24x30 Acrylic, Glitter, Resin, Gold Leaf
I idolized Paula Abdul, especially the cartoon cat in her video Forever your girl, who I thought was her boyfriend. I wanted to be a dancer, or a fashion designer, or that girl Devon in the Billy Idol video Rock the Cradle of Love that hits play on the tape. Madonna had just released Erotica. Deeper and Deeper is still one of my favorite songs and music videos of all time. I’m listening to it as I wrote this and tapping my feet. It’s so much nicer to imagine being in a disco in NYC carrying balloons than actually doing it. (Note to my younger self.)
Around 1993 my Dad painted my room a light purple, a color called Lavender Rush. I got to pick out my own bedroom furniture & got a big white desk with shelves above it, a white dresser and a white canopy bed. I never hung an actual canopy on that bed - but each of the 4-bed posts were used to store all of my hats (I loved hats -weird hats- and wore them often) on.
One summer I got a pound of gummy worms but refused to be a murderer and eat them. Instead, I named all 100 of them and tried to keep track. I kept them in a box. Unfortunately, I had to leave them in the car one day and they all melted together. That was on a Sunday morning fishing trip, a task that I loathed. This was what started it all to begin with, watching them hook the worms and drown them, to my horror. My Dad would get my sister and I up before dawn and take us to a pond. He always played Don Henley on the radio in the car.
I can say in my art career I have listened to Don Henley the most while working. The song dirty laundry for when I’m feeling strong and throwing down the first few layers. The end of innocence for when I’m feeling lost and don’t know wtf to do with the canvas next. The last worthless evening when I finally get out of that funk and start getting some courage to make some changes in the art. I know. It’s crazy. But I get a lot of help from my father's ghost making the amount of art at the quality that I do, and he likes those songs. So those are the songs. I guess it’s my way of apologizing for being such a brat when all he wanted to do was take me fishing.
He also listened to the pretty woman soundtrack nonstop, which has the Van Halen cover of Pretty Woman, with Intruder as the intro. He’d always drum the steering wheel really loud if he loved a song. A few times since he passed that song has come on in my car. I can never drive far enough or fast enough. Jagged little pill was the first cd I could sing every word to. As the 90s closed I had grown to love Green Day, Weezer, Garbage, No Doubt, and New Order. True Faith remains one of my top five favorite songs of all time.
I had intended to paint my childhood bedroom and write a story about it, but the story of the music is what came out instead. Music, my own art and travel are the only things that can remind me of exactly what I was feeling and when from a certain time in my life, and pull it into the present to reflect on what it means today. This canvas is a portrait of that movement and the way those moments have illuminated my life experience.
The lavender rush with her pops of bright mismatched color and a rhythm of movement that is floaty and whimsical. Just like listening to Paula Abdul in my childhood bedroom. Thinking maybe someday I’d be somebody, somewhere.