The Journey progresses…

Happy day yesterday. I spotted my book available in the American Book Center, Amsterdam. Thank you!

To order my book,  Puertas, please go to this link: 

In Europe at the American Book Center in Amsterdam and the Hague:

(Books ordered online can be shipped to the USA) Will soon be available in the USA and Britain. Watch this page for updates. 

’56 Chevy

’56 Chevy

From my book, Puertas: one woman’s journey through to the other side   by   C  R  Perkins

Newly published book, Puertas, now available to order!  I will post a few pages here every so often, to give readers a peak at the contents. I use photographs I took with text alongside to paint with words, not paint or stone.  Below is one piece, ’56 Chevy, for your review. Information about how to purchase this book is on the link under.  Some of the photographs will soon be available to purchase on my shop.  Enjoy! 

’56 Chevy

       Could be it’s not one. A ’56 Chevy I mean. Yet when I look at this photograph, that title jumps into my head. The stark black & white, a creamy white. The raised ironwork of the logo on the glove box. I think it says “Original”. Well, if it doesn’t, it should. I know little of cars, yet I can see myself in this one, even though it has a hard top. I’m strictly a convertible gal.

       I had one. A ’66 Cutlass convertible, banana yellow, black top. Three on the tree, as it was called. Three speeds: drive, reverse and the 3rd speed for extra power going fast on the roads and for extra energy for climbing hills. Wouldn’t it be great if humans had that?

       Los Angeles used to be cooler. Not in temperature, but in style. There were little pink bungalow houses called bungalow courts, built in the 1940’s or 50’s, ‘New’ apartment courtyards, that were built after World War 2, for families who worked in the city. Small, no balconies, some with fountains and high ceilings, French doors looking out onto small yards where children played. Beautiful snow white gardenias grew on small trees or lemon trees; their scent filled the warm air.

       The 1960’s brought in the swimming pool – a nice place to have a drink on a warm night, watching the light play on the water. For me, it was a place to swim every day. How refreshing after work, after waiting tables in the heat all day, to dive into the cool water.

       How welcoming for me, years later, to fly into Los Angeles from Europe, as the plane dropped down through the brown smog, then below to see the mountains of LA.

       All the tiny blue pools all over the city, scattered like blue sapphires for this thirsty wanderer. Clustered in the little towns, nestled into the hills that slope to and from the Hollywood sign, small ones in the apartment complexes of The Valley, Culver City and West LA, and the large ones, flickering in the sun atop the mountains with their amazing 365 degree views from the palaces owned by movie producers and studio executives.

       City of Los Angeles at night. On clear, warm summer nights I’d drive my convertible up into the hills, just to park and look out at the view. Black silhouettes of the hills. Lights scattered and twinkling, like hundreds of diamonds sprinkled onto black velvet.

       The wind would barely blow. Just a warm summer night, below the stars and below still, another sort of star – that of the lights of the city. Sometimes the view would stretch right out to the sea.

       Below me, cars with their yellow lights would climb up towards me, snaking and curving, their red tail lights flashing only to disappear, then again back into view, then disappearing once more, going in and out of view.

       As a teen, I hadn’t gone there with someone to kiss or more, but alone, to look out at this beautiful city – my city. It always was, and I’d thought always would be.

       She calls to me now. I get that pull at my heart, at once familiar, like a long forgotten lover, that thrill of first sight, newly awakened, the longing still there. The hope of reconciliation circling and purring like a warm cat at my feet.

       She is home to me, this city. And as I do, as I have, with a lover, I question why I ever left her. I see her so clearly. Still waiting for me.

To order this book,  please go to this link: 

In Europe at the American Book Center in Amsterdam and the Hague:

(Books ordered online can be shipped to the USA) Will soon be available in the USA and Britain. Watch this page for updates. 

This above photograph, ’56 Chevy, is now available to purchase from my shop.

Immigrant’s View

From my book, Puertas: one woman’s journey through to the other side   by   C  R  Perkins

Newly published book, Puertas, now available to order!  I will post a few pages here every so often, to give readers a peak at the contents. I use photographs I took with text alongside to paint with words, not paint or stone.  Below is one piece, Immigrant’s View, for your review. Information about how to purchase this book is on the link below.  Some of the photographs will soon be available to purchase on my shop.  Enjoy! 

Immigrant View

Immigrant View

The sparkling ocean.  Just outside this netted porthole, how fresh the water would be on my skin.  To dive into the wetness.  Feel the cold hit my chest and my heart jump from the shock of the cold.  To swim through it. Just glide on my back looking up at the sky.  Watch seagulls overhead, so free.  Free yet their cries are tears. Sad tears  of years of our boats they’ve seen – for centuries they’ve seen.  

For my arms to feel the strength swimming gives them.  New muscles for a new country.  My eyes feel the sting of the salt.  Washing away my tears.  It’s so hot in here.  Unbearable, here below deck.  Outside the air is fresh.  I smell the salt.  I taste it on my tongue.  The cool wind against my face.  Blowing my hair into the wind.  My feet bare on the rough deck.  Splinters my skin.  I don’t care.  The wind and the gull’s cries soar into my heart.  Without fear.  They rise me up and into the stream. Up to the sky,  to float so free.

To order this book,  please go to this link: 

In Europe at the American Book Center in Amsterdam and the Hague:

(Books ordered online can be shipped to the USA) Will soon be available in the USA and Britain. Watch this page for updates. 

The photograph above, Immigrant View, is now available to purchase from my shop.

PUERTAS, the book

One woman’s journey through to the other side by C. R. Perkins

I have finally finished my book, Puertas.

It is a mix of photographic journey, personal refection, and a search for strength along the way.

In the coming weeks I will post a few pages with photographs and text, to give you a taste of the book, which is now available to order. In Europe, at The American Book Center, in Amsterdam and The Hague. Please use this link:

Soon available in the USA. Watch this space.

Mask off, just about…

Or… two years of seeing things I had never seen in my lifetime…
but now I have. 

Mask Off, Just About

I will follow this up in a short time.

All about why and how I filmed this.

Enjoy! and Please Share.

Reviews of videos are featured here: Review

More blogs related to the last few years of the pandemic, the last presidency, the January 6 Capitol insurrection, as well as much of what we have faced as a world, are show here in links:

Run from the Devil, Death of a Wanna Be, Ugly Beauty, Mask on, March on to the Gold, Amsterdam, Tuesday 15 December, 6 week lockdown.

Thank you for viewing and sharing.

Run from the Devil

anti-vaccination adjective

an·​ti-vac·​ci·​n·​ation | \ ˌan-tē-ˌvak-sə-ˈnā-shən, ˌan-ˌtī-\

Definition of anti-vaccination

: opposed to vaccination

First Known Use of anti-vaccination

1849, in the meaning defined above

Aka Anti-vaxer.

This word was first used in 1849. Hmmm…1849, just about the time in Britain, when 32,000 people died of cholera in 1831 and 1832. Despite the fear and panic that the disease inspired, once the epidemic ceased, very little was done to prevent its recurrence.

Ahh, now I see why I’d rarely heard about the last pandemic of 1912 which killed one fifth of the global population. 

It was erased.

Sound familiar? 

Hasn’t this current pandemic been used as every political excuse (Trump in denial) and ‘A right to choose’ (not for abortion, but to not wear a mask = My body, no mask.


When this pandemic began almost two years ago, the illness and death rates stood at a few hundred.  

In cities everywhere cheers went out to the hospital workers.

CHEERING! On the balconies of apartments in Europe, the lockdown tenants would bang pots and yell thanks. We did here too, in Amsterdam east.

I was reminded of similar cheers of my youth in Los Angeles that went out to the firefighters. They rode past my corner, returning from saving our houses from the flames ravishing the canyons near our homes. Back in the days when gratitude and thankfulness were still in fashion.

Then finally, wonderfully, amazingly arrived, from the efforts of scientists all over the world, in a shared goal to find a cure, just this:

A Vaccine is Born.

Why is there no collective sigh of relief? (like when Trump was voted out) 

Why isn’t everyone, everywhere on the planet lining up to get a jab? 

I shake my head in disbelief. 


A new word to me, maybe to everyone. I know what it is but I have been trying to figure out why it is.

Why has the vaccine become so demonised?

Why has what had been so intensely prayed for as a savior from this global pandemic now become a liquid of the devil?

In my search out of this insanity of false truth toward knowledge, I am reminded of what a friend had said to me. Who, as of this blog, had not been vaccinated. That was early this year. She said, ”It’s not been tested enough, its too new.” Really?                                                            The whole world had been actively searching – with science –  to find a cure. Countries everywhere came together toward one common goal: the search to find a vaccine.

Why the hell are we not cheering this? 

After almost two years and now, as of today, the deaths worldwide are 5,06M 


Why the f is this vaccine even an issue?

The masks were the first to be attacked. That was when I’d gone online to search about the pandemic of 1912.

Were masks an issue then?

Of course they were! 

I could just say, “Fine, don’t wear a mask. Get sick and die. Why should I care?”

Because it is a disease that spreads in the air, from your mask-less mouth to me.

From the foggy ignorance floating around you to me, to your family, your colleagues, to strangers on the street. You might even kill people you don’t even know.

I ask myself, do you think this gives you some sort of power over others? As a gun would?

Or are your reasons (God forbid) religious?

Well, the lord birthed doctors and scientists just for reasons such as this. To set our bones, sew up our cuts, help us to be well, healthier, you know… alive.

There are no chips inside the vaccine, to stalk and track you. What had been posted was an interesting story of science fiction. Fiction. If you like this sort of stuff, go enrol in a creative writing course. Make some money off it, But Never name it online as fact. 

The courses will be a great outlet for your creative impulses. Far better than warping that creativity into violence or posting lies online. Better for you and better for humanity overall. 

ONLY YOU – the un-vaccinated – can run this pandemic out of town.

Roll up your sleeve and get a jab. Keep your family, neighbors, colleagues, friends safe. Care about others and yourself. 

In these dangerous times of dictator ex-presidents, it is too lazy to refuse to be an adult and act like one. Face the online un-truths with courage.

At the beginning of this pandemic, the city cheered those who stepped up and leaned in to help save us. Its time to cheer again.

Lend a hand, show a smile, wear your empathy like the badge of courage it is. 

Then take up the sword against this pandemic. Take a shot in the arm. 

A note to my readers: I have not been posting as often as I would have liked to. I took some time to re-charge. In future, I plan to post at least once a month, and post a video or two in the coming year. Thank you for your support. Stay safe & please get vaccinated.

The image above, Desert Rider, is available to purchase from my shop.

The original paintings and their images are copyrighted, © Art by chantz, all rights reserved.

Mask on, march on to the Gold

Its ironic really, but quite fitting, that I will just meet this blog deadline (attempting to sell my sport prints), right before the end of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Also ironic is that my body now feels the lockdown lack of exercise that the Olympics make me remember. And the mirror shows it. Who is this overweight person pretending to be my once svelte figure?

So I speak to my physical therapist about my bad knees and go a few times a week to swim at a local outdoor Olympic swimming pool. Geez…those are long suckers!

As I swim I’m thinking maybe this is the last chance (ok, yes there is a pun here…on purpose. Art by chantz…get it?) 

But I have always loved sport, just as I loved these prints. For personal reasons such as, they are unlike any of my other work. That they ran along side me throughout my life… 

Picture the image in my head of the baton being passed from one part of my life to the next. From Los Angeles, to Amsterdam to London, back to Amsterdam.

I hurry to type this and post it tonight, (since techies say that Thursdays at 8 pm, California time is the best market to read my blog). 

Do I believe this? Hmmmm, not really. 

It is more that I now have a deadline to work towards…an end in sight and the gold at the end. 

I mean of course, the Olympics. 

I am not sure if I can actually post this word without the owners or organizers swooping down on me to pick my cadaver for cash payments. I mean…maybe they will bust me for using their name in my blog.

But hey…it is also part of MY history. No, I did not win gold medals. But I have lived in cities where and when two Olympics had been hosted.  It started like this…

When I first came to this country, I had no job except to make art- which is why I moved here. 

So, my first big break came in the form of a commission, well two commissions actually: a sculpture and a painting. They were to commemorate the closing of the old Ajax football (soccer) stadium and the opening of the new stadium, as well as the adjacent young players football practice field named Sportcomplex De Toekomst (Dutch for Sporting complex, The Future)

I will not write about all the steps taken to be awarded the commissions, nor the time and effort to create the images in both oil paint and alabaster stone. 

Suffice to say, the acclaim I received was wonderful, what little of it I could understand. 

See, I had not lived here long enough to learn the language, but Hey! I have the press clippings in my portfolio and press releases with my photographic image as the artist, at the unveiling. Not fake news, I have proof.

But these moments, as wonderful as they were, did not hand to me the keys to the city. Nope. This is why I had to run with the ball- that is, to build on the press and what tiny fame (Fifteen minutes, according to Warhol) I had achieved.

I came up with this: 

Painted in May, 1996, images of Olympic sports, in color, the style of 1930 men’s shirt advertisements or prints of soviet factory workers of the 1930’s. These were my inspirations, minus the Tom of Finland muscles. Painted in acrylic, each image one of several different Olympic sports. I threw in a few non-Olympic sports to round out the choices. I must admit that I regret I forgot to paint the baseball player, perhaps because I had never attended in my whole life, even one baseball game while I lived in America. “Sinner! Traitor!” I heard in my head, yelled at me from the stands. 

In 1984, my home town and where I was born, the city of Los Angeles, won the prize to host the Summer Olympics. It was the second time. My grandparents had seen the first in 1932. 

Despite then working full time in an art store, I was thrilled to hear from my boss that she agreed to let me leave for an hour or two, run to the corner and watch the marathon of runners pass through the city. 

I pushed though the crowds and caught sight of hundreds of semi- naked bodies moving in one flow through the city, in one direction, toward one goal: the Gold.

The sculptor Robert Graham had created one of a kind images of a man and a woman, Greek god style, and headless as well.  These stood atop the newly built Memorial Coliseum Gateway, that I proudly marched through several times to attend the games.  Ironically, Graham was also the owner of a huge home and property that was being looked after by my sculpture teacher. She had the name of a porn star and the artistic talent of a genius. 

In those days, I was a boxing fan, inspired by American school of painters named, the Ashcan school, of the 1930’s. 

During the games I had watched several boxing matches, one of which Muhammad Ali had climbed into the ring to announce the winner. He was by then retired in 1979. The ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, champion, had fought a good fight but father time was closing in. In the end, it was early Parkinson disease that ravaged the champion.

I remember too in that time I bought a gold coin to hold this memory in history. The Olympic gold coin was also created by Graham . Years later I gave it to my nephew, a newly appointed American History high school teacher. I hope he still has it. Its worth at least $10 by now. 

From 2000 to 2010, I traveled back and forth from London to Amsterdam to sell my sculptures. Also during this time, the city of London’s east end had been awarded to host the 2012 Olympic games. 

I had then a studio in the famous east end, and wonderful tiny corner of the city with its own unique character of greasy spoon diners, Sunday roasts, cockney speak and pubs with Black and Tan beers. 

It was in this east end that I carved sculptures from alabaster stone in the only terrific studio I’ve ever rented. It had a glass ceiling (believe it or not.. and not the kind women needed to smash in order to have make their careers). There was a huge glass window that looked out, not onto the main street (where huge Red busses, black cabs, cars and people rushed as only east enders can do: honked, shouted and yelling the rush hour into the night sky).

No, my window looked out the other side, toward the boys school, they in uniform, some having ditched school (and the coach’s prying eyes) by escaping from the playing field through the side gate. I watched as they smoked first cigarettes acting worldly and tough. Affectionately I thought to myself, ‘Ahh, exactly what I did at their age’.  

I watched them as I listened to the radio- in English! What a joy to hear my own language on a radio! 

The whole city was on tender hooks, anticipating the news:  Will London be awarded to host the 2012 Olympics or not? 

The announcer was interviewing every local estate agent. Why? Because if the city won, property in the east end would be worth a bundle. The locals could sell (or rent out) at top price, the investors (aka opportunists) could take the opportunity, to invest in the city, (aka make a bundle). 

Before the answer had been announced, the whole area that was the east end, what had survived the worst bombing in WW2, famous for their cockney speak, their poor proud lower and working class, beating the rich at their own game, while loving their Queen, every home, apartment, shack, parking lot and warehouse had been sold. Homes built from wood and passed to each generation, mom and pop corner shops, all these buildings went up for sale at fire sale prices.

The announcer spat out his words in a heated rush asking the agents, “…so how many houses have you sold?” He answered back, “I don’t know exactly…its been like this since we opened at 8 a.m.! They’re selling lickety-split, like hot cakes!

All I know is that we have only two housed left…no, they just sold…none left at all.” The announcer shouted, “None!? Wait, what? I just learned that every local estate agent is completely sold out of property! My god, what a day!.”  

The city held it’s collective breath, while remaining traditionally British, with the “Keep calm and carry on”, mentality the Brits used to be famous for, before the Brexit fiasco, for the answer to:  

Will London, our city of London, host the 2012 Olympic games, or not? 

Tick, tick, tick…

As I listened, I watched across the street, a live silent movie; the coach walked up to the boys on the field: tiny circles of boys in uniform, I watched as their leader, teacher, coach, walked toward them. The faces turned to him in anticipation. 

As the radio spoke into my dusty studio air: 

“Wait for it! What did you say? You’re sure? I have just learned that the city of London, our proud, and vibrant city

I just heard that the city WILL Host the 2012 Olympic Games!!!!

And as the literal buzzers and whistles screamed in English from my radio, I watched boys cheer, scream and jump up and down…all as a silent movie, no sound.

Never before had I laughed and cried at once. Cried, because These boys had no idea what this “Win” would do to their tiny corner of the city. Some parents, mostly single mothers, poor with kids, barely scraping by, maybe some would get some money by selling their several generations owned home. 

But the true killing would be by the rich. And the renters? They will be lucky to find any affordable accommodations in the east end.

I was watching the silent destruction of the what the Nazi’s couldn’t do but what this winning prize was: Leveling an area the size of Amsterdam, and not one bomb in sight.

(I could have told them. I’d seen what happened in the poor, Black community areas of downtown Los Angeles, in 1984, 28 years before.)

It seems this blog has become less about sport, and more about how hosting the Olympics by a city effects those who live there. 

Even now, there are protestors yelling about the pandemic, filling a city with people when the hospitals are full.        “All pain and no gain”, was the opinion of the one of the protestors. Others said the government was ignoring their demands. For such a ‘Gold Medal Occasion’, the aftermath can leave a city looking like it survived a Tsunami.

But there is also the Joy, for the win for the city, what their citizens had been gossiping and speculating on, what they’d prayed and hoped for. And of course there are the actual athletes who trained four years, some during this pandemic. Their efforts cannot be dismissed or shoved aside.

Hell, part of the history of the Olympics is that it goes on, no matter what we humans are being faced with or doing to each other, at any given time. Kinda like “The show must go on!” but on a world wide scale. 

To watch those moments and yell, “WOW! Look at that! No one’s ever done that before!” To bask in the glow of shared a success, a prize won, a finish line that together we cross.

Most humans don’t face the sort of training the athletes did to get there. But like training, challenges are important in life. Maybe not to try for a gold metal, as they have done, or move to another country as I’ve have, but maybe to get married? To have a child/ become a parent? Leave for college, Uni, technical school, open a business? Hell, even moving to the other side of town can give a refreshing view, open our eyes to what inspire us to change, to open up, open our heart, embrace and respect nature, learn love for the first time or the last, come out to play, or come out of the closet.

All these challenges take courage, discipline, dedication, bravery and perseverance. Hell, just plane old tenacity, what my grandma used say I had (not sure if an insult or compliment) 

For a period of 3 weeks, we come together and let go of our differences, our petty arguments, our political, sexual, educational, monetary, and religious differences to cheer for our star, or our underdog. To feel the thrill of so many special moments, the athletes share together, with their teams, with their countries, with the audience crowds, helass, not this year in the stands but together in groups, at the local pubs or cafe, or alone in lockdown, on their TV or laptop.

Now that we, as a people on this planet have, in the past 1 & a half years of lockdown, we have seen and felt and faced true loss, loneliness, fear, job or business loss, or homelessness. Now that we have walked in the shoes of the underdog, it is the underdog we now must cheer for the most.

The above image can be found on my website, from there can be purchased in my store . Click on these photos for close up view.

The original paintings and their images are copyrighted, © Art by chantz, all rights reserved. 

For further publications included in this blog, see (Dutch language) Ajax magazine,

Laast avondmaal van Ajax in de Meer, dinsdag 6 augustus 1996 and De opening van de Toekomst, oktober 1996 .

The snap, the chat and no selfies allowed.

Its blog time. That itch to write is here again. Yet, it is only a breath, a brief focus of a few pages, without characters or story line. Not true. Each blog tells a story. Of a part of my life and how it fits into the puzzle of me, today, a year and a half into a pandemic, no longer locked down. 

I re-read some of my blog posts just now. Not bad. Just when I thought I’d not said enuf, not said all I’d felt and thought on one particular time period, about one particular thought that had sparked a blog, there comes another line to say that last thought of that page. Those words I am now reaching for, in place of different colors. That long thought now used as a story line in place of one image locked inside a frame.

I look up at my wall of photographs. A white wall, crowded with captured moments of my life. Places I’ve been to, days remembered, scents felt again. I will soon offer them as prints from my shop, (watch this space) but for now let my words suffice. 

This is who I am, who I’ve always been. A clicker. Before that, a sketcher, then painter, then sculptor, now writer. Who says I can’t name myself as the title of what I do? What I’ve done?

I’m wandering now… Perhaps for the first time in my life, I’m looking at my snaps, and just…remembering. Feeling again. Soaking in all the scents, the flow of thought, and just seeing again, the life I have lived. 

Not running toward the next photo, word, painting, sculpture, to capture it as a moment, before it is gone for good. No. At last, I am, just in a moment, remembering.

Gurus would say, ’If I am remembering, I am not really in the moment, but the past’. To them I say, “You live your life, I love mine.”

Because I’ve always, Always, had a toe in one ocean and another in the river beside it. I’ve always felt sand beneath my feet, squeezing between my toes the cold sand beneath hot surface of burning white sand. Then looking back to see the footprints I’d made, the pattern of toes and its long and winding path, glistening in the sunset as the ocean laps and flows into the shapes, filling them one by one, then disappear.

It seems I am a wanderer, but not a nomad, nor gypsy. I have always needed a home, or at least a room, an inside place in which to put my days onto canvas or stone, whatever the day had given to me in the form of inspiration;    A hovering bee through my window, a news flash, a moon fat and full, a pear colored sun squishing into the city scape of brick buildings as it sets. The absolute glory of every color painted to make one sky, all for a few minutes. And then, like an opera, Drama, then The End.

I paused to look at Facebook. Because a famous writer once said to find inspiration anywhere you can. So this allows me to ‘Waste time’. But guess what? I got inspired enough to come back here and keep going.

Do you think that’s a little thing? 

While not being paid for it, with no boss breathing down my neck, glaring at me, no emails piling up on my desk?

Just to come back and keep writing, when no one cheers you on, no pep rallies, no crowd applause. Not even cars honking like when you were, “Just Married”.  Without any of these Hurrahs!!, I come back and lift my pen.                 

Not for really any reason at all except that I always have done. Yet now, I pause to live, to remember, to let my work inspire me anew. It is, after all, why I created in the first place. For money? Nah, not really. Other jobs certainly would have paid better , not taken such a big cut, and not had so many complications, like…travel costs, studio rentals, bla bla bla…

One day I’ll write a blog about all the studios I’ve rented in my life. And believe me, none of them looked like the glass ceilings overlooking New York, like I’d seen in the movies. Or maybe I’d just not gotten paid enough. Yeah, that’s probably it. Or never having lived in New York. But I don’t regret nixing New York.  I also don’t regret the jobs I had in my life. Most of them part time, giving me time to paint.

Looking up to focus on something other than the ex-jobs of my life, (These too will get their own blog page one day.) I see a white wall of photographs. A lot of oceans. I love the sea. There are many snaps of doorways as well. This was a theme I snapped over a period of many, many years, around Greece, Europe, California and London. 

With the common occurrence of themes of my work, you’d think I wrote Broadway musicals. But no, only a humble artist, a snapper. I also work in projects, not jobs, in series, not single pieces, in blogs, not novels. A grasshopper from one time period to the next.

Why? Maybe my training as an artist; Paint at least 2 or 3 paintings at a time. This will always give me something to work on but not overwork, (and messing it up) “Fiddling it to death,-“ as my teacher Martin would have said, “-Turn this one (painting) to the wall and start another.” 

Some of the best advice I ever got in my life. 

Perhaps I should not have taken that advice into my personal life, but hey, I digress.

Funny thing about the photographs of doorways was, the photos are not just typical doorways, like church doors in Italy or entry ways into train stations.                       They welcome the viewer into worlds perhaps not, or not often seen; An opera house in London, an anonymous Asian wedding couple in Pisa, a now shuttered arena that for centuries had run bullfights; corrida de toros (“bull-running”) in Spain. Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas in Madrid being the most famous, and the one I snapped. Upon deeper investigation, I see that this arena still conducts bullfights but are not as popular as they once were. Snaps of history, once praised, now booed.                Honestly, looking at the wall of moments makes me want to grab my camera and go out and snap. I am truly my father’s daughter: He was also a snapper. 

So why do I have so much resistance to selfies? Because I do like the few I have taken with friends. What bugs me though, is those who take selfies at every venue they travel to. In front of every famous painting or monument. Yikes!

I know its a new generation, taking technology and using it to record their lives. Good. 

Hell, I used to manipulate polaroid photos (Google it) by scratching the photo with my fingernail as it developed. This gave the image a unique, one of a kind pop art look. Art plus photography equals new art.

What bugs me, or what I wish these younger people would think about and do, is shoot the painting or monument without themselves as part of the scene. Why?  

Because of what I am looking at now: A wall of photos and each one is telling not one story, (ie: me and Jane at the museum in front of Van Gogh and his pipe). But the moment he, Van Gogh, captured and then painted and now is giving to us. We were not there, or alive when he painted this, so why put ourselves into that (and every other) painting?  If I really was gonna bitch, I’d say, “Do you know that this brilliant artist did not sell even one of his paintings while he was alive?” And, “That you did not put in the effort to learn how to paint like that, so back off and learn what he is trying to teach you.”

But yeah, that’s just me. I must remember, art is not like that. It is more spontaneous and silly. To remember the experience of filming women alongside my paintings, in Butterflies don’t sing.  I had to admit, this was an exceptional moment and was great to see my work with people, live people, interacting with the images I painted. 

So, I take it all back.                                             I go back to what that sci-fi writer had said: Get inspiration wherever you can. Because really, what is more important than to see, hear, feel, love, respect, and become inspired by all the arts. And from their sources of the human spirit and Mother Nature’s incredible palette. 

So now, go out there, see some art, see some nature. Respect it, and know it may not last forever.

Because while you’ve been stuck inside, in lockdown, Mother Nature is outside, with fewer cars, less traffic, getting cleaner and reminding us of her brilliance. But she needs our help.

Because while you’ve been stuck inside, in lockdown, a lot of people: the galleries, museums, artists, dancers, all forms of art makers, have been without work, no pubic or government to pay them.  And the behind the curtain artists and technicians too have had no work. A hell of a lot of creative people go into one production, one event, one Broadway musical, one theater play, one opera. 

So get out there and see some art, hear some music, experience the art humans make from what Mother Nature gives them, what they give now, to you. 

Look, Listen and Learn.

Without the selfie.

The above print, Pacific Moon, can be purchased via my website, to my webshop.

Life: signs unseen

I look now at the image, End of an Era. I liked this piece so much, that when I’d been trying to find an image from my work to use for a logo, I’d suddenly seen this one and said, “That’s it! Perfect!” Because she is, she shows, the search.

The woman with binoculars to her eyes, is exactly my symbol, my inspiration for last year into this. That image guided and encouraged me the whole year, to create this blog and my webshop, helping me to trust my instincts. 

The title, End of an Era, had come later, at the painting’s completion. And honestly, I hadn’t realized at the time, that title was not just about an event, the date of which is scribbled on the back of the canvas. Nor what I’d spontaneously seen as an ideal finish: to paint a flag at half mask to commemorate that day. No, it had not occurred to me until just now, how symbolically that title would stamp my future.

I’d not been living in London then. That part of my life, traveling from Amsterdam to London every six months for 9 years (due to passport restrictions), had not yet begun. Nor had I began the joy and wonder of a new relationship, a terrific gallery deal and the whole new life that would not, for several more years come into existence.

I must confess, the image I painted of a beautiful woman, dressed in wide brimmed hat with veil of fine fishnet, gloved hands and exquisite mouth, she and the background of a race track, I admit I stole from one of my favorite films. Inspired by the master: Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious.

In the story, this woman is secretly in rendezvous with her lover. This particular scene is sprinkled with intrigue and espionage. Between the two lovers, tension builds, then brilliantly climaxes in fury with a hissed lover’s quarrel. The scene ends with his words of condemnation of her, while she raises the binoculars over her eyes to hide her tears.

Poignant, powerful, heartbreaking.

This image, of binoculars or sunglasses covering eyes began to reoccur, finally becoming the theme to tie my series, History of Women, together.

In the images, the searching of each woman is symbolized. Searching for what? A better future? One which did not include an oppressive partner who called all the shots? Or to choose for no partner at all?

From these emotions bubbling within me, the series, History of Women, was born. And yet, I had painted each image instinctively, without a thought as to what the sunglasses or binoculars meant. Perhaps at the time, I’d considered them just a prop, reoccurring in each scene from my 1960’s childhood.

This blog, that had started as fun with an image I love, has now soured into the relationship I ran out on.

So I tell myself, ‘I guess I’m not relationship material,-‘ My one-liner of truth, in all it’s simplistic self-interest.

Divorce. Does this equal flighty, callous, insincere commitment? Or just the grasping of life along it’s very bumpy roads? I ask myself, ‘To stay in the relationship, wouldn’t it have been for the wrong reasons?’

I’ve watched all the women I was friends with, waltz, then circle, then couple up and marry. I stand alone. Just an observation, not a depression, nor a bonus.

Some people just live their life. Others like me, live it, then paint or write about it. Rarely do I know, or notice, the underlying truths of the sign posts along the way. Does anyone?

I’m beginning to realize that signposts are the paintings, painted on impulse, not searching for the underlaying meanings of that moment. It is only now that the deep truths are revealing themselves to me. And it’s not pretty.

Because it was that apartment in Amsterdam that I’d been living in when the news flashed from London. And it only just now occurs to me, that the title, End of an Era, was not only about a British era, nor even the Hitchcock film I loved. No, it was an end to my era and a wonderful partner, with whom I could no longer live.

The event that happened so suddenly, rocking the British Empire and the world. From our apartment in Amsterdam, at 4:53, the morning of August 31, 1997, the date I’d written on the back of the canvas and flag painted at half mask, while this news flashed from London: Dianna, Princess of Wales, car crash, dead at 36.

End of an Era. Signs on the road, unseen.

Paintings of this series can be purchased as prints or viewed on the video, Butterflies don't sing, or my website.

History of Women, our rights crumbling

The image, History of Women, has become a series, quite unintentionally. I took some of the traditional women icons and regrouped them for a poolside lounge day.

The sculptures / icons, surrounding a pool, are Venus, Dianna the huntress, Queen Nefertiti, and Liberty (Leading the People, from the French Revolution). These icons, are traditionally the most internationally well known women in the world- in the western world anyway.

I hadn’t wanted to use images of any religious, political, or celebrity. The icons who were famous came with their own baggage, so those were out. Finally I turned mostly to mythology or images created by other artists.

I’d searched my art history courses to find these icons. I’m remembering now that the art history courses had their own paternalistic teachings, which I forgot when choosing the art for this painting. I had not remembered that the art history textbooks I’d studied during the early 1980’s, had maybe a handful of women artists. Not more. And people of color or lesbian artists were no where to be found. The books had been written by white men I guess, so we didn’t exist. Heck, the reason I moved from America to here was this attitude: the attitude that women’s art was less than. Less worthy of being in a museum, less worthy to be exhibited, less worthy of buying, less worthy of being written up in periodicals…and text books. As if there were no one else except white men who made art, wrote about art, exhibited and bought and sold art. Basically, less worthy of promotion and sales. My bad, I’d forgotten this all since moving to Europe.  IF I still painted, I would paint this image anew, using the icons I have discovered since my early days as an art student. But I digress…

They contrast to the goggled and sunglass wearing women who lounge and walk the foreground. The rich, casual, entitled, and blind…in this scene they ignore the icons of our history. Those who have their eyes covered. Covered eyes are the symbol I’ve used to show the women searching, yet not seeing. They are blind to their own power, because it shines from within, not to be found outside of themselves, from men or from others.

So, in each painting from the series, especially History of Women, the eyes are covered, the women searching.

I purposely used traditional iconic women, to show these women in history. It is as if the women in the foreground are surrounded by powerful women, but they are not seen. No longer seen. No longer does their energy and purpose and power attract the women in the foreground.

As if they are forgotten symbols, no longer inspiring, no longer relevant to the modern woman.

And yet, I painted this painting, History of Women, to remind us of our unique history. That of bravery, empathy, Mother Nature, the birth ability we have, and will or will not use.

There is alot in this image that are only symbols.

But as I grew, I saw so much control that should be a woman’s right, being disregarded, dismissed, or controlled by men. Husbands, fathers, brothers, governors, government…and yes, teachers.

And now, 50 years later, the rights we do have, I see crumbling before my eyes. All which was hard fought for, is bending…but not forward, towards progress and mutual respect… but backwards, towards submission.

It seems to me, that a lot of “Modern” women, think everything is ok for them- only. But the picture is bigger than that of a ‘special online group’. It spreads out from the rights we’ve gained: the right to vote, the right of an education, the right to earn equal salary, the right to work the same jobs, the right to take the Pill, the right to have an abortion.

These rights have been hard fought for over decades, not just magically appeared.

As I watch Poland, Russia, Israel, Brazil, the United States, I see the right to abortion slipping away from the grasp of women’s choices. The women who need to have this right more than the others with more money, more power, more affluence, more influence. Those who will have a way to get an abortion no matter what.

I think, So I never had a kid, so why should I fight for this right? Because I think of the other women. Women who need to have the right to choose for themselves, because those who are chosing for them, do not have the woman’s good intentions at heart but instead, have their own greed and power in mind. Is this only men who do this? Hell NO! Women who want a male sort of power, will feed lies to women as well. Supposedly creating a group to fight for our rights, but instead digging up every lie and crime and fake news to help to sign away any rights we have fought for and won.

I don’t know what the hell women are thinking to not look at the big picture. Leaning toward Alt-right governments who claim they will help to get rid of the rules of this pandemic, these ‘rights’ they feel are being taken away. Yet they miss the HUGE picture of their own rights as women, becoming the next target in the cross hairs. The next targets of wanna be rulers of Brazil, Poland, America, fill in the blank.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen women fight and gain “equal” rights. Rights to say what they will do to and with their own bodies. Now, I’m seeing the children of these women, those who’ve fought for years, for decades, casually, stupidly, just hand over everything we’ve won.

Please think beyond your own personal views, towards those of other women.

Your personal sexual preferences, your financial and political power, your religious views are not applicable here.

The rights of women are.

Get off your high horse and ride along side your sisters.

To buy a print of the image above, click here: History of Women. To view this image in a video, click here.