But the occasions repeat more frequently. My husband sees me through the eyes of love first, and then he lusts. I do not think my flaws bother him.

But sometimes I worry that he is fooling me. He thinks thoughts that he keeps from me. If I knew what he was really thinking I would cry and I would not want to go out in public. He is trying to manipulate me to keep me sane. If I were sad I would not be good company. If I hated myself he would have a mess on his hands. So he lies to me. I do not really know what goes on in that dark hole of a mind he has.

Kind words do not stop the suspicions.

The Brass Bed

Large oil pastel drawing, past work, Risperdal or Zyprexa

This is “The Brass Bed”. The part of the picture that really matters to me is the backside of the girl at the window who is hanging herself. I was very upset and suicidal when I drew this picture. There is some unbalance or sense of doom from the attempt for the figure on the bed to clasp the hand of the swinging girl. The girl on the bed is falling off the bed, and the swinging girl is trying to save her. No matter how pretty the flowered wall paper is, or the colorful braided rug, or the smiles on the girl’s faces, or the pink of the curtains and the bed comforter, the drawing for me is very dark.

The object that is in the center of the drawing is the brass bed. I’ve never heard of a brass bed that combined brass and wood, and no doubt such a thing would be very ugly, but for the sake of pattern this is exactly what I have done. The lines of the wood planking run toward the center of the floor and then shoot excitedly upward in the panels of the bed. The posts of the bed are brass and that is all that remains of the real brass bed that I had become so attached to, and which after being gifted to me by my mother, was taken away again because, as she said, I did not deserve it.

My mother was angry at me and some of her anger I deserved. She was renting me an apartment for $400 and for the last month that I was there I only paid her $200. The year before she had let me save $200 for Christmas presents in December and I assumed that she would give me this discount again the next year. Besides not paying the full amount of rent, two weeks into the month I suddenly moved out to go live with my boyfriend and left behind a dirty apartment. It had been the first apartment that I had ever rented and I did not understand the rule that when you leave an apartment, you leave it well cleaned for the next tenant.

My mother had bought at an estate sale a large, ornate brass plated bed which in an excess of gleaming, looping metal, looked luxurious. Eventually she bought a wooden sleigh bed for herself and put the brass bed in the cellar. I discovered the brass bed and asked, since it wasn’t being used, if I could have it. My mother gave it to me and I was wild about it.

When I moved out of the apartment I left the brass bed behind, intending to make arrangements for it to be moved later. My mother said then that she wanted the bed back, because I did not deserve it, and in addition to this, that year she believed that I did not deserve any Christmas presents either. So that Christmas when the family gathered I watched my brother and sister open presents from my mother while there were none for me. I was also told that she would never rent an apartment to me again.

Both my brother and my sister have lived for extended times on my mother’s rental property and never paid rent. I am the only child for who rent has been mandatory. All of what happened was merely a family squabble, but when my mother turned her back on me, I felt like I wanted to die. This feeling comes upon me often no matter how much medication I am on. It must be a symptom of my illness and I can only guess that if it wasn’t for the medication, lifting and blunting my world view, I would be dead by my own hand.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Small Drawings

Bathing nudes
oil pastel, new, Geodone

oil pastel, recent, Geodone

First Entry

This is my first entry on my new blog. My old blog was read by family members. This led to some difficulty. My sister and brother did not want me to write about my mother's rape. My brother objected to there being a gun in my house since I am at times suicidal. All reasonable objections. But in my mind blogging is about freedom of expression. I have to be able to speak my mind. And my family's interference had affected me. I got scared to write my true feelings.

So on this new blog I am anonymous. With the exception of my husband, my family does not know about it. I can't cast shame on my family. I am beyond the reach of people who would want to protect me. I can't make them proud by my writing but I also can't cause them any worry. The only opinions that can affect me are those left by the strangers who read my blog. And I will try, very hard, not to let the opinions of strangers bother me.

I write and paint and draw. Right now I am focusing on writing a book. A book about vampires. You can only sell a painting once, but a book you can resell a million times. I have worked on it for about a year and a half but I estimate that it will take three to four years to finish. I write for two to four hours every day. There are days when I am too sick to write, my mind is too weak. There are days when I have obligations that send me off on errands and prevent me from writing. But I try to make writing a priority. I need to know who I am before I fall asleep at night. Am I a nobody or am I an artist? This question comes to me before I fall asleep. I reach back and review my day. Was I productive? Did I use my mind, work it, stretch it out? I love my mind even though it is diseased. It is my most valuable possession.

When I do write it is during the golden hours of my day. These are the hours after I wake up. First thing I do after I wake up is to read the news on the internet. That gives me a chance to drink coffee and rouse sluggish thought. Then I work on my book. My mind is fresh. No one is home. There is silence all around me. I can concentrate. My mind spins delicate threads of thought. I write until I am exhausted. I write until my mind starts to hurt with confusion. When I stop it is only because I must.

I have never heard about writers who are in mental pain after they stop writing. Do writers who drink take their liquor after they have written in an attempt to dull the pain? I don't know. Frequently after I stop writing I lie very still in bed. I bury my face in a pillow. What has happened is that I have become over-stimulated and exhausted. Of course I am not sleepy, it is usually still morning or early afternoon. But in writing until I can write no more I have pushed myself to the point where symptoms of my illness appear. There is darkness and despair. There is fear of nothing and everything. My body has no energy and does not want to move. I pay a price for writing. I only hope that if it hurts so bad it is only because I have done so well.