My journey will end the way it began, with a poop story.
I can still see the horrifying glee in my dad’s eye as he would retell the infamous diaper story.
We didn’t have disposable diapers when I was a toddler. They were cloth. And would get soggy and saggy.
According to legend, I would escape mine upon a full deposit.
The contents of the diaper would dictate my attempts at cave painting. I painted the walls of my bedroom. I decorated the stucco on the outside of the house.
Where ever and when ever the diaper dictated, something got painted in poop.
About the time I was potty trained, my brother arrived. Once again I became obsessed with poop. And with color.
I made the connection between what goes in also goes out. So, I ate my Romper Room liquid crayons and shit paisley.
This horrified my mother. A state she would maintain about me until her death in 1985.
In High School, I got excited about drama. I wanted to act. My mother said I was too fat. My mother’s business partner grew up in Vaudeville. She didn’t think I was too fat.
She would bark at me, “Practice, practice, practice.”
When I graduated from High School, she gave me a set of water color paints, paper and brushes. On the card she wrote, “Practice, Practice, Practice.”
It would take me 40 years to realize what it was she was saying.
I still have one of the brushes from that set.
My parents divorced when I was 18. A couple of years later my mother met the man who would become my step-dad and first mentor.
I had come to live with them to get my shit together. My mom pushed me into nursing. It was practical. I wanted to go to art school. Not so practical. My mom won. She always did.
But it was my step dad who said the indelible words, “You are missing your calling.” He was right.
Within 2 years of graduation I quit nursing. And then my mom developed lung cancer. A few weeks before her death, she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told her, “I want to be an artist.”
In the late 1980s I managed to land a job in computer graphics spending the next 25 years as a print media designer.
Volunteerism and community art projects have been a prominent part my activities.
In 2010 I founded The Haggus Society, a non-profit feminist arts group for women over the age of 40.
I have been a frequent contributor to independent publisher, Black Scat Books. Under the Black Scat imprint, I authored two books. One as my performance character, Pink Buddha, When I Grow Up And Other Mantras. And the other, The Little Red Book Of Commie Porn a collaboration with artist Norman Conquest.
Both are now out of print.
In 2013 I suffered a series of small strokes brought on by the stress of trying to do it all. A year later, I shuttered the doors of The Haggus Society.
The death of my father in late 2017 was the catalyst for my return to painting. Through a process of unlearning I created my “Other Hand” series.
During the pandemic lock-down of 2020, I saw the effects of trauma –both in real life and in social media. This prompted me to move beyond the canvas. And I began to explore other manifestations of art making.
Weirdos across the U.S., Europe and Australia collect my work.