This painting is the first painting that I did after being included in the Dazzio Professional Critique class. It comes from a photograph that my husband Gilbert took eight years ago of our oldest daughter, Marian, holding her newborn son Jared. In the photo Marian's hair had blue highlights and since it looked cool, that's how it was painted. Finding the right tone of blue was the most challenging part of this painting because the red oxide tends to make many colors vibrate when put next to it. This painting is 18"H by 24"W. 2007
When I auditioned for the Dazzio class, I included a painting from my thesis show that was a self portrait done in a very loose, multicolored way. My teacher asked me if I could paint that way again. My answer was that I didn't see why not. This painting is my first return to that style of loose realism. It is from a photo of my second grandson. I see parts of it that I would do differently now, but all in all it talks about a moment in Nathan's early life and my early days of getting back into painting. This painting is 16"H by 20"W. 2007
I was reading my Bible and came across the story of the prophet Balaam and his donkey. Balaam was easily swayed from doing the right thing if he was offered enough money, and for a fee he agreed to curse God's people, the Children of Israel. In route, his donkey kept on stopping or trying to get off the path. In frustration, Balaam got off his donkey fully intending to beat him into going where he wanted to go. Just before he hit his steed, God gave the donkey the gift of human speech. The donkey explained that he couldn't keep on going forward because each time an angel stood in the pathway ready to cut them with a sword if they went any further. Then God let Balaam see the angel.
In this painting, I wanted to show the true hero of the story. Balaam is passed out somewhere out of sight of this painting. The glow in the lower corner is from the angelic presence and the little donkey is just standing there waiting for his next instructions. I admire this donkey because he was more in touch with what God wanted him to do than the human was. In this age of situation ethics, I would prefer to be more donkey-like. This painting is 24"H by 18"W. 2007
My Little Boy
I wanted to do a painting of each of my grandsons, and for Michael, I wanted to use primary colors for the most part. In the photo that this comes from, Michael is perched on the new kitchen counter tops with his toy hammer because he was helping his dad, my son Matthew. I chose to use the stained-glass style and began to simplify the elements down to their "gesture" shape... which means how can I use the fewest lines to communicate the space and weight of the subject.
The green "aura" shape around Michael has nothing to do with occult practices. Originally, there was a green background and it didn't work, but the yellow cutting into it did. It was a very happy happenstance plus I could introduce two secondary colors without looking funny. The most bizarre part of this painting turned out to be the face. I subconsciously put my son's childlike face on Michael's body. I could no longer call it Michael's painting so I called it My Little Boy... for both of them. This painting is 24"H by 12"W. 2007
I have a thing about making a portrait look like that person. I wanted to do a portrait of my husband Gilbert with symbols of our journey together. My husband is second generation Mexican-American and his ethnic roots are important to both of us. So his portrait needed cactus, a serape, and the grey hairs of an abuelo (grandfather). The cactus on the left have flowers representing our current grandchildren and/or our three children... it is the known past. The cactus on the right are possible blessings in the future. But blessings are surrounded by troubles or thorns on the cactus. The pink hair on Gilbert's left not only balances the painting, but it reminds me of an old saying on my side of the family. When a family member started to show interest in a particular person they were quizzed with the line, "so is this the one with the pink hair" meaning is this the one who stands out in the crowd to you? So this painting became very personal and yes, it really does look like him. This painting is 24"H by24"W. 2007
Puppy in Repose (Lucas)
We had a class exercise in abstractions on canvas. The basic division of space in this painting came from the abstract painting underneath. But I am not fond of doing abstracts and I really wanted to paint with three neutrals, color, and my dog. So this is about my dog when he was about a year old and how I incorporated him into a reformed abstract using greys, white, taupe, and color plus the variable of the red oxide lines which always interferes with any color scheme. This painting is 24"H by 30"W. 2007
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This is my second Old Testament painting. No one knows what the original Burning Bush looked like but I have always imagined that it has some of the elements of an old pinion bush... very gnarled and barky. In the Bible, Moses is told to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. People in America seem to take God and his holy nature for granted; we come into prayer with a grocery list of prayer wishes without even considering who we are communicating with. I wanted to put modern day iconic shoes in this painting to say "look people, God is still just as holy as he ever was. He doesn't zap us because he has mercy on us, not because he is powerless or unworthy of praise." This painting is 24"H by 36"W. 2007
This is what my third grandson really looks like. I had fun using loose realism in the strokes. He doesn't have as many colors in his face as Nathan's painting, but it works. This painting is quite small... 9"H by 12"W. 2007
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