Open Studio Class in Cary, NC

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Here are a few photos of the talk I gave at the Cary Senior Center's Open Studio Class in Cary, NC. The group also asked me to give a critique of their works in progress. A good time had by all and plenty of chocolate goodies to boot.

Interior Space II

Friday, July 20, 2007

Two of my paintings, White Squares #5 and KCMO-Searching For Self #2, were selected to be in an exhibition called Interior Space II at the Nelson Fine Arts Gallery in Lexington, Virginia.

This year's Juror, New York artist Amy Finkbeiner, states: "I concentrated mainly on images that seemed to me to have psychological resonance. So there are some actual depictions of architectural spaces, some images of individuals reflecting a kind of mental or emotional interiority, and a number of works that seemed to communicate the artist's own interior exploration, whether through formal or content decisions. I chose works that felt evocative (and maybe just a touch haunted)."

The opening reception and award ceremony will be held at the gallery on Friday, August 3, 2007 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. For more information contact the gallery at (540) 463-9827, or visit the website at:

Such is life...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Never Enough, Oil on canvas over panel, 17” x 74”, 2007

"There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, 'Enough!': the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, 'Enough!'
--Proverbs 30: 15-16.

Never Enough is a painting I recently completed in response to the subject of infertility. After several years of unsuccessfully attempting to conceive, my husband and I decided to see an infertility specialist. On the morning I was scheduled to undergo an HSG (hysterosalpingogram), a basic fertility test to determine if there were any blockages in my fallopian tubes, I took a few minutes to read a scripture from Proverbs (I read a daily verse that coincides with the day of the week). Although I’ve read the Bible in it’s entirety several times, both for daily guidance as well as it’s poetic beauty, I always seem to discover something I didn’t see before.

The date was October 30th so I read Proverbs, chapter 30. The verses that jumped out at me automatically were 15 and 16 in which the key passage gives a description of greedy men with illustrations of insatiable cravings that can be observed in nature.

Four notable examples of insatiable desire are: (1) The Grave: Yawning wide and always consuming but never full. Proverbs 27:20a says, “Death and Destruction are never satisfied.” (2) The Barren Womb: The relationship between a woman and her body as a vessel for procreation. There’s a long-standing history of greed and childbearing in various cultures that place a high value on the number of children a woman is able to birth. (3) Parched Land: Always thirsty and eager to soak up as much water as it is given. Especially in agricultural economies where arid farmlands demand an unending supply of water. (4) Fire: An uncontrolled fire will continue to consume until everything in its path is destroyed.

Although this Proverb is most commonly used as a warning against greed and discontent, I was struck by the second example: a barren womb. I pondered the road ahead of me filled with appointments, tests, pills, and injections. I began to wonder if there will always be a void in my life if I am unable to have a child. Will there be a desire in my heart for something that I can never achieve? Will I always feel a sense of being unsatisfied; will I feel like I’m lacking something? There’s always adoption--this will fulfill the need to nurture, but will it really quiet the longing to be a mother of my own offspring? I guess it remains to be seen. I’m consoled by the following two scriptures: “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippines 4:19), and “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:9).

The painting consists of four panels; each panel illustrates one of the four symbols of greed mentioned in the Proverb. The first panel shows an open grave, the second-a woman’s torso whose uterus and ovaries are exposed, the third shows a desert floor that is cracked and dry, the final panel is ablaze with the flames of an unquenchable fire. Each panel is 15” x 15” except for the second panel--the female torso. This panel is the largest at 17” x 17”, which indicates it’s significance. The skin tone, painted in shades of blues and grays, represents any woman. Infertility is something shared by women as a whole, regardless of color, ethnicity or culture. The reproductive organs, painted in shades of reds and oranges, depict an empty womb. Over the entire piece hover the words: There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say enough. The hand-painted text appears to be transparent, a shade slightly lighter than the images. Across the bottom of each panel is an intentionally obvious reference to the individual images: open grave, barren womb, parched earth, consuming fire.

Gallery RFD

Friday, July 6, 2007

Divine Inspiration, Religion: Meaning and Morals in the Modern World. June 7th-July 7th at Gallery RFD

There are some new photos of the exhibition reception posted on Gallery RFD's website. My painting, Timshel, is in this exhibition. The exhibition includes works of art that explore how organized Religion and Spirituality affect our everyday lives, decisions, politics, and philosophies. The goal of the exhibitions is to give insight into the similarities and differences associated with the practices, doctrines, and responsibilities of different religions. Dr. Bruce Little, MFA Program Director at Georgia Southern University was the Juror.

About the painting:
Timshel (Thou Mayest), Oil on paper and canvas, 25” x 12” (Diptych), 2006

Timshel explores the Yin/Yang element of human nature. The concept of this ancient Chinese philosophy claims that there are two primal opposing but complementary forces found in all things. Everything has its opposite—although this is never absolute. No one thing is completely Yin or completely Yang. Each contains the seed of its opposite. As a diptych, Timshel reflects this idea in it’s two parts--one being predominately black and one being predominately white. This color reference represents the duality of good and evil that exists in the heart of man. While this will always be an internal struggle, there is hope in knowing that God gives people the strength to overcome sin if they choose to do so. This powerful lesson is best demonstrated in the following excerpt from John Steinbeck’s literary masterpiece, East of Eden, in which we see the biblical story of Cain and Abel retold in the lives of two generations of Salinas Valley families:

[Lee said,] “The King James version [of The Bible] says this — it is when Jehovah has asked Cain why he is angry. Jehovah says, ‘If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.’ It was the ‘thou shalt’ that struck me, because it was a promise that Cain would conquer sin.”
Samuel nodded. “And his children didn’t do it entirely,” he said.
Lee sipped his coffee. “Then I got a copy of the American Standard Bible. And it was different in this passage. It says, ‘Do thou rule over him.’ Now this is very different. This is not a promise, it is an order. And I began to stew about it. I wondered what the original word of the original writer had been that these very different translations could be made ...
“My [elders] felt that these words were very important too — ‘Thou shalt’ and ‘Do thou.’ And this was the gold from our mining: ‘Thou mayest.’ ‘Thou mayest rule over sin.’ ...
“The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel — ‘Thou mayest’ — that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’ — it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ ...
“Now, there are millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But ‘Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.”

Cary Art Loop

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

On Saturday I dropped off 22 large scale oil paintings at the Cary Senior Center in Cary, NC. This solo exhibition called "Outside In", is held in conjunction with the Town of Cary's Cary Art Loop and includes venues such as Jordan Hall Arts Center, Town Hall, Page-Walker Arts and History Center, and the Herb Young Community Center. The exhibition opens July 1 and runs through the 31st with a reception held on the 27th from 6-9 p.m. I will be giving an artist's talk on Friday, July 20th at the Center's Open Studios Program from 1-2:30 p.m.
I will be discussing some of my painting techniques and giving critiques of the member's artwork. Cary Senior Center is located at 120 Maury O'Dell Place. Each month the Center offers a new exhibit showcasing artwork from local and regional artists. The Center is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Admission is free.

WHC Update

Monday, July 2, 2007

Over 100 pieces of art were donated to Housing Works in Brooklyn, NY to raise money for a new health center for women. The exhibition was called "Positive Art for Positive Women". The on-line auction was a success and my piece "Silence" was selected to be part of the Women's Health Center art collection; it will be on permanent display at the facility in Brooklyn, NY.