Moroccan Man in Bath | Pastel | 10” x 12” | SOLD

Moroccan Man in Bath

Pastel, 10” x 12”, 1998 SOLD
This pastel was done on a faux suede matte board, to create a soft, dreamy, diffused quality. It is as much a study of anatomy as an expression of that mysterious, masculine element that I find especially strong in Middle Eastern culture and in the Mediterranean tradition of the bath.

I love to show the human figure in natural, relaxed, and dignified poses and atmosphere, so regular while bathing. I wanted to create an ambiance that was both natural and almost supernatural – some other worldly vapor and light that is an escape from the everyday. I also wished to use a dramatic lighting that highlighted the sculpted physique of the figure.

Angel of Music | Oil on Masonite | 18” x 24” | SOLD

Angel of Music

Oil on Masonite, 18” x 24”, 1995 SOLD

‘The Angel of Music’ brings solace and quietude to the grieving. In her glowing embrace all is healed, forgiven, and made whole. This painting was based on a statue in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. Many great musical luminaries are interred in Père Lachaise: the composers Georges Bizet, Luigi Cherubini, Frédéric Chopin, Gioachino Rossini, as well as French Jazz pianist Michel Petrucciani, and singers as varied as Turkish/Kurdish singer and songwriter and political exile Ahmet Kaya, Italian opera singer Giulia Grisi, French opera singer Célestine Marié, the legendary American-born Greek opera singer Maria Callas, 20th Century French chanteuse Édith Piaf, and rock singer and poet Jim Morrison, among many other musical talents.

This painting was done in a negative/wipe-off technique, in cool colors, with warm tones glazed over later. I sought to achieve an effect similar to stained glass. I took inspiration for the hair and face of the angel from the 15th century Filippino Lippi painting, “Apparition of The Virgin to St Bernard”.

Meltdown | Oil on canvas | 18” x 24” | SOLD


Oil on canvas, 18” x 24”, 1995 SOLD
My intention with this piece was to express the feeling and meaning of this painting through the style, and for the brushstrokes to match the subject of the painting. The strong, primary palette reinforces the feeling of implosion. This work was inspired by my love of expressionism, especially artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Franz Marc, and Edvard Munch. I wanted to create a piece that was captured both beauty and chaos, a poetic moment of stillness amidst a swirling collision of forces.

This painting expresses intense emotions that I had experienced, as well as what I had witnessed loved ones go through, particularly the other young women around me. I hope that others may find this painting as cathartic and freeing as I felt painting it.

Lucifer: Dissention in Contemplation | Oil on canvas | 24” x 30” | $3000

Lucifer: Dissention in Contemplation

Oil on canvas, 24” x 30”, 1995 $3000

This painting operates on many levels. It also evolved and took on more layers and details over time. It started off as more of a satire on the idea of Lucifer; I wanted to paint Satan as effeminate, purple and lavender, and holding a narcissus flower, alluding to his vanity, while he reclined on a cliff overlooking a grotto and contemplated dissenting from God. According to the legend, Lucifer was originally a beautiful angel, according to some, the most handsome, and in Greek myth was a bright star and guide. Lucifer means “the bright one”.

Over time though as I worked on it, the painting was less of a lark and became more serious, and more of a commentary on human action, folly, blame, and responsibility. The cherubs above represent forethought, and thought they play and frolic, they hold a garland of skulls, as warning to humans, to think ahead and of the results of their actions. They also try in vain to warn Lucifer, who is not even aware of their existence, who is not thinking ahead or of the consequences of his actions, but only of his fine self. The figures in the cliff rock represent people who are suffering and become entrenched in blame and do not take responsibility for their actions. They are caught up in their pain but push it down and say “the Devil made me do it” The rock represents how they are caught up in a cycle of blame and blame everything and everyone else, but in reality, did not “look before they leap” so to speak, and only when they let go of blame and despair will be able to truly embark on a healing process.

This painting, while itself evolved during the process, also is a comment on the changing nature of symbols. While Lucifer has his roots as a Greek god of light, he also originated from the Druid/Wiccan Green Man, a nature protector, and Greek and Mediterranean nature god Pan, who was a “satyr” – a goat from the waist down, had cloven feet, sported horns and a tail, and was sometimes, like Poseidon, depicted holding a trident, an ancient warrior’s weapon later misinterpreted as a pitchfork. Pan was a protector of nature, especially the forests, and should anyone disturb him or the forests while he rested, would let out an immense and powerful cry to send terror into their hearts and cause them to flee, and is also from where the word “panic” originates. The purple in the painting as I mentioned was in point of the ironically feminine nature of ‘the big bad’ but also holds a regal and mystical quality to it – all symbolic of feelings I wanted to swirl in this painting – power and loss of power, the unknown, the beyond. The top of the painting is more purple, but the color drains out to more of a greyish hue toward the bottom, as it reaches more despair and to more suffering depths, and the color is drained and flattened out of life.

I painted this while very in my “Michelangelo phase” and I still love painting images from the expressive face and the rigorous musculature of his figures. Some of the cherubs and beings in the rocks were after or inspired by other Renaissance artists’ paintings, including Botticelli and Raphael. Props go out to my cousin Jake Trammell, who posed as just a tot (well was a restless toddler can hold a pose), for the cherub to the far right of the painting – Jake is now in college and looking at this painting reminds me just how much time has passed!!! I can’t believe my little angel baby is all grown up.

Medusa, Gorgon Goddess | Pastel | 16” x 20” | $2500

Medusa, Gorgon Goddess

Pastel, 16” x 20”, 2002 $2500
I was inspired to draw a picture of the Grecian goddess Medusa after seeing Caravaggio’s painting of Medusa’s severed head, and after reading the eco-feminist work “Gossips, Gorgons, and Crones: The Fates of the Earth” by Jane Caputi. I wished to create a pre-Hellenistic depiction of Medusa as protector of female sacred space and goddess of wisdom. In pre-Hellenistic Greece, the image of Medusa (or a gorgon in general) adorned women’s temples, as a sign that these spaces were reserved purely for the ladies, and celebrated female wisdom. Prior to patriarchal Hellenistic Greece, Medusa was considered one with Athena, Isis, Inana, and Ishtar, and was a representation of female wisdom and strength.

I was also inspired by the study of Kundalini meditation and the chakras. Kundalini energy is often described as the serpent coiling within the spine. The serpents in this painting and their coloration correspond to the chakras, particularly the lilac-burgundy colored serpent that is at the crown of the head, as the crown chakra is sometimes portrayed as purple. I was also influenced by the science-fiction movie “The Matrix” with the idea of the electric tube like cords plugged into the spine and skull – here transformed to represent the cosmic “plugging in” to the chakras and universal consciousness/wisdom.

Portrait of Renaissance Lady | Oil on canvas | 16” x 20” | Collection of the artist

Portrait of Renaissance Lady

Oil on canvas, 16” x 20”, 1993 Collection of the artist
This was the first painting that I ever did, and was inspired by my love of Renaissance portraiture, especially the work of Da Vinci, Rafael, and Botticelli. I later saw the beautiful oil painting, Girl with Cherries, by Italian High Renaissance Painter Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, and was struck by how similar it was to my vision. I used a Pthalo green underpainting and glazed warm colors over it, to achieve the luminous quality of classical Renaissance technique. I wished to express power and wisdom through the lady’s eyes, and I believe my perseverance and determination in creating this painting, in the end, is reflected in her aspect and her stare.

Nana: Portrait of the Artist’s Great-Grandmother as a Little Girl | Oil on Canvas | 16” x 20” oval | $250

Nana: Portrait of the Artist’s
Great-Grandmother as a Little Girl

Oil on Canvas, 16” x 20” oval, 2008 $250
This painting was done from a photo of my great-grandmother, Louise Rosa, when she was a small child, about 2 years old, I believe. It is done in a sepia tone to give it a feeling of warmth and nostalgia, to reflect how I feel when I think about my nana. My great-grandmother was a warm, kind, jolly and caring woman who doted on me as a small child, and to whom I have been told I gave great laughter and delight. I like to think that her spirit has often been with me and watched over me, and guiding me even as I painted this portrait of her.

Study for Archangel Uriel | Graphite on paper | 11” x 14” | $1000

Study for Archangel Uriel

Graphite on paper, 11” x 14”, 2000 $1000
This study was the careful prepatory drawing, or cartoon, that is always needed when creating a fresco, as fresco is done alla prima, or in one sitting while the plaster is still wet and fresh. So it is a good idea to have a thorough familiarity with one’s subject matter, to have lovingly traced the sweet lines of the face and to know them, as they say, by heart. Uriel is all heart, and for me a very tender and sensitive being, whose expression communicates understanding as much as it does mystery.

This work is done with simple graphite pencil on vellum paper, with lots of cross hatch work to create deep, rich shadows for the chiaroscuro effect, or contrast of light and dark,to set off the cheekbones and lend depth to the eyes. I really enjoyed creating this sketch and it prepared me for the creation of the final work.

For more information on Uriel himself and the background of this artwork, please see the blog post on Archangel Uriel.