NOTES ON THE ARTWORK

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS

The Dia de Los Muertos series began when I was working with my students, most of whom are from Mexico, at La Promesa Elementary. We had been learning how to draw the skeleton/skulls using my two models, Herb and Henrietta. Cinco de Mayo was coming up so my students and I were making paper flowers to use for decorations in the school pagent. Some of my sixth/fifth graders "decorated" Herb and Henrietta with the flowers that we had made and I thought my skeleton couple needed to have their portraits done! Since then I have arranged the pair to create many imaginary tableaus which I believe could and do happen when I am not around. Sometimes I borrow, Miguel, my friend's Stacy Brown's skeleton to join them in their adventures.

TRANSITIONS
The nodders in these paintings made the transition from the dash of my Dad's '65 Plymouth to a canvas almost five feet square, and in doing so they take on a commanding presence in form and in subject. Tiny nodders can charicature whole races, while miniaturizing prejudice and scorn. Size determines immediacy of purpose and intent. In transforming a casual cuteness to the grotesque, I hope to highlight the oftentimes maleficence found in cultural kitch.

MY LIFE AS A WOMAN

Needlepointed images covered the second story steps of my grandmother's house. As a child I delighted in sitting on each of the 11 steps in turn and imagining the scenes come to life. My grandmother had recorded the life of her family (all nine of them) on each step in needlepoint. One time I asked her why her own figure could not be found in the many images full of animals, children, mountains, cars and farm life. "Oh I'm there," she said, "You just don't see me."
The lives of women are oftentimes centered on the schedules and desires of others. Women service and facilitate the constant flow of family life while whole segments of their particular experiences and chapters of condition are forgotten and blur with time. Hopefully my paintings depict an honest assessment of the experiences of one particular wife, mother, and artist. In adopting the shallow and graphic space of advertising, I hope to create personal billboards recording one woman's life using paint and canvas.