Mil-Tree threw a fundraiser on Memorial Day weekend

My article and pictures are in the Hi-Desert Star Friday addition. Please check it out and feel free to

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Old pictures and new series

Reworking photos. It opens new stories with every new image. Here are two that were taken a couple of years ago with a Holga, a toy camera. The first one was in New York in the fall, the second one, at the beach in park222 dancing on waves


Writing – There is something I yearn for and I can’t put my finger on it. It’s expression, creative, spiritual expression. It is coming in the form of writing – words dancing around in my head, tiny ballerinas of thoughts, well practiced and choreographed. Pink tutus of words, tiny legs on point, nutcrackers and sugar plum fairies of words and story being told in movement. Words unfolding, images revealing itself – a sudden memory of a summer day in Topanga. I was seventeen and the world was vast and uncharted. Music drifted out of the local coffee house restaurant – Sargent Pepper, the Rascals, Jefferson Airplane – groovin on a Sunday afternoon. I never wore shoes, my feet were hardened and calloused and at ease with the hard rock surface as I climbed down to the creek, dipped my foot into the icy cold water and navigated the stones for a mile or two down the canyon. The rock walls extended upward. There was nothing else and no where else. I remember it still.

My hair was long and brown, not like the gray it is now. I didn’t wear a bra and I had no trouble fitting into my jeans. I was shy and had a penchant for the dramatic side of things – even then, I made up stories and wrote poems.

I wonder why I thought about topanga. That was so long ago and the girl that existed then is only a  memory.

Words took me there. Besides the words is the paint. Oil paint in particular. I have been longing to bring my paints and brushes out of retirement. There are paintings in my head that I must do. I can feel the texture in my mind, the build up of wet paint, the scarred surface from the drag of the palette knife, and the delicate washes of color, one hue fading into another, one brush stroke after another – like stroking a lover’s body, stroking the canvas, moving the brush or the knife. Browns, rust, greens – forest green, lime green, turtle green, hazy sage, the color on my wall. I love the colors – actual colors and the names of colors.

I have often thought about putting words and images together, making them bigger than life and opening the doors of the art room so people can enter into the new world. Photographs so large they cover floor to ceiling and as you pass them there are words or sounds. A ball bouncing, a woman singing, a child laughing, the sound of birds in the forest, the sound of a brook, the creaking of a wood paneled floor as someone walks across the room.

I have read recently that different winds have different sounds. What does that mean – desert winds, fast winds, hurricane winds, winds on one day will sound different to the winds on another day. Winds in the desert are different from the wind that wash along the beach.

The desert is never quiet. If I close my eye and hold very still I can hear it talking to me, with a crispy, electric sound. The dogs in the background don’t change the sound of the desert, they add to it. The buzzing of the high powered electrical lines doesn’t change the sound, it adds to it.

The desert – the last place I ever thought I would live. the Topanga girl with long hair, the New York City girl with a collection of hats, the Los Angeles woman that worked too hard and slept too little. It’s the gray haired wise old crone who lives in the desert and listens to the the sounds of the wind and talks to the lizards and the snakes and the chipmunks.

It’s the sounds and the smells that inspire me to share in the ballet. I want to be a dancer and again  climb a mountain in bare feet  never noticing  the rough rock surface. I desire and long for the youth in my blood and the abandonment of having a whole life in front of you. The heavy seductive smell of young love and adolescent ramblings. That is what art is. This is the beginning of story and the muse of painting. This is what life is, the delicious, intangible, creative breath that pulsate in me, but doesn’t always reveal itself fully until I have worked very, very hard. A little begging and pleading, a little cajoling and seducing. Maybe, just maybe it will provoke the art to give up a piece of itself. A piece strong enough that I can pull it into shape. A piece big enough that I can twist it into something bigger. A piece that can someday become another piece. This is what I long for and the creative demands. This is what the woman waits for.


The leaves

The leaves