50th Birthday

I want to thank all of you who have been a part of my journey…all of you who have taken the time and energy to wish me well…to send me notes, messages, texts, gifts, prayers…I want to thank you all for sharing your stories, your energies, your love and your light.


Gratitude is a word that I cherish, but it does not adequately convey all that I feel for those of you who genuinely WANT to be in my life. You mean the world, the moon, and the stars to me. Thank you.

So today I am 50, and my journey in getting to this day has been fraught with a very full spectrum of virtually every human emotion. Today that emotion is one that I’m not sure I can define. Pensive? Peaceful? Joyful? GRATEFUL? Many of you know my story…I have had a lot of painful, terrible, awful, horrifying, and unfortunate experiences in my life (of course, along with some truly wonderful ones!), and I bring every bit of this (all too rich) experience into every part of my life and my work today. And though I carry all of these things with me, I am GRATEFUL for all of them, even the things that continue to plague or haunt me (that’s kind of hard to say, but I know I mean it). I guess that’s because without them, who am I? Right? Every single thing is what has shaped this person that I am today. I finally understand this (at least) and finally have compassion for myself. I like who I am, and I feel proud of the person I have become. And this is huge for me. So I am GRATEFUL for the 50 years it has taken me to get here. I’m GRATEFUL for the hard lessons I continue to recieve. And I am GRATEFUL to know that I will forever be learning. GRATEFUL to remain humbled by the immense beauty and kindness around me. GRATEFUL to still be here. GRATEFUL. Thank you all so so much for being in my life. My heart is truly full. Thank you.

Monday, 30x30in, oil on canvas, 2015, Rutherford Collection

As per usual, I was in the studio with the music cranked up, painting with conviction—listening to one of my faves, New Order. I had been working on this piece and thinking a lot about where I’d come from and of a truly transformative time in my life, when “Blue Monday” came on. It brought with it a flood of memories, and I hit replay about seven times, while I channeled the energy into my work. Upon finishing, I thought Monday would be an appropriate name. It toys with my personal, more recent memory of creating this piece…it channels the energy and memories of times long ago…and it speaks of transformation and renewal. Mondays are all about new beginnings.

I completed this painting on a Monday in November 2015. My birthday is in November, and as much as I have always loved birthdays (to a somewhat crazy degree, perhaps), I do tend to get particularly pensive around that time. I am a consummate reflector on all facets of my existence. I remember and process things from my past, I ponder the present, and dream of what may lie ahead. That’s what this piece is all about. I believe this piece has remained in my possession until now, because I hadn’t been fully resolved to let it go. Some pieces are like that for me. I look at it now, though, and I feel peace. Like a smile. And I can let go.

I hope the family that opened up their home to me and my work for my Carmel, CA, show, “The Stories We Tell Ourselves”, gains as much from this piece as I have.

November, 48x48in, oil on canvas, 2018, Frien Collection

I was born in November.

There was a song, back in the 90’s that I totally connected with called “November Spawned A Monster” by Morrissey. I know that sounds kind of awful, but I grew up feeling hated by my mother, and worse by my father (turned out he wasn’t my father), and consequently I felt as if there was something terribly wrong with me. This song, so clearly not about me and my troubles, touched me deeply. I identified with the poor, dear, handicapped girl in the lyrics because they described how I had felt; twisted, ugly, and monstrous. It was a hard and painful childhood, that left many many scars, but I’ve had just enough blessings along the way to have kept a clear vision of the life I wanted for myself. THIS life.

The dark wintry grey in the background of this piece represents the darkness of my past.

The recalcitrant, proud, combat boot-wearing girl in the bright yellow dress represents the woman that I have become. And all I can say is that I am so grateful that I have my art—my creative process—to help me continue channeling these energies—and healing.

This piece is now in the collection of a phenomenal artist, Mr.Tracy Frein, and his beautiful wife, Brandon. To be collected by a fellow artist is a truly special honor. Thank you.