When my mother met my dad, she was a night club singer at the Zebra Club in New York city, the city of my dreams. She met my father, who was a handsome, restless man. He flew 52 missions in WWII as a fighter/pilot, and was shot down twice. After they married in 1942, Dad went to England and Italy, and Mom went to Hollywood, where I was born.
They were reunited at the end of the war, and I met my dad when I was 14 months old. The west coast was far away from family and friends, and the war had ended the career my mother had envisioned: more cruise ship gigs, and singing at clubs.
As a child, I was enthralled by stories my mom told of her days and nights in New York, and maybe that planted the seed that started my art deco series of oil paintings. We moved constantly, and by the time we moved into a little track house in the San Fernando Valley, I had been enrolled in 12 grammar schools by the sixth grade.
I was always the new kid in school, and my saving grace was that I could draw. I have an artwork I did when I was 6 years old, and we lived next door to a Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico. I know that art is a gift, and one that a lonely, near-signted left handed kid, needed to survive the constant trauma of moving.
I studied art in high school, and at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Mr. Green, my art teacher, told me that he thought I had a unigue style, and that he wanted me to stay true to myself, and not copy other artists, teachers, or listen to critics. Pretty amazing for 1962.
I remember this event with Mr. Green, when he asked me to take a walk around campus with him. His words resonate with me to this day, and I know that I dance to my own beat. Thank you, Mr. Green, and Stephens College- a beacon of light for women since 1833.
I painted my art deco paintings for over 30 years, in a celebration of that golden era. Ballroom scenes, penthouses in New York, landmark buildings, vintage cars, and elegant people enjoying life and romance became an obsession for me.
On April 17,2005, I woke up with severe double vision, and my life changed dramatically overnight. Five years later, a smart doctor finally said that she could fix my condition. All my tests showed normal results, and all male doctors said, 'I can fix it, but I need a diagnosis.'
Dr. Cody said, she could fix my eyes, even though we'll never know what caused the condition. She fixed me, and now, I have the best vision of my life!!! They even inserted my prescription and now I have 20/20 vision.
I had painted for the five years I was disabled, and when I had the bandages removed from my eyes, I had a new perspective on life. It was time to end the art deco series. I feel I've said it all, and it's beautiful, and I'm still crazy about cars and New York, but it's time to move on.
Meet my wildlife series - started when I had double vision, and a subject that I love....especially big cats. And a children's book.....my Hollywood series...the Deco Ladies (more to come to FAA soon)....and now?
Who knows? I'm not sure right now what's next for me, art-wise, but the adventure continues...........The Trace, Los Angeles, CA