Not long ago, my dear friend Jean sent me a picture of an unusual hibiscus…
I have always been interested in exploring the theme of community. In this series titled Women in the World, I examine the supportive essence of womanhood. In the past I’ve lived and worked in communes where I’ve felt the strength that comes when everyone works together for the common good.
Since the beginning of time, women have come together to complete tasks and in so doing have bonded, sharing stories and problem solving issues that affect their lives. In this, women differ from men, who have lived in a more individualistic, competitive manner. Now, as women’s power grows around the world, we find women holding roles of authority. This series is a commentary on the strengths that women may now bring to the workplace, and what men may do as they participate more in the traditionally female realms of home and family.
The women in my paintings are often brightly colored to reflect a diversity of race, age, and circumstance. I have not given them facial features because I want them to be seen as a single group. I have looked for titles that evoke a sense of community in these women, for example “Putting Our Heads Together”, “Village in the City”, or “In the Same Boat”.
As companions to the Women in the World series, there are four paintings with single male figures. The backgrounds are painted in camouflage green and the men are surrounded by tools of domesticity. These men are depicted facing their home-centered tasks alone and somewhat aloof from their work. The titles of these works include “Childcare Commando”, “Captain Clean”, “Food Fighter”, and “Washday Warrior.”
My hope is that, in time, men and women can freely interchange their roles in the workplace and the home, bringing the natural strengths of their gender into each area.
My paintings have heavily textured acrylic surfaces that encourage the viewer to touch, allowing a more intimate connection to the work.