Written on the Body
The first angel was an accident. Or I could say she just arrived. I was in a dark place. The angels that followed were like the work I’d done years before, of demons and almost-humans that reflected my life and observations and what came to me in the night. I had always put my life on paper, pulling the terrible out of me so I could breathe. At first, my angels were mostly fallen angels, full of longing and despair.
Then it was time to put the darkness away. I painted angels that would keep watch over us. Now I believe in Happy. I think that if you believe, you can find it.
The Gladstone Hotel Exhibit, 2013
ABOUT THE PAINTINGS IN THE GLADSTONE HOTEL EXHIBIT, 2013
I wrote a poem, only feathers string me across the sky, one nudge or wrinkle and I fall, crash through violet dusk and skyscrapers, this wingless, landlocked, flattened creature of despair, which described the fragile threads/feathers that kept me alive, that kept me from falling through sky. When I started to paint, what appeared on my canvas was an angel that hovered above the city, pulled upward by her wings. People saw her as they needed to: as a guardian angel, an angel of hope, or an angel of sorrow. That painting was Angel Over the City.
At around the same time, I was driving home one evening with the radio on, when the host began talking about Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest who fell into a state of despair when her daughter, Persephone, was abducted by the king of the Underworld. It occurred to me that I was Demeter, longing for my daughter who had moved across the continent, and I was Persephone, mourning my mother who had just passed away. I wrote a poem, then began the series of drawings and paintings of Demeter and Persephone, which include Demeter, Persephone and Persephone and the King.