The Early Years 1979 - 1989

 

To see even older work, scroll all the way to the bottom of this page. There is a separate section of...EEK! Student work...

After art school, I moved to Chicago. I became a (sort of) radical feminist and did a bunch of paintings about matriarchy and patriarchy, etc. (Did you know that women did the cave paintings?)

 

After a brief move back to the 'burbs to live with my mom after my dad died, I got a car and moved to Seattle. In Seattle, in the mid 1980's, I became a vegetarian and animal rights activist, got my first pet rat and did a lot of angry, political paintings about man's inhumanity to animals. I protested weekly against a dizzying array of abuses. I lived in Seattle for eight years, got married and later divorced, then moved back to the mid-west in 1990 to attend graduate school. 

Self-Portrait as an Albino
Self-Portrait as an Albino

Watercolor 30" x 22 1/4" 1989

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Thinking About Vivisection
Thinking About Vivisection

Oil on canvas 5' x 5' 1987-1988 What a nightmare it is to know the truth about what's going on. It was impossible to get into the Christmas spirit and bake cookies when I was so depressed about vivisection. I have hands made of sugar cookies because I feel so ineffectual. Also, the cookie cutter rats are my way of protesting the way lab mice and rats are treated. To me, they are individuals, not disposable test tubes.

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Detail, Thinking About Vivisection
Detail, Thinking About Vivisection

Oil on canvas 5' x 5' 1987-1988

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Oneness
Oneness

Oil on canvas 42" x 48" 1987

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Displacement
Displacement

Watercolor 30" x 22 1/2" 1984 (sold) I was living a couple blocks from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA when I painted this. I was often struck by how odd it was to be living in a dank, wet, chilly, dark climate, moments from a giraffe. I'm sure the giraffe disliked Seattle's weather as much as I did.

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Waste
Waste

Watercolor 41" x 29 1/2" 1984 During my time in Seattle, I once lived next door to an elderly man who actually owned an elephant foot wastebasket. I found this object from the 1940's or 50's hideously depressing and horrifying, and I coveted it. Who could have guessed in 1984 that elephant poaching for "trinkets" would be worse 29 years in the future than it had ever been before?

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Self-Portrait with Bemoy
Self-Portrait with Bemoy

Watercolor 22 1/4" x 15" 1982

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Tiger
Tiger

Watercolor 22 1/4" x 15" 1982 This painting is family lore. Our beagle, Tiger, once threw up five baby rabbits in the living room, moments before dinner, in front of the eight people comprising my parents' Gourmet Dinner Group.

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Hunting
Hunting

India ink wash 22 1/2" x 29 3/4" 1981

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Ride Out
Ride Out

Watercolor 22" x 30" 1981

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Con: Cave
Con: Cave

Oil on canvas 54 1/2" x 54 1/2" 1981 One of my large "feminist manifesto" paintings.

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Dying Father
Dying Father

Watercolor 30" x 22 1/2" 1981

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Hydrocephalus (Floating on the
Hydrocephalus (Floating on the

Edge of Humanity) Oil on canvas 48" x 47" 1979 I moved to Chicago directly after getting my undergraduate degree. I did this painting while living in a tiny roach pit apartment in the Gold Coast area, two blocks from Lake Michigan. I was and still am enamored with the work of the Chicago Imagists.

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Student Work
1977 - 1979

 

Why would I put such old work on my website? Well, I love these old paintings. If my studio burns up or floods, these images will survive in cyberspace. These paintings were all done when I was an undergraduate. I don't like a single painting I did in graduate school starting eleven years later, so with the exception of one drawing, they are not on this website. But these long-ago images remain close to my heart.

Sibling Suburbia
Sibling Suburbia

Oil on canvas 44 1/2" x 44 3/4" 1979 I had to wear a "facebow" when I was in junior high. (Thanks, Dad - my orthodontist.) Later I joined my older sisters in wearing gigantic pink rollers to bed, in a losing battle to straighten my hair. Decades of insomnia started with trying to sleep on rollers the size of orange juice cans. Why did I do that?? Kids are so lucky now - they are "allowed" to let their hair be their hair...

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Big Chicken
Big Chicken

Oil on canvas 48 1/2" x 60 1/2" 1979 This was the painting I worked on in a frenzy, my senior year of art school, instead of actually committing suicide via the leaky old gas stove in my crappy student apartment. I was too afraid I would accidentally blow up the building. Doesn't that seem quaint now? It used to be that suicides really only wanted to kill themselves.

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Rotten Thoughts
Rotten Thoughts

Oil on canvas 54 3/4" x 42 1/2" 1978 Rotten Thoughts - the painting I may hold most dear of all the paintings I've ever done in my entire life. It was my "breakthrough" painting - the first time I worked large and discovered how freeing a big canvas could be. I'm the monkey everyone thought was so happy and funny, while I was desperately trying not to kill myself.

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Hippoportamoppet
Hippoportamoppet

Oil on canvas 1978

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Detail, Hippoportamoppet
Detail, Hippoportamoppet

Oil on canvas 1978

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Tell Me I'm Pretty
Tell Me I'm Pretty

Oil on canvas 40" x 26" 1977 or 1978

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Universal Cafeteria Stew
Universal Cafeteria Stew

Oil on canvas 36 3/4" x 48 3/4" 1977 or 1978

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