March 08, 2017

I Bow Deeply

SusanbSusan B. Anthony walked this earth from 1820 to 1906. With Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other allies, she dedicated her life to living as an activist for women's rights. This life culminated with an amendment to the Congress that they presented, to give women the right to vote. It was after her death in 1920 that the vote was passed and the US Constitution was amended for the 19th time, allowing women to vote.

ALLOWING. What a concept.

It reminds me of the point made by Catharine MacKinnon that when we women sing the song of inclusion, it is within the fugue of "we are the same." And that song, though important, is embedded within a structure that remains structurally oppressive and patriarchal and keeps our existence in correspondence to the male standard. The male body is the human body. The female body is the extra credit course found in ob/gyn.

Undoubtedly Susan B. Anthony had to field assorted insults and harassment that remain evergreen: "Why are you such an angry woman?" "Why don't you smile?" "Be happy." "Happy girls are the prettiest girls." "Why can't you just get over it?" "You asked for it, didn't you?" "Why can't you be grateful for what you have?"

On this International Women's Day, I bow deeply to all women past, present, and future who resist all facets of misogyny, even in the face of insults and terror from the universe as we fight for inclusion and protection within a flawed structure ... while imagining a someday when the standard of the structure is no longer male.

#internationalwomensday #adaywithoutwomen #resist #susanbanthony

March 07, 2017

455 Beautiful to Strangers


455 Beautiful to Strangers
6x8 inches
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This is the demo painting i made while teaching a private oil painting session in the studio. Most people ask me for homework before they leave. My answer is usually this: Paint soon and often. Like tomorrow. Paint tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow. And the day after that.

#resistancelog (Word Choice Edition)

Word choice

As I continue to embrace my outrage against the misogyny of this administration and the world, I am reminded of the importance of being mindful with words. My word choices. My desire to avoid using words that create hierarchy among women.

Case in point. Recently, there was a photo of Kellyanne Conway kneeling on the couch in the oval office while looking at her phone that went viral. Congressman Cedric Richmond joked about the photo saying that she "really looked familiar in that position." In response to the misogyny reflected in Richmond's comment, Chelsea Clinton called him out on it and defended Conway by saying: "Despicable. I hope @kellyannepolls receives the apology she deserves ..." To which Conway responded to Clinton by saying: "Thank you @chelseaclinton. As strong women ... appreciate you speaking out on this ..."

And it's the word choice of "As strong women" that left me feeling unsettled.

"As strong women" are three words that appear innocuous at the outset but in my opinion, elevate women of privilege and denigrates women with less privilege. When the words "as strong women" are spoken, the unspoken words sound something like: "as better women ... than those weak ones, those poor ones, those slutty ones, those pitiful ones ..."

I feel that if I as a woman am going to fight misogyny, I need to be aware that perceived strength in a woman isn't because that woman is inherently superior, or that perceived weakness in a woman isn't because that woman is inherently inferior.

Sometimes, when a woman exists within an environment of abuse, poverty, sexual oppression, the means for survival includes meekness and other strategies of finding ways to survive ... quietly sometimes ... outlandishly sometimes ... provocatively sometimes ... to finish the day with the currency she needs for her work so she can live another day.

I'm not saying that I don't want to be strong. I just want to talk about strength in ways that don't unknowingly ignore the dynamics of privilege among women and buy into the faulty notion that individual hard work is all I need to overcome structural oppression. As Catharine MacKinnon points out in Feminism Unmodified: "When a few of us overcome all this, we are told we show there are no barriers there and are used as examples to put other women down. She made it—why can't you? We are used as tokens while every problem we share is treated as a special case."

I want to be strong ... and I don't want to huddle with the privileged "as strong women" to inadvertently shame other women. And I don't want any perceived strength on my part to be used to prove that there are no barriers ... but because there are.

March 05, 2017

The Outrage

ArtwalkThe best thing a person said to me at last night's art walk is "I feel your emotions ... including the angst, the outrage ... in your work."

It was the best thing because I know that such emotions are frequently with me ... which I intentionally don't chase away ... as they testify to my observations of the world. I'm not afraid of them. And when another human can experience my art and connect emotionally ... well ... that's as good as it gets for me. And as much as I enjoy Happy, I seek not to order my emotions into a hierarchy because Angst and Outrage aren't less important. Even with a still life of apples or flowers from a garden or portraits of faces, I am interested in honestly expressing with urgency, emotions I have in response to what I see, what I feel. I don't want to stay in the shallow end of life pretending that I'm in the deep end.

Speaking of which ... I'd like to say again ... ENOUGH.

Enough from self-annointed authorities on "how to live life" who preach endlessly about what humans should feel, via the "choose happy/I'll pray for you" movement. I don't choose my emotions. I experience life and emotions happen. Art happens. Expressions happen. Connections happen. You want me to choose happy? You want to pray for my outrage to go away? I say to that: Mind your own feelings. Pray (if you want to) for your own self. Because your finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.

March 03, 2017

454 Long May it Wave

Longmayitwave454 Long May it Wave
6x6 inches :: oil on gessobord
Click here to Bid or Buy Now
I referenced a photo by @jodicobbphoto for @natgeo for this work. I just fell in love with the entire composition ... with the minimalist architecture, the beautiful shadows, and the American flag dancing in the air. Long may it wave.

#resistancelog (oligarch edition)

OligarchsDid you know that:

  • Our new Commerce Secretary is a man named Wilbur Ross?
  • The German bank named Deutsche Bank was discovered to have move and launder $10 billion out of Russia and that those dollars included accounts by Vladimir Putin and other Russian oligarchs?
  • Deutsche Bank has branches in Moscow, New York, and Cyprus (an island country in the East Mediterranean) called Bank of Cyprus?
  • After the laundering scandal, the chairman of Deutsche Bank became chairman of Bank of Cyprus, which is the bank where Russian oligarchs go to launder their money?
  • Two of the largest shareholders of Bank of Cyprus are Russian oligarchs Vickor Vekselberg (friend of Putin) and Dmitry Rybolovlev (known as the King of Fertilizer)? 
  • As Rybolovlev was going through a nasty divorce was buying expensive property in order to tie up his money from the divorce settlement?
  • One of the things Rybolovlev bought in 2008 was a humongous estate in Florida for $100 million from Donald Trump?
  • Donald Trump had bought that Florida estate from an auction, just two years prior in 2006 for $40 million? 
  • Neither oligarch Rybolovlev nor Trump ever met to make this deal but worked only with intermediaries?
  • Aside from Russian Oligarchs Rybolblev and Vekselberg's high stature in the Bank of Cyprus there is one American who also has high stature in that bank and serves as one of its two vice-chairmen and that his name is Wilbur Ross?

Kudos to Rachel Maddow for connecting these very important dots and reporting on all of this on February 27, 2017. Do you want to better understand the disgusting behavior or Russian oligarchs and their track-record of destroying humans in their quest for money? Then I highly recommend that you read Red Notice by Bill Browder. It is an important book.

I think the reason Fascist45 isn't showing his taxes is because once we get forensic auditors to look at his taxes, we will learn that he is as disgusting as these oligarchs who he has been in bed with, with his insatiable thirst for money. Is there a dossier that could potentially ruin Fascist45? If Russian oligarchs were involved with any business dealings where they agreed to pocket Trump a cool $60 million with a real estate transaction, you better believe there is a dossier. That's the way oligarchs do business. You don't get to pocket $60 million for nothing.

March 02, 2017

Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine Interview

RenomagI was recently interviewed for Reno Tahoe Tonight magazine and I'm so honored to be the cover story for the March issue. I'm so very happy with how it turned out. Among other things, we discuss art, music, my exhibitionist tendencies, discipline, freedom, and why in many ways, painting helps me live another day. Here's the link. Starts on page 16. Thanks for reading it. 



453 Nintendo Game Boy

Nintendo2453 Nintendo Game Boy
6x6 inches :: oil on gessobord
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For my 50th birthday, my kids went on eBay and got me a vintage Nintendo Game Boy, which I referenced for this work. I used to have one way back when and I loved it so much. They got me two game cartridges too: Tetris and Ms. Pacman ... the only two games I really ever played ... quite passionately I might add. The device seemed so modern back then. Hahaha. When I play it today, it feels not so modern but still so fun.



March 01, 2017

452 Flippin Resist

Napoleon452 Flippin Resist
6x8 inches :: oil on gessobord
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I referenced an image of Jon Heder in his role as Napoleon Dynamite for this work. In response to last night's presidential address to congress, I imagine Napoleon would say something like: "What a faker. He's still taking away my health care. He hates Pedro. And when's he gonna show his flippin' taxes? Gosh!"

February 28, 2017

451 Down Shot

Downshot451 Down Shot
8x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
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I referenced I photo I took of flowers that I bought a couple of weeks ago from my local florist, Lavenders Flowers. I put three white flowers and a lavender rose into a jelly jar and took a down shot of this grouping.

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