My new paintings this past winter-into-spring are of dusk and what I have come to call the "grottoes." I feel they are deeper visions of mine and I have a sense of vulnerability in painting them. I feel they are archtypically feminine, as Marian visions often appear to young women and are thereafter ensconced in grottoes, around springs in shallow caves, such as the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. If male imagery can be defined as a phallic shape thrusting outward, surely the female icon could be that of an entrance into a secret garden, an oasis among the rocks, a hidden source of rest, nourishment, healing and preparation; a riparian nursery, curtained by thickets, a sanctuary for contemplation, for the intimacy and peace of prayer.
Art Show at the Black Sheep Cafe
This month I have 11 paintings hanging on the school-bus-yellow and fire-engine-red brick walls at the Black Sheep cafe in back of the bookstore on Main Street. Climber hangout, lotsa foreign accents, a new venue in Bishop. A young woman who works there (my J Diamond neighbor of the Thanksgiving Dinner last November) was my "in" to the proprietors, and I am grateful for her efforts. I have never hung art work in a coffee shoppe before -- this opens up possibilites for me in the area, such as eateries in Mammoth. Follow-up next blog to see if anything sells.
Red Neck Reaction to Lady Painter
Phil, one of my bowling team mates in the Bishop Road Runners League this past winter, when I tried to invite him to come to the artist reception at the cafe and see my paintings on the wall, replied: "What? Come to see your panties on the wall?" Ironically, I suppose this remark could be taken as one expression of my exposition (above) on the feminine nature of grotto imagery, but I rather think he was reacting out of the standard issue red neck arrested development pattern, wherein males seem to hit a wall at the age of 13, splatter, and stick. Boys are naughty and Girls are nice, and even when they get older (we are in our 60s and 70s here) the women display mild disapproval (roll eyes, shake head, flick wrist like a little slap) in combination with complacent indulgence (smile broadly, flutter eyelashes) towards naughty male behavior. And people out here ask me, over and over again, "Why didn't you marry?" And my truthful answer is "I didn't want to be a wife, I wanted to be an artist." My answer is meaningless to them, they stare at me and shake their heads.
I feel I have chosen rightly.