I finished this painting with encaustics (wax dripping) in 2003, for Martha, my oldest and dearest friend in San Diego.
I was dissatisfied with it.
It just seemed an ‘experiment’ with golden acrylics, was too heavy on the left side and just, in general, looked like a 90’s Dave Matthews Band CD cover gone wrong.
While there were some reedeming moments ( the night sky/ starry side had a loveliness to it) the demarcation line was too abrupt and the piece as a whole did not make sense
So, I took it back sometimes in 2010 to ‘work on it’. Poor Marthita..who does that? Thank you, ever-patient friend.
This untitled ‘thing’ sat on an empty wine rack in my kitchen for years, becoming mine again, in a way, a de facto piece of furniture.
I was at a loss…I knew I had to give it back at some point, yet had no idea how to fix this obvious statement on dichotomy that just looked wrong.
Enter Beverly. One night, a couple months ago, my very eclectic, ageless, artist neighbor Bev was talking to Mingus, her black cat ( I am pretty sure it’s a familiar 😉 ) on the walkway we shared.
It was one of those rare days my place was guest-ready, so I invited her in for a glass. She was interested in the painting on the easel, still turned the ‘wrong’ way. I shared my conundrum with her. She just walked up to it and said ‘What if you turn it this way?.
Now, “thing” was a fiery California sunset. She found the sea in the paint, and it took 12 years.
Something like this gives me faith that everything comes into its own in time.
That timing is always right.
That years are necessary.
That the right person comes in and points to you what has being staring you in the face, what you could not see.
Thank you, Bev.
Below, a flipped, filtered version I think
it really is what this painting wants to be, in its dreams.
We’re Always Under Stars
You took me star-gazing
the first night
I was looking for Orion.
(when i went home
I found him,
hung low over my window
at 5 am.
I could never sleep
You shared the impossible poetry of Hikmet, which nobody in their right mind should reveal to someone they just met.
On the second day
you came with your convertible,
the passenger side devastated
by an accident.
I had to get in from your side,
for a month.
Climbing in, crossing over,
my body awkwardly tilted while trying to maintain grace in my version of
I did not mind, not one time – though I always forgot.
I should have, maybe, read the sign.
Instead, I thought it was endearing
it meant you had your wounds, too.
I did not feel so bad about my messy house, my scars.
We drove to the beach,
It was a semi-deserted nudist beach, and we had to hike a steep cliff
to get there.
There was always a sense of the
We talked while girls with bouncing boobs
and men with various appendages
were too away for us to really see
–I was, at once, at ease with and acutely aware of the french strangeness of the situation–
another would have thought about
how progressive it all was.
Unaware until later that that was a choice, I kept my top on.
In hindsight, perhaps,
you were testing my boundaries.
When you touched me,
you touched me
the sun kissed me
another star, on our second date.
We dipped in Mediterranean warmth.
I looked at you
like Sicily looks at Calabria
over the Strait.
I thought this time things would be
different, because we shared the same language.
I forgot stars rise and set at night, too.
And we are always under them.
San Diego, November 2015