Friday, January 30, 2009

Wild Horses

Wild Horses
16 x 20
acrylic collage
on paper

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Call

The Call
acrylic collage on paper
16 x 20

Her life was a road trip without a map.
Just when she recognized the scenery, she found herself panicked in a strange neighborhood.
A neighborhood where little kids threw sticks and stones at her car.
" Get that car back where it came from!" they shouted as she circled back onto the highway.
If only she weren't so directionally challenged, her life would be so much easier.
She found herself avoiding the rear view mirror just like her past.
The idea that the objects were closer than they appeared freaked her out.
It only made her drive faster into the unknown.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Framed Image

In celebration of the National Western Stock Show Framed Image is pleased to show wildlife and western art from Deborah Fuelberth, Mary Beth Thorngren, Becky Schmeits, Anne Wallace, and Amy Winter.
Framed Image
5066 East Hampden Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80222
303- 692-0727

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tiger In The Woods

I heard once that when an older animal feels his time is drawing near, he will seek a secluded place to spend his final moments.
Perhaps, to spare his loved ones or to retain a sense of dignity. But why question the motive when the result remains the same.
The day I saw the tiger enter the woods without the rest of his pride, I hoped what I heard was just a myth.
The woods, with all it's tranquility can be just as dark and dangerous. As the saying goes, when a person returns safely from danger, they are out of the woods. This makes me question the true motives of Henry David Thoreau when he deliberately chose to live in the woods. But again, why question this possible myth.
The mighty tiger found a sturdy tree and curled up at the base. Slowly he began to drift away. The pride was left bewildered, confused, and too afraid to enter the dark and dangerous woods. They were hopeless without their fearless leader.
That night they mustered up enough courage to go into the woods. They found the tiger in what appeared to be a very deep sleep. Fearing the worst, they began to poke and prod at him. He did not stir. Still bewildered and confused they returned to the edge of the forest.
This routine continued for the next couple of days. Each time was unsuccessful, but they didn't give up hope. Every little rustle of a leaf or crackle of a branch had them frantically rushing back into the woods. " I think the tiger is awake! The tiger must be awake!", they shouted.
Mostly these were just the sounds of the forest floor accepting the weight of the tiger's assumed fate.
On the sixth day a couple of them were preparing to leave. They had not given up entirely, when all of a sudden they heard a mighty roar. In the distance they saw their fearless leader slowly coming out of the woods.
Yet, there was something different about the old tiger. I cannot know for sure. I think it had something to do with motive.
At the time I saw the pride gather around him, I was certain what I heard was just a myth.
This tiger had a lot more roar left in him.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When I am grown

Her sister asked her to watch her son for the afternoon.
She never minded taking care of her nephew. She had no children of her own and this was not only a chance to be the good aunt, but secretly practice being a mom.
He was nine and seemed so much older for his age. It was difficult not to view him as just a minature sized adult.
So impressed by the way the boy carried himself, she began to express all the possibilities that lay at his fingertips. "You are such a big boy, you are so smart, and you can be anything you want to be when you grow up. What do you think you'd like to be?" she asked.
The boy carefully considered his response, scrunched up his face and said, " Well, in that case, I think I'd like to be a tree."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Portrait

16 x 20
acrylic collage on paper

A portrait of her hung above her bed. Painted 70 years ago, I believe she still saw herself that way. Her hair once long and lustrous was now teased and sprayed to hide her exposed scalp. At a quick glance, you might think you saw a baby chick perched on a large egg.
She had her nurse assist her in getting dressed, just as she did every evening. She insisted on wearing her mink stole, even though it was mid June. They kept it very cold in the dinning hall. Plus, it was surf and turf night.
The nurse obliged her for she knew better than to argue.
In her day, she wouldn’t be caught dead in such a get up. She was always quick to point out a fashion faux pas. I knew at a very early age the crime of wearing white shoes after Labor Day. A concept lost on most Europeans, especially the Germans. I know Labor Day is an American holiday, but still.
She took her wheelchair, because she was embarrassed how slow she was on her walker. Most importantly she wanted to get her usual seat .
She made her mind up when she moved in that she wasn’t going to get too chummy with the other residents. Mostly women, their husbands had past years before. She too was alone and wanted to finish her final days that way.
She liked to sit with the woman who lived down the hall. She seemed as close to her kind of people as anybody, but they rarely spoke. This woman also didn’t take notice when she chewed, a big challenge since her stroke. The other women were appalled with her eating habits. They chose not to sit with her ever since the day she reached into her mouth and pulled out a chunk of poorly chewed meat.
I know she too would have been just as appalled. I think as much as her aged mind hindered her, it protected her all the same.
She was one of the first members of an exclusively elite social club in Dallas. Always attending various tea parties, luncheons, and dinner engagements. She was skilled in party planning, a regular, Martha Stewart of her day. Those days were long gone. If only those other women knew exactly who she was.
I bet they’d knock over a few walkers, just to sit at her table.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Pear

The Pear
A couple of high-pitched squeals woke me from my afternoon nap.
I opened my window to see my neighbor loading her three girls into her mini van.
The oldest one shouted up to me, "Guess what? Mama is taking us to McDonald's!"
From all the excitement you would have thought they were on their way to Disneyland.
This really was a rare occasion. She prided herself on raising her girls on all things healthy.
The youngest was accustomed to biting into a tomato just like an apple. They never batted an eye to a veggie burger on a wheat bun or that mysterious substance called tofu.
In a way, I felt a little sorry for them.
Two of my best friends growing up were Oreos and Doritos. Boy, we really had some good times.
My pity went into overdrive the day her oldest came home from school in tears.
On Fridays the students were allowed to swap snacks brought from home.
" Mama, nobody wants to trade for my pear", she cried.
At that time I was too immature to realize that she was teaching her a lesson.
A lesson that may have been too difficult for a 12 year old, much less for myself.
I was in my late 30's;
now it all makes sense.
The fruit we bear cannot be appreciated by those who are accustomed to a diet of junk food.
Fortunately, I said good bye to my childhood friends a long time ago.
Now, I carefully choose those with whom I share my fruit and I can only hope her daughter does as well.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Metronome

16 x 20
acrylic collage on paper
painted once again

He kept a metronome on the dashboard of his car.
He said it helped him keep the pace with the basic vibrations of the universe.
I always wondered if he had to adjust it depending on his location.
Imagine the tempo of Central Expressway compared to a back country road.
This man was odd, to say the least.
He marched to the beat of his own drum or rather, drove to the tempo of his own metronome.
At any rate, I did learn one thing from him.
No matter where you are, it's important to keep the pace with the universe.
Sometimes you just need to adjust the weight.
I still can't help but wonder what frequency he was thinking of.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Old Brown Shoe

16 x 20
acrylic collage
on paper

I once had a drawing class where a fellow student had done a drawing of an old brown shoe. When asked to discuss his work he said that it was a self portrait.To this day it still disburbs me that he actually saw himself that way.
But, who am I to judge?
I guess it doesn't really matter how a person sees themself, the world always sees them differently.
He just made it easier for us, I guess.
But still,
an old brown shoe?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is the pen mightier than the sword?

Kyoto II
16 x 20
acrylic collage on paper

A couple of weeks ago he received an e-mail from a neighbor telling him in no uncertain terms,"RAKE YOUR FN LEAVES!!". A few weeks later she received an e-mail from a different neighbor accusing them both of stealing their daughter's wallet . That was when they realized that maybe they had moved into the wrong neighborhood.
With all the latest technological advances in communication, have we lost the ability to actually communicate? Perhaps it has made us bolder. Would you really say face to face what you would write in an e-mail? I guess the old adage that says the pen is mightier than the sword still rings true. Imagine composing an actual letter and mailing what you wished to get off your chest. I bet by then those leaves would have already been raked and the girl would have found her misplaced wallet. You probably wouldn't even want to waste the stamp.
So I challenge those who find it easier to explode their grievances on the keyboard, why don't they just take out their swords and truly sever the ties.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stalled on Memory Lane

16 x 20
acrylic collage
on paper

On any given day you could have found her lost in her memories with the aid of the scrapbook that my mother made for her. Although, there were only about 8 pages, it seemed to occupy what little was left of her aged mind. I believe that this kept her grounded in this life longer than she ever expected to be. She passed away just 2 weeks shy of her 100th birthday, outliving all her friends, siblings and even her husband. They were married 76 years. She was my grandmother, my Mimi.
These photos of her friends and family were not just flat images glued to the page, these people were still very much alive. It was then that I realized how important the preservation of memory can be.
Just recently, I have fallen victim of Facebook. I know, at first it seemed juvenile. It's so much fun reconnecting with long lost friends. Some of them weren't so lost, just tucked away.
On the other hand, I am a little concerned. I wonder if you spend too much time reliving the past, are you limiting your future? Instead, I'd like to think I am enhancing it. Right now my car has stalled on Memory Lane and I need a jump start into the here and now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Over the Edge

Tops of fench posts
Spring Valley Wildlife Area

She always said she just needed something to take the edge off.
Who knew that emery board called life,
so coarse in texture,
could grind her down
to the bitter end.
It happened one night when her edges seemed particularly rough
with every directional pull
replaying and repeating.
She smoothed herself away
to nothing.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Meddling for meaning by mercy sakes

16 x 20
acrylic collage on paper

Is it the thrill of the hunt or the thrill of the find? I don’t know which one excites me more.
As a child I was constantly getting into trouble for meddling. My curiosity got the best of me the day I fell through the glass front of my mother's antique curio cabinet. I was standing on a step stool to reach the top shelf. Isn't curio short for curiosity? Probably not the smartest question to ask when you've broken all your mother's limoge figurines that she collected while living in France.
The other night as that broken tape reeled in my head; the one responsible for all those sleepless nights. It dawned on me that my collage paintings are just products of my curiosity. I know I stand true that my abstracts are non-objective, formal exercises. The many scraps that I find this place and that do not stop being discovered once glued to the canvas. Painting over them temporarily hides them. When I wipe away parts they are discovered once again. It’s a continuous process all starting from what was refused or left behind.
The other day while walking the dogs in the woods I found this small printed piece of paper.
On the front it says,"Father, help me be as gentle and kind to others as I want you to be to me." On the back it gives the verse, Matthew 5:7,
" Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy"
This, I feel, is my message for 2009.
My curiosity has me
always searching, scavenging, and meddling for meaning.
I am forever at the mercy of discovery..........