Susan's "subject matter, context and medium...present a coherent artistic vision"
John Torreano, Clinical Professor of Studio Art, NYU

"Great stuff. Love your work."
Seymour Chwast

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Picasso's Model

Picasso's Model from my book, The Flyiing Unibrow

 saw things through a prism
confounding as astigmatism
producing a major schism
between what's real and painted.

 I saw a model passing through
who looked like Dora Maar–it's true!
 reflected in my mirror view.
Here's what we two had to do:

I screamed,
She wept,
I fainted.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Just What She Always Wanted

Vincent van Gogh
ran out of dough
Concomitantly he cut off his ear.
 How drear!

When the ladies scolded him,
 Their chides emboldened him
It was clear
Vincent could no longer hear!

He queried his escort while drying a tear,
"What do you think I besmear when I leer
 I've just got this lust for life. No fear!
My brother will take care of us, dear.

I assure you I'll be able to pay some day
After I paint Sunflowers...OK?
Then Starry Night, so we won't have to fight
 Besides, I love you. You're my delight.

Perhaps, dear one, it may seem queer
That I drink absinsthe rather than beer
So out of the ordinary I do want to veer
I'm giving you part of me... my ear!"

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Botero's Model

Botero's Model from "The Flying Unibrow," my book of illustrated poems

A veritable Botero 
whose waist's not too narrow 
installs herself in my chair 
with a permanence seldom seen there
 but  in Pyramids or the Eiffel Tower.

Her bra doesn't wow her.

She throws it up in the air
with an absence of flair
poses there, weighty and immovable.
Thong totally removable.

It swings off her toe like a bower.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Lovebirds, the Owl and the Alligator- A Mc FABLE

Water  color on paper 8 1/2 x 10 inhes

Once there was a handsome but not so smart young lovebird named Igno. He was content in his life, because he loved Oriole, a fluffy, colorful french songbird who sang sweetly to him every day. She loved him, too. He carried her with him everywhere in a gilded Hermes cage. Upon viewing these two lovebirds, the creatures of Foxglove would ask, " Igno, can't Oriole fly?" "Yes," Igno would reply, "she can, but thank God she doesn't have to." All laughed merrily. Oriole really didn't mind the cage because she was cagey and liked to be with Igno. "It's Hermes for chirp's sake!" she chirped.

Igno's and Oriole's best friend in all of Foxglove was a wise old owl. He accompanied them everywhere. The three of them were very happy. Sadly, one day the wise old owl sauteed his last mouse, hooted his last hoot, fell ill, and died. Igno and Oriole did everything they could to save him, but, alas, they could not. It was time for the wise old owl to cross peacefully over to the Other Side. He did so with grace and dignity, imparting wisdom upon them as he took his leave. "Never admire an alligator's teeth in the sun," he told them.

Igno and Oriole were contemplating the loss of their beloved Owl down by the lake one sunny afternoon when an alligator swam right up to them. Paradise lost. The alligator said, her pendulous pink tongue darting in and out between glittering white teeth, "Igno (and, of course, Oriole), my name is Minious and Owl and I were soulmates. I loved him so much, I never even tried to eat him. I won't try to eat you either because you loved Owl. That makes us soulmates." Igno, admiring the alligator's teeth, became blinded by the glare of the sun off of them, lost sight of Oriole and agreed enthusiastically. He was so addled by the glare, he thought that was just what he needed–a sharp-toothed predator to fill the void created by the demise of his beloved friend Owl. The alligator further confused Igno by keeping her smile fixed at a 45 degree angle to the sun for maximum reflection.

Oriole, winging it, warbled a warning into Igno's warped ear. "Minious is green, for chirp's sake, green, chirp chirp–green with envy." "Owl warned us about admiring an alligator's teeth in the sun," she warbled on. Igno said, "Oriole, you're spoiling my fun." She flew away still warbling, but her warning did not register on Igno. It was too late. The reflection from the alligator's teeth had blinded Igno to the truth, causing infidelity, mood swings, poor judgment and danger to him and his loved ones.

Minious allowed Igno to ride around on her slimy, green back so long as he kept on admiring her teeth. They were, indeed, soulmates now. Together, Igno and Minious became one–Ignominious. One cloudy day, Igno finally realized that he really had nothing in common with the uncommonly common alligator and indeed didn't even like her at all. Without the glare of the sun, he came to his senses, realized he loved only Oriole and told Minious he was leaving to look for Oriole. First, he was nearly drowned by large, soggy alligator tears. Then a blinding smile appeared on Minious's face as her big teeth caught the last rays of the setting sun peeking out from the clouds. Unfortunately for Igno, at that very moment a big hunger came over Minious as he leaned in to get a better view of her teeth. She lost control of her appetite, made Igno into a fillet of soulmate, and downed it in one bite. Then she burped, polished her teeth and waddled off, her sated belly dragging through the mud, looking for a new soulmate.

The only good that came of this ignominious affair was that Igno now resides on the Other Side and is having fun again with his old pal, Owl (even if Owl has replaced "hoots" with "told-ya-so's.") They both miss Oriole and are awaiting her arrival. But they know that it will not be anytime soon because Oriole is too smart to admire an alligator's teeth in the sun. She knows that– ...
alligators make better shoes than soulmates.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Sneaker Graveyard

Dr. Mac, acrylic on linen, 36 x 24 inches

SWIMMING UP FROM SEVEN FATHOMS UNDER Candleberry Lake* at a speed so fast he would leave Michael Phelps far behind and probably get the bends, a young diver, trembling with excitement, breaks the surface and sputters to his mates, "Hey, there must have been a sneaker factory here at one time; I found hundreds of sneakers in one spot." When I hear him say that, I breathe a sigh of relief. No one knows the truth–the real truth. The diver's assumption is plausible, but it is wrong.

It is plausible because Candleberry Lake was not always a body of water. It used to be farmland at the base of Candleberry Mountain. In 1926 Connecticut Light and Power Co., in order to create hydroelectric power from the Histrionic River, dammed the river, flooding the surrounding farmland. In doing this, the utility created the extremely deep, 18-mile long Candleberry Lake. Local legend has it that if you dive down to the bottom of the lake you will find old roads and farm houses with families preserved as they were at the time the land was flooded. Some say there are entire preserved families sitting at the dinner table with their food-laden forks poised halfway up to their mouths. Other unfortunates still sit in their easy chairs knitting. This is why our young diver thought he had found (and indeed might have found, had there been one located in the vicinity in 1926) a sneaker factory.

But that is not the case. No, there never was a sneaker factory there. What the diver found is much more sinister. It is the sneaker graveyard. I might add that this final resting place for sneakers was not there when the land was flooded. I am one of an elite group of five people in the entire world who know how that sneaker graveyard came to be. And only three of this select circle are alive today. I feel I must share what I know of the events leading to the creation of the sneaker graveyard before this knowledge is lost forever. Therefore, I have decided to reveal what I have been concealing for so many years right here on this blog. Depingo's readers deserve to know.

Although I cannot reveal his name, I can tell you that some years ago a good doctor and his family lived on the lake. He was a surgeon, scholar and gentlemen, loved by all who knew him. He worked hard in New York City healing patients 11 months out of every year. He saved many lives and made many patients whole again. But when he was on vacation for the month of August... well, that is a different story.

The good doctor, escaping civilization, would drive up to his manse on Candleberry in full doctor drag, including an F. Tripler suit, cashmere socks, pinstriped shirt punctuated with gold cufflinks and a Countess Mara tie, and highly polished Bass Weejuns. Upon arrival, though, he would divest himself of this costume with haste, as if wearing it were the final human indignity. He shed it faster than a snake sheds its skin. However, while snakes shed in order to grow and advance their form, the good doctor would shed his last remnants of domestication in order to return to a wild state. Upon doing so, he immediately became feral.

This formerly manicured doctor quickly donned his summer wardrobe, which he had designed and manufactured himself. It consisted of three items: cut-off, shredded khakis (not much better than a loin cloth really); a rope which he tied around his waist, belt-style, to hold up the cut-off khakis; and a pair of tennis shoes. He wore these items for the entire month while he toiled at landscaping, building stone walls, making furniture and various other projects. He also swam, ate and slept in these three items for all of August. (OK, some nights he took the sneakers off for sleeping,)

Quite frankly, the doctor's wife was beside herself. She didn't know what to do with her severely devolved husband. She knew, though, that she wouldn't allow his shorts to go into the wash with the rest of the family's clothing. This did not present a problem for the good doctor. The one time he felt his garment needed washing, this brilliant inventor of surgical implements and procedures designed an operation for cleaning shorts. He tied one end of his rope/belt to his khakis and the other end to the stone dock and let Candleberry do the work. The lake swirled them around in its waters and its whitecaps beat them up against the stone dock. When the doctor felt they were clean (which was not very long), he put them on wet. The morning sun dried them in conformity with his body and at least they were somewhat cleaner. They didn't look so great, but he didn't care.

One of the neighbors was a kindly grandmother from an extended Italian family that summered on the peninsula. She had a hammertoe that bothered her and asked the world-famous trauma doctor if he would take a look at it. He needed an office, so he set two canvas-covered folding chairs on the dock, washed his hands in the lake and examined her while dressed in his summer outfit. It was comical to see patient and doctor sitting on the dock, she with her hammertoed foot resting in his lap on top of the torn shorts. She didn't seem to mind; in fact she seemed very grateful. When she asked how much she owed for the visit. the doctor replied, "Do you make clams casino?" She did indeed; in fact the dish was her specialty. The following day she delivered a tray of homemade clams casino, hot from her oven, for the doctor's lunch. Good thing, for by this time, his wife had decreed that he was not to come to lunch without a shirt on. Because a shirt was not part of his summer wardrobe, he enjoyed his clams casino while sitting on his favorite tree stump, accompanied by Peter, and Taffy, his cocker spaniels.

Word spread throughout the Italian summer community and he saw many more patients on the dock. He never had to don a shirt because he had a steady stream of clams casino, lasagna and pasta fagioli coming in daily.

There came a day when the doctor's daughter, who was coming of age, requested that her father put on proper clothes (perhaps at least a shirt) to meet her date when he came to pick her up. The doctor said, "I'm not putting on clothes– just tell him I'm the handyman." She was quite concerned about this antisocial turn her father had taken. She hoped his behavior was within normal limits for vacationing surgeons. Maybe this is how surgeons relaxed ... or was it? Maybe ... it was something else ... something far worse! Then, on their last night at Candleberry before the family returned to New York for school and work, she followed him and saw what he was doing. She actually witnessed it with her own eyes!

Before the ceremony started, her father sat quietly on a willow twig bench he had made himself and stared across the lake. Then, he slowly rose and moved toward the end of the dock. Was he carrying something in his arms? No ... it couldn't be. Yes! She could see them clearly now, for unsuspecting that he was being watched, he had moved into the moonlight. There were two of them and they were both badly decayed. You could almost discern the souls separating from them. The odor was unbearable even in the fresh, pine-scented night air. With a hint of hesitation and what looked like regret, the doctor raised both hands high over his head and heaved his decomposing, moonlit burdens to their watery doom. They sunk promptly because he had filled their orifices with rocks and bound them with their own laces. Then he waved goodbye, went up the stone steps to the house, took a long, hot shower and carefully laid out his full doctor's drag for the next morning's ride back to New York. Through careful observation, I learned that he repeated this morbid ceremony annually.

In retrospect, I believe that the doctor actually was very fond of them. After all, they were his sneakers.

*About Candleberry Lake, Candleberry Mountain and the Histrionic River: I changed their names so as not to get my father ... er ... um ... that is, the unnamed doctor, into any trouble.PS. I wonder if anybody has discovered the cigarette "factory" adjacent to the sneaker graveyard yet?Paint on,

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Got a Bone in my Leg

Got a Bone in my Leg, digital painting

Bone Jour,

I'M SITTING IN MY PORCH drinking coffee out of a bone china coffee cup and thinking about bones. And, yes, bone china is actually made from bones. This moderately creepy component of china has inspired me to post some thoughts on bones. But wait a minute, I have to get a sweater first, because I'm chilled to the bone from the cool, early morning air. I know a lot about bones. I became familiar with them at an early age. My father was an orthopedic surgeon–yeah, an old sawbones.

Make no bones about it, bones have done a lot for me. In addition to their more prosaic raisons d' etre of supporting my body, allowing me to walk upright and protecting my brain (moderately successfully), while I was growing up my bones helped me in any number of ways:

As any not-so proper doctor's daughter would have done, I viewed a lot of scandalous, X-rated photos when snooping around in my father's medical library.

Because my father was the team's doctor, I often sat in a box seat right behind the New York Giants' dugout. In addition to watching players break their bones at close range, I got to talk to Willie Mays, Hank Sauer and Bobby Thomson. They waved to us when returning to the dugout and sent us home with autographed balls and gloves.

My wishes would be granted if, while breaking the wishbone at dinner with my brother, Tommy, I got the long end.
Bones also have their downside. I have a bone to pick over what we had to do as kids if we wanted our mothers to be safe from fractures. Remember hopping around avoiding cracks on the sidewalk so you wouldn't "Step on a crack, break your mother's back"? Nice! And the equally nice retort reminding us that bones break, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me."

Despite the breakage factor, boney though I was, I led an enchanted life.

For instance, when I went to visit my father at the hospital, I thought he was some kind of ghostly deity. He wore a long white coat which billowed out and fluttered behind him when he walked and sparkled when it caught the light. He was generally followed by a group of ghostlets in shorter white coats who stuck very close while listening attentively to his every humerus (pun intended) word. Soon the ghost and ghostlets became one–an amorphous, shifting form propelled down the hospital corridors above a flurry of locomotion created by the 16 or so shiny, loafer-clad feet beneath it.

I knew when I was going to get the brushoff. It was when we arrived at my father's office in the hospital. The brass nameplate next to the door read "Head Ghost." Actually it read "Harrison McLaughlin, M.D.," but I couldn't yet read then. Too busy floating around the hospital to enter, my father would stick his head in the office and say "Mrs. Graham, would you mind Suzie while the boys (those were the short-coated, adhered ghostlets) and I go take care of another one of these critters?" The "critters" apparently were the patients who were either waiting to get their bones sawed or those who had already had their bones sawed and were recuperating in various, slings, braces, and plaster casts, while hung from the ceiling in traction. I felt terribly sorry for all those critters because once they were seen by my father and his boys, they never walked again–they "ambulated."

I loved hanging out in the Head Ghost's office. A complete human skeleton hung from what looked like a meat hook in the ceiling. At first I thought it spooky, but then I made friends with it and danced with those merry, dangling bones in our private, ether-scented ballroom to the rhythmic clickety-clack of Mrs. Graham's typewriter. There was also a skull on the desk with whom I had many in depth conversations about, well, bones and other important matters (such as what had happened to the skull's teeth and what's it like to be dead) crucial to a 4-year old, while waiting for my ghost––I mean my father–to return.

When visiting my grandfather, Papa Bisgood, bones came up frequently. I would constantly invite Papa to come out and do things with me. Once in a while he would, but usually he said that he could not. When I asked him why, he never gave any reason other than "I've got a bone in my leg." Year's later I recounted Papa's excuse to my husband, and to this day he declines invitations with "I'd love to, but I've got a bone in my leg." It works; people just don't question such a regret.

My next encounter with bones occurred when I had an art-related accident (that's another post) and severed several of the tendons in my neck and shoulders. My doctor sent me to a radiologist for an X-ray of my head and torso. I entered the radiologist's office after the x-rays were taken, and noticed that literally hundreds of other x-rays were hanging on the office walls–sort of like art. Until then, I had always thought that skeletons were generic and would look pretty much alike. However, I was stunned and a little bit frightened to see that mine looked exactly like me. I could pick "me" out instantaneously–perhaps because my bones are petite and my face doesn't have much integument. I stared at the dark, empty eye sockets in that roentgenogram and my eyes itched to be cradled in them. Those bones claimed me. The skull, clavicle, sternum and all 24 ribs, some sort of grim, ersatz chorus, sang to me, "Yes, we are thee ! This is what you'll be sooner than you think."
For a while, I took solace in the fact that my bones will be around for a long time after the rest of me goes organic and returns to the earth. But they will not last forever. When I die, I will not have to say goodbye to them right away. Depending on soil conditions, it may take hundreds of years before they disintegrate and become one with the universe. But when they do, it's...

Bone voyage!

Paint on,

Friday, October 23, 2015

Post Modern Shark Attack*

Hirst's Shark attacking DuChamp's Urinal

Damien Hirst
Nearly burst
Trying to out-camp
Marcel Duchamp.
To top Marcel's conceptual urinal
Damien worked in an air force terminal.
Eventually something fishy did fit
For the iconoclastic, ditsy  Brit.
Executing his fame-obsessed wish
In formaldehyde he dipped a fish
The resultant preserved postmodern shark
Enclosed in glass,  made its mark.
Bought by a hedge fund guy... funny -
Only he could afford the money
No shrieks of envy pass my lips
I'd  rather have my fish with chips.

*My poem and painting above reflect my thinking on some of the art that's around today.  If you would like to read more on the topic, take a look at Simon Doonan's article, Why the Art World Is So Loathsome. In it he quotes Camille Paglia and lets us know why some critics are calling today's art the Post Skills Movement.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Uncatchable, detail, mixed media on linen, 36 x 24" (click image  to enlarge)xxxXXXxXXXXx

UNCATCHABLE is one of the "guests" attending my Garden Party, a body of work containing 15 or so paintings exploring the theme of harmony between  humanity and nature. While working on these paintings, I did not know I was painting a garden party. Upon completion, though, observing the finished paintings leaning against my studio wall, I knew just where I was–at a garden party among my “guests.” And who doesn’t like a party!

Despite its theme, Uncatchable, is translucent rather than transparent, raising many questions. For starters:  Is the model morphing into a butterfly since her forearms are comprised of emerging butterflies and she has a winged insect adorning her face?  Is the butterfly a mask or is it part of her face? The butterfly's thorax looks remarkably like a human  nose. Is she in danger of being caught in the nets of the lepidopterists behind her? Is that what's causing "butterflies in the stomach"? Or does her composure and confidence tell us that she is immune to being caught? Or, perhaps in a broader sense she is a stand-in for feminism.

As to the question of why she sports caterpillars as garters? I can answer that...

so her stockings don't fall down!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Land, Sea and Air

xxxxxxxxxxxxRiptide, mixed media on linen, 50 x 40 inchesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

A riptide and I have a great deal in common. Strange as that may seem, I can explain the   similarity:

A riptide  is a strong current of water that flows away from the shore. As a painter, I, like the riptide, produce a strong current of energy that flows away from  the shore–the shore of “everyday.”

If you are a swimmer, the riptide will pull you away from the safety of the shore. If you are a viewer, my paintings will pull you away from the safety of "everyday" and into the unknown.

I serendipitously happened upon the above image for Riptide while standing on the balcony of my  Fort Lauderdale studio. The balcony is poised over the Atlantic Ocean and is closed off from the studio by glass doors. While looking through the doors I realized I was in a strange new place.  I could clearly see the ocean and sky (reflected on the glass) along with the studio and bedroom spaces beyond the doors, including more double doors, and the furniture beyond that. This confusing yet beautiful image of land, sea and air superimposed on one another enchanted me. I was caught in the current, a riptide if you will, and pulled away from the safety of "everyday."

I hope you will all join me in the unknown on the third weekend in March, 2016 when the Guild 5 FortyFive in Fort Lauderdale  presents my solo exhibition, Land, Sea and Air.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Making of an Artist: The Ten Second Introudction

WE SHOULD ALL PRACTICE  the 10-second introduction. I have learned that you can hold a person's attention for that long before his or her mind starts wandering. Below is the best I have come up with, and I must say, I feel a little like Robert Di Nero in Taxi practicing "You lookin' at me?"  Here goes:

"I'm a painter. I explore and rearrange the beauty of the natural world, fusing humanity with nature. The end result is more beautiful than each of them alone. Would you like to be rearranged?"

Castle in the Sky, mixed media on linen, 36 x24 inchesMMMMMMMMM

Most likely Di Nero would have said, "You lookin' to be rearranged?" OK, OK! I might not use the last sentence. I have to ask my coach.
I'll use the above or a similar image on a card to handout to all of the people who ask, "What do you do?" Because, we all know that a picture is worth 10-seconds worth of words!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Art Trinity: the Painting, the Painter and the Viewer

The painting and the artist at Monmouth Museum
The painting and the viewers

The art trinity: Painting, Artist and Viewers


We, painters  and viewers, had a wonderful time at the fall 2015 opening of Portraits  completing the three-way transaction that exists among the painting, the painter and the viewer. The reason the shows are so satisfying is because the art trinity is not really complete without the viewers.

The paintings, in my case, Catcher, are the stars of the evening. For me Catcher represents harmony between humanity and nature. Once created, however, Catcher became an entity unto itself.

As an artist, I am merely the technician that made Catcher happen. I did this by filtering the model  and all the images that make him up through my mind's eye. I kept the final image translucent, so that viewers can bring their own interpretation as to its meaning.

Most of the viewers told me that they could not figure out whether it was a peaceful image or a disturbing one. That contrast in a work is what makes a painting successful. An art critic/journalist tells us which pieces he decides to write about:

"It is the paintings where I don't get what the artist is trying to do that attract me. They remain with me. I keep thinking about them, trying to figure out what the artist is up to. When I understand what the artist is doing, I say,  "Oh yes, that's nice," and move on because the work no longer engages me."

You're on your own now, Catcher; thanks for being thought provoking!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Monmouth Museum

Catcher, acrylic on linen, 36 x 24"

THE FALL ART SEASON is upon us and I am thrilled that my first scheduled exhibit for the season will be at Monmouth Museum in its  exhibit PORTRAITS: A Juried Exhibition. 
The Museum Curatorial Committee selected, my painting Catcher.

My model for Catcher was my nephew Madison McLaughlin. While trying to get his likeness on canvas several unwanted McLaughlin faces (Madison's mother, father and  brother) appeared  on the work in progress. I gave myself a pep talk, saying, "Well, you're in the right gene pool, maybe the deep end of the gene pool, but the right gene pool nevertheless."

I continued working until I "got" Madison.  It occurred to me that this might be the main difference between artists and non-artists. A non artist will simply say that he can't draw something.  Sometimes artists can't either, but we keep on trying until we can.

I hope you all come to opening night, September 18 from 6 to 8. If you miss it, the show will be there through mid-November.  I would love to meet each and every one of you in person.

  Here's the link -

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Guild - 5 Forty Five, Ft. Lauderdale

 one of the best things about being an artist is the artist's reception at exhibits.  That's where I get to meet all sorts of wonderful art lovers and talk about my paintings and art in general with them. 

Susan McLaughlin, artist with George Curi, collector

Above is a photo from my solo show, Botanically Correct at The Guild. That's George Curi, my self-declared number one fan. Behind us is my painting, Wings, the poster child for Botanically Correct. 

 I love the amber glow of this shot and the confusing proliferation of hands surrounding us. The hand on my shoulder looks as if Wings is emerging from the canvas to give us a giant hug, but it is actually George's hand. The hand between George and me looks like it's George's but it is Wings' painted hand. The fingers on George's shoulder look like Wings' fingers tapping George on the shoulder,  but they are mine. And  then there's Wings' hand to the right of George which looks real enough to pinch him.

And so it goes, just as I have always thought, art and life are interchangeable!

George emailed me the day after the exhibit writing:

" I loved your use of color.  It was so bright.  I felt so cheerful in your gallery.   Especially, in contrast to the darker pieces featured in the adjacent galleries. You really are a true inspiration.  A very rare, but wonderful quality to possess."

Thank you, George!

A better look at Wings and a couple  other Botanically Correct creatures.

Wings, acrylic on linen, 36 x 30"

The Man Under my Bed, acrylic on linen, 36 x 24"

Loose Ends, acrylic on linen, 36 x 24"

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale

HERE I AM SHOWING  Alice's Aura at my very first museum exhibit.  It was the Spring Juried Art Exhibit at the Museum of Art of Ft. Lauderdale AN Academy of Art and Design. It was curated by their director and lead curator, Bonnie Clearwater. The staff at the museum told me that Ms. Clearwater thought my art was a cross between Alice Neel and Frida Kahlo.

They placed Alice in a  premier location in the gallery, directly in the center of the window looking out onto the street. Not only did it look out on the street, but it looked across it to where  the paintings of Frida Kahlo  and Diego Rivera were showing at the museum's main exhibit.   I felt thrilled and humbled at the same time to be showing in such proximity to these great artists.   I hope some of their  greatness rubbed off on me!

Even if it didn't, I was proud to be there!

Here's a better look at Alice's Aura

Alices's Aura, Acrylic on linen,40 x 30 inches

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Enter, wood, metal, porcelain and paint 7 x 8 inches

SOME PHOTOS from my  solo exhibition, Bucolia,  in Miami at Meeting House where the gallery is as beautiful as the art.  The show was curated by Moira Holohan, who in addition to being  a talented curator is a talented artist in her own right.  Since we couldn't find the right word to describe my paintings for the show, I coined the word Bucolia from  the words "bucolic" and "melancholia."

In addition to medium and large scale paintings, my sculpture, Enter, was displayed as well as a series of digital paintings entitled Going to Pieces

Going, digital  painting , 24 x 30 inches

The artist and studio assistant

Golden Lady  (left) and Out of the Woods

Fairfield Porter Gone Bad (right)

Alice's Aura (left) and Entropy

Exit , pen and ink, 8 x 11 inches 

Enter sculpture (center) and   Bi-Directional (far right)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tumbling Into Art

Niagara, digital painting
Marble tile which inspired Niagara

 I am constantly amazed by the ubiquity of art.

The above digital painting, Niagara, which I drew and painted on my Wacom, was inspired by a tumbled marble floor tile at my new home in Lauderdale by the Sea. When I arrived here, I noticed art all around me. I am not referring to the scenic beaches, sunny skies, palm trees, or Atlantic Ocean against which our home is set. I am instead referring to the images I found on our tumbled marble flooring.

Although my plan was to take the month of December off and give myself a refreshing respite from art,  I simply could not do it. Gazing into the natural compositions, shapes and textures of each of the blocks of our patterned marble floor, I became inspired and started to paint.

Here is some more of the floor-derived art I tumbled into.
Not so bad for a floor!

Thin Ice, digital painting

Marble tile which inspired Thin Ice

Kiss, digital painting
Marble tile which inspired Kiss

Self Toast, digital painting
Marble tile which inspired Self Toast

Newborn, digital painting

Marble tile which inspired Newborn

Nosy, digital painting
Marble tile which inspired Nosy

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My World

Wildflower, acrylic on linen, 30 x 24 inches, croppedxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

One of the best things about being a painter is that I can create my own world. In addition, I have developed my own vocabulary of meanings in order to make my world a better, more perfect place.  In my world, all things are  equal. There is no hierarchy. Human beings, animals and botanicals all have the same importance and are fungible. The painted images above might seem bizarre at first glance, but actually work as absolutes in my paintings.

 Wildflower is one with nature. The snake/armrests provide comfort and support as they enclose and embrace Wildflower. The snake's forked tongue even becomes a bracelet for her. A butterfly sits atop her head as beautiful as any chapeau and even extends its veins onto Wildflower's face as a decorative and symbiotic gesture.  Wildflower's  braids defy gravity, twisting and twirling gracefully through the air. Though hair, they take their serpentine cue from the snakes.  Wildflower is so botanically correct, her pale pink decolletage is made made up of flowers. Actual 100-year-old pressed wildflowers, violets, adorn her neck.

And that's the way things are ... at least in my world.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Two Foxes, acrilic paint on linen, 36 x 24 inchesxxxxxxxx

 Painting Consuelo, acrylic on linen; 40 x 36 incxx

LAST NIGHT  I had the honor and pleasure of being included in the show Protinus with an extremely accomplished group of painters right in the middle of the zeitgeist at Dacia Gallery, NYC.  The paintings of mine that were curated for the show are shown above.

Dacia is a beautiful, intimate  gallery, well located on the Lower East Side (53 Stanton Street).  There was an excellent turnout for the opening. Lee Vasu, an artist himself, is the curator and co-founder of Dacia along with his business partner, Damian Salo. Lee and Damian are very nurturing to their artists. They had all the artists give informal talks about their work at the opening.  It was very inspiring and a lot of fun! I loved showing there.

You you can view my talk at

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Man Under My Bed

The Man Under my Bed, acrylic on linen, 30 x 24 inchesXXXXXXXXXXX

MOST GOOD PAINTERS strive to create work that causes them and their viewers to experience a strong rush of emotion. Painting one of my childhood fears worked as such a catharsis for me.

As a child, I had a downright frightening imagination. The subject of the painting above, The Man Under My Bed, in fact lived (I believed at the time) under my bed. Despite all the pretty pink bedding and lacy pillows on the top of my bed, there was a threatening, dark, evil abyss beneath.  My own childhood yin and yang.

I firmly believed that if I were to get into my bed the normal way, i.e. walking up to it and climbing in, The Man underneath would reach out, grab me by my ankle and pull me under. I knew that if he caught me, I would have to live out the rest of my life under my bed with a monster
in that cramped, dark, coffin-shaped space.

Fortunately, I devised a way to insulate myself from that horrible fate.  It involved some acrobatics.  Much to my mother's amazement, every night I would stand a yard away from my bed and take a flying leap onto the bed to stay out of The Man's reach. I exited the bed in the same way, standing on the edge of the bed and jumping in one giant three-foot long leap over the danger zone.

When I started this painting, I didn't realize I was painting my old under-bed nemesis until I completed his face and he started smirking out at me from the painting. I had thwarted his kidnapping approach, so now he was trying to get me under the bed with what passed for him as come hither looks, wine from his brain and flowers. If I had started out painting a non-specific mythical half-man/half-beast with ram's horns, I ended up painting The Man Under my Bed.

Now that I am an adult (chronologically at least), I realize that The Man Under My Bed doesn't really exist– or at least he doesn't live under my bed. To the great relief of Mr. Depingo, I can now enter and exit my bed by walking up to it and climbing under the covers. After painting the above, though, I am now concerned that The Man has simply relocated himself. I therefore exercise extreme caution when I walk past my flower beds.

Ever seen a gardener do flying leaps to enter and leave her garden?


Monday, August 25, 2014

Coming Out

Sketcchbook pen and ink drawing- Girl Smoking

Digital drawing - Girl Smoking Flowers 

Painting, -  Coming Out, acrylic,  on linen

My latest painting, Coming Out,  is currently being exhibited  at the AIR Gallery in the group show Kaleidoscope in Newtown, CT.

It is is yet another  example of my being inspired by an old sketchbook drawing. The sketch of the smoking girl is the basis for the painting. 

The first sketch shown above is the original drawing.  On the second sketch,  I used Photoshop to layer flowers over the original and reduced the flower-layer's opacity, so I could see both the girl and the flowers clearly. This became the working drawing which guided  my  painting. After building up many layers of paint for the girl and the flowers, I added the insects, wings and unraveling pupa. I then added cut paper.

As the the butterfly in the painting  is "coming out" of her  pupa, so is the painting "coming out" of the drawing.

Again, artists, never throw out your old work, no matter how embarrassing it is!

To see more sketchbook-to-painting work follow this link: