Sunday, May 23, 2021

Lost Art.................

"Gaia" (1987)

 A lot of my body of work over the years has been lost or destroyed, and what I retain are photos. Lately I've felt like it's time to digitize some of those paintings or masks, to preserve them in someway.   Just felt  like posting a few of the "Lost" here..................many of them I have no idea where they went.  But perhaps this post is a way of honoring them because I put so much work and intent into each one, and it makes me sad that too much moving around, no storage, lack of self esteem and hence respect for my own work, and sometimes the intentional destruction by a hostile family member......wasted them.  But I'm glad that I have the photos at least!

The painting above was 9 feet by 4 feet, and was destroyed, as big paintings so often are, when there is no space to store or exhibit them.  I worked so hard on that painting!  I showed it only once, as  part of my mid course MFA Show, it was accompanied by a spoken word musical
 piece called "When the Word for World Was Mother".  I was very influenced then by the writings of  Starhawk in The Spiral Dance , which ultimately led me into Pagan theology and community.  Years later I would move to Berkeley, and end up renting a room from a woman who was one of the founders of Reclaiming Collective, Judy Foster.  Because of Judy, I found myself working with Starhawk, her colleague Macha Nightmare, and Reclaiming on the 20th Annual Spiral Dance in San Francisco. The Masks of the Goddess Collection would be made for that event, and the first time they were performed.

"The Magician - Art" (1994)

From the Rainbow Bridge Oracle, a Tarot deck I created more or less in the early 90's.  Another life size oil painting, this time representing the Magician Tarot Card.  Once it was taken off the stretchers to store, it was all over for the painting.  I stopped doing big paintings after that!  I envisioned the Magician invoking  the white light of the Divine, the unified force, running it through his mind and heart with the power of his intention, and then manifesting on this plane of being the colors of the Rainbow spectrum, which is earthly life in all of its diversity.  I used my then husband, Duncan, as the model, and I still feel it was very successful, getting across the concept I wanted to express about Art and Creation = Magic, as well as a pretty good portrait of him.  It was also a way of honoring Duncan, but a bitter ending to the relationship never allowed me to let him know that.

"The Goddess" (1982)

I painted this when I was living in Putney, Vermont, and it was based on photos I had by a friend from my earlier life in Berkeley, the artist John Hincks.  I have used the photo in my Rainbow Bridge Oracle Deck, but the painting.......I have no idea where it went.  I must have given it to someone when I left Vermont to move to Arizona for Graduate School?  I learned to poo poo this painting as "pretty and decorative" once I got into Graduate School, where, in the 80's, and still so I believe, paintings must be political, shocking, intellectually obscure to prove they are "sophisticated", or best of all, dark enough in style and content to be "Meaningful".   Now retired, I can make beautiful paintings that please me freely, and the heck with the "high" art world's ugly aesthetics!  But I wish I'd kept this painting.................

"The Empress" (1976)

One of the early Tarot paintings I did in the 70's when I lived in Berkeley.  I look back at them and they were rather beautiful, if clumsy.  This one was from a photo I took of a woman who lived in the warehouse/artist's studio building I lived in in Berkeley (there are pretty much no longer any such thing in Berkeley now thanks to gentrification).  I had to take it off the stretchers, where it was rolled up with a bunch of large early paintings.  I am saddened to say that I actually threw this painting away into a dumpster at a storage facility.  More of the self hate I learned somewhere along the way.  Someone somewhere might have enjoyed the painting.  I like to hope someone saw the paintings in the dumpster and rescued them.  A bad time in my life.

"Lilith" (1992)

This one I really like, one of several paintings I did one long winter in 1993, when I lived in New York, using pieces of cut paper to frame the paintings.  Always meant to continue the series but never did.  This one I realize is not lost, but I sent it to the founder of the Lilith Institute in California, so it found a home! Huzzah!  She even framed it!

untitled (1973?)

I hauled this large painting around for years until, I believe, off the stretchers, it ended up in a dumpster in a storage facility.  Once again, I'm sorry that I had so little respect for my work.  
Someone might have enjoyed having this Elfin, Fey man.

"Day of Radience" (1986)

One of the "New Age" paintings I did in Grad School when I was not only going to Grad School but also working with a group of artist friends while we explored some of the spiritual modalities enthusiastically available in the 80's, including past life regression.  Alas, the painting is long gone who knows where, as are also those friends (except for one:  glad you are still around Madeleine!)

"The High Priestess" (1975)

Another of the life size large oil paintings I did when I lived in Berkeley, meant to be for the Tarot.  Probably this painting, taken off the canvas and hauled around for years in a roll of canvases, ended up in the dumpster at a storage facility when I was unable to continue to keep the storage chamber.  I am ashamed of that, because it was a beautiful painting of my friend the poet Felicia Miller, and I labored long and hard on it, and I should have valued it.  At least I have a record of it.

"Three Roots of the Tree of Life" (1987)

Part of a 3 part shrine I made as I became involved in Paganism in the early 80's - they were meant to represent the cycles of generation, reproduction, death and rebirth.  I used to store my art in a closet in my mother's home - unfortunately my mentally ill brother destroyed it while I was gone.  I stopped leaving any of my art at my mother's house after that.  Once again, I forget how many of my paintings are "rooted".

"A House of Doors III" (1987)

From my MFA Show, "A House of Doors", which also included a spoken word/musical piece inspired by Laurie Anderson called "A House of Doors".  This painting, I believe, was destroyed by my brother, because it disappeared from my mother's house.

"Lovers" (1989)

A strange painting, but I really liked it, although it is very clumsy in its composition.  In the summer of 1989 I had a wonderful, magical residency at the Cummington Community in Western Massachusetts.  For a month, surrounded by artists and writers and musicians in this (alas, now defunct) old artist's community, I was on fire creatively!  And somewhat literally too, as the whole series of paintings I did then involved transformation and shamanic fire.  I never showed any of them, to anyone, now that I think of it, but I guess I called them "The Shamanic Journey".  This one came from a dream in which a man offered me fire.  No idea where it went, but I think it was destroyed.

"A House of Doors" (1987)

Title painting for my MFA Show, a big painting about 5 by 4.  Later I used the image in my Tarot deck for "The Chariot", as it represents envisioning where we want to go, and spiritual progress.  I love the image, which used a photo of  Catherine Nash, an extraordinary  artist I knew in Graduate School.  I do remember that this one fell off the wall and right through a chair, so it was destroyed.

"Day of Radience II" (1987)

Another version of this image from the 80's................I did lithos using it too.  Part of the "A House of Doors" series.

"Guide" (1984)

From the time of High New Age, an envisioning Higher and Lower Self communing.  No idea where it went.  

"Hecate" (1997)

This was an image that came to me when I was working on the Tarot paintings, the original (which I do have) became "The Hermit - Solitude".  I felt that when we go through the dark times, the dark tunnels of our lives internally and externally, when we find our way out of those tunnels, out of the dark, we have a responsibility, or an opportunity, to "bear a light" for others to illuminate their paths.  This can also translate into the meaning of Hecate, who guided Persephone out of the Underworld.  She is  the Goddess of the Crossroads who stands with her torch to light the way.  It was a painting on paper,  and I used myself as the model, hoping I think to invoke the guidance I profoundly needed at that particular,  very difficult,   time in my life.

"Transformation" (1989)

This  was the last of my  "Shamanic Journey" paintings from my intense month at the  Cummington Community, and I've always loved it, although no one else seems to like it as they seem to feel it is gruesome, or represents some kind of anti-abortion statement!  Hardly!  But not wishing to alarm those who came to visit me, I took it off my walls long ago and it seems to have disappeared.   Yes, Stanley Kubrick used the fetus for his "Space Child" so I guess it's a cliche.  But what I was talking about is the incubation and birth into a new state of elevated being..............the child, the soul, is wrapped in the fire of transformation.  For me it's a deeply spiritual statement and I wish I had it still.  But I  seem to be the only one who thinks so! 

Untitled (1977)

This one I gave to a friend in Vermont - we fell out of touch, and I learned about 10 years ago that he had died.  I used the photo of it in my Tarot deck for "The Fool", as it represented to me the Innocense that makes so much "impossible" possible!

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