I remember the wonderful frilly yellow pinafore I had when I was six. And I remember visiting a friend's horse farm in rural Ohio. My parents' friend took me riding on a beautiful horse. Over my head were the leaves of trees. We had a picnic under the leaves. It is a magic memory. For some reason, I recently saw a golden Weeping Willow in bloom and that ignited this memory. Perhaps, there was or wasn't a Weeping Willow in the original memory. Probably not, as it was Summer not Spring. But no matter, the Willow plays an important part in this painting, as you can see.
Sometimes you see a deer and it's a beautiful sight, but that's it. But sometimes you see a deer and a deer sees you. This deer appeared to be illuminated and looked right at me. Didn't look away or move away, but instead seemed to impart a message of hope for the future. Something so special, I could only record it in paint.
The people of my hometown of Los Angeles are mourning the loss of the beloved Icon, P-22. Twelve years ago, P-22 crossed two freeways and ended up in Griffith Park, where he lived alone and didn't mate. He was often cited at night , sometimes in front of the Hollywood sign. I like to paint celebrities and you can't get a bigger LA Star than P-22,whose haunted eyes were lined in black. May his legend live on.
I painted, "Princess Di, Her Tribulation Is Her Triumph," in honor of the 25th Anniversary of her death. It would have been a prettier picture if just a regal pose. But that would not be a true picture. The press (here looming silhouettes with relentless flashing cameras) hounded her unto her death and may have caused it. I tried to capture her luminosity and the sadness in her eyes. May she rest in peace.
There are special, sudden moments in life that stand out, when you enter another dimension. This is what happened to me as I left my friend's new apartment building. It is across from a woods. I have walked in this woods often in the past, happy to look at birds and wild flowers. As I approached, something caught my eye. Slinking out of the woods, in front of the trees, was a large bobcat. He stopped directly across from me and stared with golden eyes. We were caught in a moment of frozen time. I was in awe and didn't even think, is this dangerous? Instead of thinking, I was in the grip of something larger. My connection with this great animal and the universe. I managed to take out my phone and take the Bobcat's photo. And then he went back into the woods, I got in my car, still filled with wonder. Of course, later, I painted the Bobcat. Many people reacted to my photo as if the Bobcat is dangerous and I could have been attacked. Perhaps in retrospect I can see it could have been a dangerous moment. But I think that great cat and I have an understanding to respect one another and carry the knowledge of each other inside us.
This painting was inspired by this poem.
THE WONDER OF IT ALL, by Pam Malone
Today I see inked trees
against a wild blue sky
When I was a child
in my Mother's garden
I saw a kaleidoscope of color
My dog, Sandy at my side
Today, my dog, Snowball is with me
I see with the same child's eyes
the wonder of it all.
On the left side of the painting is me as a child with my dog, Sandy. The fuchsias are flowing down from a vine under a hummingbird in my Los Angeles backyard. On the right, I, now an older woman, follow a path with my dog, Snowball in our favorite New Jersey park, where there is water, an egret and trees.
As soon as I saw his face, I knew I had to paint him. Bad enough he's caged and not free to live in the Malaysian jungle, but Eko was shot and killed by a Naples, Florida sheriff at the Zoo, because a man, got into his cage and got attacked. I do not like to see beautiful souls locked up in a cage to be gawked at and then to die by human hands. I have painted Hubert and Kalissa who were in the San Diego Zoo and killed simply because they were getting old.
And Garcia The Mexican Grey Wolf who died naturally but shouldn't have been locked up for fifteen years.
Nor will I forget the unnamed Caged Mountain Lion who glared at me and seared me with his anger as I gawked at him in his cage. I learned my lesson and never went to another zoo again.
SNOW LEOPARD, RILU, DIED OF COVID AT ILLINOIS ZOO
Finally, this! A beautiful Snow Leopard, named Rilu, died of Covid at the Illinois Zoo.