Moonrise, Take The Skies, 2018oil on canvas12" x 12"oil on canvas12” x 12”

Moonrise Take The Skies

This one has been on my easel for a while. It started out as a meditation on water reflections I was mesmerized by during a hike. Then as I was looking at a map of where I’d been, it turned into the stripes. Finally the moon, both full and new, emerged with an internal landscape.

The outline of a hiphop dancer evokes the feeling of weightlessness and freedom against the backdrop of a full moon and the stripes of palm fronds against a brightened sky.

12″ x 12″, oils on canvasMoonrise

 

 

Strange Attractors, 2017-2018oils on canvas36" x 48"

Strange Attractors

Nietszche wrote, “No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life.”

This is what my bridge looks like from the perspective of a drone. The loopy pathway is an apt representation of the meandering course I take, distracted from a straight path by the actual and philosophic reflections on the moving water.  That and I don’t know my right from my left…always lose my way!

36″ x 48″
oils on canvas

Strange Attractors

From Alto Cedro, 2018oil on canvas36" x 24

From Alto Cedro To Mayari

Chan Chan, a famous song from Cuba, describes a country boy’s journey through life as a passage through the landscape. It is a rustic voyage on foot and by horse. We experience so much of our landscape differently, whizzing through it in cars, trains, planes, or online through apps like Google Earth. Each tempo is a prism that limits or expands our experience of the environment.

Size: 36 H x 24 W
Oils on Canvas

Alto Cedro

'Neath The Sugar Moon, 2018oil on canvas36" x 24"

‘Neath That Sugar Moon

The inspiration behind this painting is a cosmic dance and here the sun and moon equally share the dance floor. My partner and I both studied astronomy in school. Like countless others we drove through the night down to Oregon to see the full solar eclipse last summer.

We slept for a couple of hours in the back of our car, in a crowded parking lot of a Safeway. There were cars from Canada, California, Washington, and Oregon. Each full of excited pilgrims and astronomy nerds, waiting for totality.

The eclipse was an ecstatic moment, a true aesthetic experience full of sweetness and wonderment. But it was the shadow bands streaking across the floor that made my heart spin and leap like a leaf caught in a whirlwind.

‘Neath That Sugar Moon
Size: 36 H x 24 W
Oil on canvas

Neath Sugar Moon

Brimful Of Asha (White Face), 2018Mixed media on paper26" x 22"

Brimful of Asha (White Face)

And then there’s Brimful of Asha (White Face). Because opposites qualify each other– black and white. Just a tom peeking at you with a Bollywood tune on my mind.

26″h x 22″w
Mixed media on paper

Asha white face

This is a fun, pop image, and I hope it evokes a feeling of joy, like a kid playing hide and seek in the garden.

Brimful Of Asha, 2018

Brimful of Asha

Asha is a famous Bolliwood singer, who while remaining behind the scenes, brings joy and hopefulness to millions through her music.

I think of the countless cultivars in our environments as bringing nature’s hope and song into urban spaces.

I paint my pixilated eyes and tree reflections flashing past a window. A puckish tom providing a peek at another landscape.

Asha black face

Oils on canvas
36″h x 24″w

Girls Will Be Boys, 2017Watercolor, marker on judo12" x 9"

In The Beginning: Girls Will Be Boys

Think of this piece as the genesis of the Puer archetype series.

The Eternal Man Child speaks in his own words:

While visiting friends in Buenos Aires, I stepped through an Aleph and was instantly born in Seattle, WA.  Yes, I was conceived full grown. With a beard.

I looked in a mirror and saw my previous self, who weirdly looked like me without a beard… or exactly like my mother, the great artist.

It was really trippy, especially with The Kinks playing in the background.

Girls Will Be Boys
12″h x 9″w
Mixed media on Jupo
2017

boys will be girls

Waiting For The Spark, 2018oil on canvas12" x 12"

Unveiling A New Series: Puer

I’ve been working on exploring a number of different archetypes through a variety of media in the Triumphs project which aims to transform notions of identity.  I call on a variety of recognizable symbolic markers to learn what it means to wear new identities in the stories we tell others and whisper to ourselves. Among the archetypes I explored are Migrations (The Hanged Man), Whistling Dixie (The Mandala), Charites (The Anima), Book of Hours (Judgement)…and now Puer (Eternal Child).

I’m always a little superstitious about showing my work before it is ready, but now that the series has taken shape it is time to make the work public.

Puer expresses a hunger for independence and freedom. He’s opposed to boundaries and limits, and prefers living in his own head instead of reality. To manifest this archetype, I assume a completely different identity, wearing a male persona complete with a beard and androgynous clothes, have an anglo name, and leave behind the limitations of my race and gender.

I first conceived of this series immediately after last year’s ACES Conference. It was the most exciting event I have attended, ever! To see hundreds of artists of color all gathered for one purpose, to stand witness to the stories shared by presenters and fellow artists was deeply cathartic…and exhausting. The last day of the conference coincided with the opening Our Daily Armor III at Virago Gallery. Several artists at ACES were also showing at Virago with me, and at the opening they too mentioned how moved and fatigued they were by the experience.

Resisting external and internal colonization, fighting the good fight– these take a lot out of you. It’s that extra emotional, psychic, and creative cost you pay for being an artist of color who engages with the world as it is.

I though deeply about  Elisheba Johnson’s comment that the art world was a gated community. It’s not just about how segregated it still is (don’t believe me? just look at the Power 100). It’s about how those who don’t face the same struggles POC do have the mental, emotional and creative space to explore and play.

I realized I needed to activate Puer in my studio.

Because Puer hates being constrained he goes where he pleases, traveling freely through an Aleph discovered in a Jorge Luis Borges short story.

I’ll begin posting about each piece in the Puer series now, so you can get to know where he’s been going and what he’s been painting.

 

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See Two New Drawings at Virago Gallery Through Dec. 31st

This has been quite a full Autumn, with several shows, the ACES Conference and Expo, the beginning of a new series in the studio, AND things at the college speeding way up. With more responsibilities and commitments than ever, and with a renewed sense of vision, I am having to call on all my creative energies on multiple fronts.

I definitely feel like a Virago!

Not only is this show curated by the strongest 3rd Wave Feminist voice in the region (Tracy, please keep the fire burning!), but every single art piece in the show makes you think and feel. I am super excited to be a part of this project!

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This Thorny Bush (Three Faces of Eve) is mixed media on polyester film and my exploration of all those #MeToo moments all us womxn seem to have experienced. Let’s not even talk about how we need this thorny bush to defend our reproductive rights.

And I couldn’t stop there. I had to share with my fellow Viragos this personal ritual for fighting against the sexual harassers and other creeps.

IMG_8701In Oya Yansa’s Dance or My Hands Drip With Blood, also mixed media on polyester film, you can see me dancing in the studio with my beard.

In Yoruba mythology, Oya is a warrior goddess. She grows a beard in battle, shuttles the dead to the underworld, and represents a transformational female fierceness. She is the embodiment of liminality–a border creature, part witch, part divinity.  I bought a long patriarchal beard the day I declared war on the oppressors I work with at SCC. I wear it to summon the archetype of this fearsome warrior whenever I strike back at a man who stalked me, took photos of me from behind, sometimes as I leaned over to help students, and posted them on his office door. He broke into my office, made crude demeaning sexual remarks in front of others but still HR did not find this man guilty of sexual harassment. They did finally injunct him from hassing me and he’s “retiring” in a few weeks.

Next I will wage war against a vicious administrator. I wear my beard, take off my shoes, and dance with Yansa again.

 

Virago Gallery
4306 SW Alaska St.
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 933 – 2444

Gallery Hours
Wednesday – Friday – 11 to 7
Saturday – 10 to 6
Sunday – 10 to 4

Basic CMYK

Amazing Turn Out and Performances at Shoreline City Hall Last Night

Thank you to everyone who came out to support Puzzle Out: Nine Across last night. I’m so proud to have been a part of this powerful exhibit, poetry readings, and musical performance by some of the region’s most powerful Latinex voices. Thank you to Shoreline City Hall and David Francis for hosting!

Did you miss the opening of Puzzle Out last night? That’s okay. Get a bag of chips and your favorite sip-sip and click on the Youtube link below to hear the program videotaped by my husband and creative partner, Scott Story of Bioluminous.

Raul Sanchez kicks off reading poetry from his book “All Our Brown Skinned Angels” at about 8 mins. Mariah Alicia Merino kicks off her ekphrastic poetry with a piece inspired by Hugo Moro‘s giclee entitled Captain of Industry II at about 22 mins. Anna Balint delivers her epic poetry about the political refugee crisis at about 32 mins. Weep with me at the ethereal and gut wrenching music of Eden Page (starts around 56 mins).

 

Are you curious about WHY I spent so much time and energy getting this together? Just like clues to a crossword puzzle, the artists in this program help resolve the galvanizing language and racist rhetoric that mark the historic election of 2016 and its aftermath. By celebrating the contributions of Latino/a/x creatives, this exhibit and event challenge racial stereotypes that deny just how vital to our thought leadership and cultural landscape is the varied voice of the Hispanic community.

In a city with a mere 6.6% Hispanic or Latino ethnic presence, the robust cultural contributions of these talented painters, graphic artists, sculptors, photographers, performers, and public artists far exceed their small number. These Latino/a/x artists reach across borders and lines with their work in the studio, the gallery, the academy, municipal office, and corporate world. They invite us to discover an art world that reaches audiences with open hands and hearts. Puzzle Out: 9 Across reminds us that the best the human spirit offers can never be confined by racial stereotypes.

Thank you to the amazing visual artists who agreed to lend their work to Shoreline through April 20, 2018. A remarkable commitment from art professionals who are always exhibiting.

Tracy Carrera, Juan Franco, Gabriel Marquez, Rene Julio, Ettie Wahl, Ulises Mariscal, Hugo Moro, Kristen T. Ramirez