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About Storytelling

During my first year at Cal State, a required class in Anthropology spurred such an interest in indigenous peoples that I ended up taking a second major in Anthropology in order to study these cultures. I discovered that the essence of a people lies in their stories: their mytho- histories; their folklore. My feeling was that these stories are a peoples' most valuable possession- as they are passed from generation to generation they weave a thread that ties the group together: with repeated tellings these stories change and evolve; taking on a life of their own. As long as the stories are told they remain alive. A great many of the stories I heard or read evoked mental images- images that I turned into interpretive works of art. From those early days at the Univesity up till today, I have continued to collect stories from indigenous cultures around the world (I'm most drawn to the tales of desert peoples), and to create pieces of art that tell them. This is my way of keeping the stories alive.

In 1999 I suddenly, spontaneously, began to write poetry. This seemed to coincide with the onset of true menopause! Whatever the cause, I now find that the voices of my pieces are often speaking in rhymes or verse. Wherever a "traditional" story wants telling, I re-write it in poetry form...I also now find myself creating pieces that tell stories uniquely my own; or their own, as I am doing more artworks lately that seem "directed". These new pieces always speak in verse...

Many thanks to my friends Denise Ariew, Donna and Dave Fedukowski, and Paul Cartter, without whose scanning and computer expertise the photos of my artworks could not have appeared on these pages!

My sincere thanks must now also go out to Diane Salerno and Bill Lannon, who have just donated to me a computer for use in reproducing my images! Because of their generous gift, I will now be able to regularly show new work on these pages. THANK YOU!!!

About My Art

A lot of people ask me how long I've been doing art, and the answer is "forever"! As far back as I can remember art of some kind has been what I have been most interested in doing with my time. While it is true that my parents did not support my teenage goal of a career in art; when I was a little kid my dad kept me supplied with newsprint tablets, crayons, and pencils. Later I used my allowance to buy my own. I just drew and drew and colored and kept on doing it and am still doing it today. Over the years my work has changed and evolved and is constantly doing that today- the art I'm doing this year is not the art I was doing last year; and it won't be the art I'm doing next year, I'm sure. One constant, 'tho, is that I have always painted- in many different media and on many different types of surfaces over the years. Right now I'm doing acrylics on raw canvas or other fabrics, stretched as traditional canvas. These paintings tend to be colorful and emotional. I dislike traditional frames and make my own out of lumber- carving and painting them in a way that makes them a continuation of the painting- I feel this creates a more holistic statement than any more conventional framing could accomplish! As of winter '99 I also began creating "retablo" style paintings on wood: these tend to be looser- more playful and decorative than my works on canvas. Additionally these allow me to carve or shape any part of the painting since the whole painting is wood!

I began experimenting with wood sculpture in 1988- before that I liked to sculpt in clay but tended to create such complex forms that these didn't fire well. Also I only wanted to paint on the sculptures, not glaze them. So I turned at first to carving simple wood shapes I could paint. I used only lumber scraps left over from Tucson's prolific construction industry for these. I still do use only recycled pieces of wood such as the aforementioned scraps for my sculptures. My pieces have gotten both much better and much bigger over the years. My sculptures tend to be my more whimsical artworks, and I usually decorate them by just painting them with acrylics, then varnishing to protect the surface. I use both hand and power tools in sculpting the figures- the end appearance is what is important to me- not some pernickety "wood carving" process...

The subject matter of my work is mostly inspired by myth: the mytho- histories and folklore of peoples who live in desert lands. (See "About Storytelling" at left). And it is definitely informed by feminist thought. I also do images from my personal myths (my Dreams), and because the collective conscious fascinates me, I am creating a series of Tarot card paintings: I agree with Jung that the human archetypes are reflected in these images!

To see my images and read the stories that they tell; visit the on- site links below. As I complete new pieces I'll add them to this gallery, so check back often!

You are visitor # to walk thru the gallery door!

Welcome to the Gallery! The following pieces are on exhibit today:

"I Wonder if the Moon Rides a Horse?": painting
A Wiser Lion Now: sculpture
Elder Brother and the Spider People: painting
The Dawn Women: painting
I Stand for my Horse: painting
"Mommy, does the Sun come up riding a horse?" : painting
Grandfather Toad : sculpture
The Wonderful Watermelon Horse: sculpture
Tarot Card Paintings Series: I am working on paintings for my own deck of Tarot cards. See them here.
TurtleWoman Site Archive: Back to the OLD Home Page
The Sonoran Desert and Her Plants: Onward to the NEW Home Page!