The View from Above

Dear Friends,
What is it about leaving our ‘normal’ lives if only for a few days, that throws off the brain’s trajectory? The trajectory being any forward motion beyond a REM cycle. How different we are from one another, whether two streets or many countries apart. Yet despite distance, we constantly seek out similarities. We ache for common ground on which to rest our feet. Beyond grasping the universal necessities of breathing, drinking, eating, sleeping and reproducing, we are often perplexed. The bravest of us dive deep to skim emotional distances beyond invisible borders. But many of us are not brave. We take comfort in comfort’s sake. Our superficial observations block insight. Languages are walls of jumbled symbols. Unfamiliar comfort zones are not easily navigated.

I wonder – as I’m quite sure many of you do – what non-earthly sentient beings would deduce from our world, both past and present. Would they consider us intelligent, performance-driven, altruistic and neighborly?  Or looking down at Earth, would they believe us devoid of any compass, moral or otherwise? Lacking universal sameness, would these sentient beings comprehend our world? Would they conclude we live well together?

This outdoor sculpture stands behind Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island. As I took this photo, the sky bright all around, I contemplated what a non-earth entity would make of this particular subject, hence what they’d think of us earthlings…

statueThe little green visitor below would like to give us, ‘the benefit of the doubt.’

Cheesy Alien

Cheesy Alien

Thank you and goodnight. May you slumber deep and float upon sparkling space dust…
Alien Ragoo created July 22, 2014 with Prisma pencil while listening to Lincoln’s Biography.

We All See

Dear Friends,
We look up from Tahiti. We look up from Andora. We look up from French Guiana. We look up from Chile. We look up from Belgium. We look up from Gibraltar. We look up from St. Vincent. We look up from Macedonia. We look up from Cuba. We look up from Armenia. We look up from Senegal. We look up from Nepal. We look up…

We all see the sky. We all share the azure. We all see the clouds. We all share the billowy white. We all see the storm. We all share the ominous gray. We all see the sun. We all share the bright yellow. We all see the sunset. We all share the crimson. We all see the moon. We all share the silver-blue. We all see the stars. We all share…

We all see…

Dolores no frameThank you and goodnight. May you dream of the world’s people gazing up together, thankful for the sky…

Lady of Sorrows, 4′ x 3′ oil on canvas, 1997

The Pointy-Eared Dog Who Admired Art

Dear Friends,
There once lived a pointy-eared dog who admired art. He marveled at flat empty spaces of no significance brought to life with color, line and form. His great canine imagination soared whenever he gazed upon brushwork harmony –

rocky w:captainOne day he met a lovely blue-eyed woman. They spent the afternoon sipping Harley & Sons Peppermint Herbal Tea – his favorite – bantering about the merits of sable brushes infused with hog hair. He asked a passerby to take a photo of  this lovely smiling day. For the pointed-eared dog feared, if precious moments were not captured on canvas or film, the memories would be lost forever-

rocky:doloConcern for his own lasting image began haunting him. The pointy-eared dog once heard of a legend. A pointy-eared dog like himself – a Queen in her day – who had her image committed to canvas.

chama w:paintingHe wished for the same and set about the task of gathering the portraitist’s location. During his info quest, the pointy-eard dog heard another legend. This one painted terror in his heart. After the Queen’s death, the royal portraitist became a recluse and had moved beyond the border of Werewolf Wood. If one desired their portrait painted, one must make it through Werewolf Wood alive.

werewolf woodThe pointy-eared dog contemplated his motives for desiring a portrait of himself-

rocky reflectingHe questioned the intelligence of risking life and limb –

rocky tip headThe pointy-eared dog even tried imagining the mighty Werewolf fearing itself-



In the end, the pointy-eared dog smartly decided not to risk a journey through Werewolf Wood. He’d have to do his best to remember himself from the inside. He’d try to summon his best qualities and paint an image in his heart. The pointy-eared dog reasoned if he focused on his good qualities everyday, his image would be a masterpiece…

Thank you. May you dream a dream free of werewolves and hobgoblins…
Hope you enjoyed this little tale. Incidentally, Rocky the Shepherd is a ham 😉

Photo: Rocky posing with Captain -acrylic on canvas, 1998 Photo: My lovely sister Dolores with Rocky 2011 Photo: Chama posing with her portrait: oil on canvas,1994 Photos: Rocky the Shepherd closeups – 2013
Werewolf art – mixed media 2011, Werewolf with Goggles – Prisma 2014

The Quiet Humble of a Role Model

Dear Friends,
I’m a floating sideline spectator whenever the giant husband and big son are entertained by crunching helmets, leaping high-tops or cracking bats. Once in a while, I’ll land on the couch and observe the action up close. Above the din, there is one echo I listen for. A sound one must hear with both ears open these days – the quite humble of a role model. It’s a rare combination of platinum ethics and golden athletic prowess. The man donning pinstripes No.2 possesses this treasured combination. Each time Derek Jeter tips his cap, he lifts a young fan’s heart.

Throughout Derek Jeter’s prolific career, his on – but more importantly – his off-field image has gleamed. One sometimes wonders the plausibility of such a feat anymore when ridiculous entitlement breeds contempt. Derek Jeter has exhibited with grace and class how to be outrageously talented yet quietly humble. And now I’ll wait for a few more superstars to step up to the plate and shine for all those watching, including my children…

max wrestlingPerhaps in the end, I admire Derek Jeter most for his endearing sentiments-
“You try to carry yourself the right way. I’ve always tried to do that. Then again I am who I am. I don’t try to be any different. If people respect you for the way that you carry yourself, it means a lot to me and it means a lot to my family. It makes you feel good.”  -Derek Jeter as quoted by the Associated Press

upside down carolineThank you and goodnight. May you dream of the world’s children playing ball happily together.

Photo of the big son at age 12, taken during last year’s wrestling season
Acrylic painting, Delicate Daughter & Big Son, 4′ x 2′ on canvas, 2008

In an Elephant’s Eye

Dear Friends,
Do you ever have one of those outer-body experiences? It usually happens when you pose the intrusive question, “Who am I really?” Then you become aptly concerned when you don’t have enough solid information to answer yourself. Sometimes outer-body occurs after staring at your reflection too long. You investigate the mask you happen to be wearing at the time and think, “Is this what they see when they see me?”

The elephant is one of a handful of mammals who recognizes its own reflection. This beautiful creature doesn’t get caught up in human over-analyzations. In an elephant’s eye it sees who it is – nothing more, nothing less – it sees itself and simply knows its purpose for the day…

elephant eye:trunkI had a little fun with this beautiful creature, imparting human qualities upon its regal form. I thought if elephants were people they might become a tad self-concious after watching, The Biggest Loser.

Belly Mask

Belly Mask

Thank you and goodnight. May you dream of tutu-clad elephants dancing a lullaby…

Elephant close-up rendered in Prisma on construction paper, 2009 
Belly Mask rendered in Prisma July 14, 2014

The Talking Mushroom and the Little Red Fox

Dear Friends,
There once lived a little red fox-



Her auburn fur edged with gold, flickered in the sunlight whenever she ran about the forest. She was smart and lovely, yet she was unhappy. Though she could do all things in perfect fox-form, she dreamt of being a kangaroo. Daily she practiced graceful long jumps. The little red fox could even leap much higher than her older brothers. But this amazing athletic prowess, didn’t satiate her bounding appetite. She wanted to be a kangaroo. One misty morning with dew saturating her delicate toes, the little red fox came upon a purple-spotted mushroom. It was a purple-spotted fungus, the likes of which she’d never seen.

“My dear child,” bubbled the purple-spotted mushroom from his damp earthen throne, “you are unhappy.”

“Yes,” replied the little fox, not even a bit concerned she was talking to a purple-spotted fungus.

“I can make you happy,” whispered the mushroom low, as not to share his secret.

“How?” asked the little red fox, unable to contain her excitement.

“One bite of me and your dream will come true.”

The little red fox wasted not a moment, she chomped on the purple-spotted mushroom. When she awoke next morning, she could not push up on her strong front paws as she done all the previous days of her life. She rolled to her side, then much to her surprise, sprang up. So forceful was the leap, she soared fifty feet across the forest floor. The little red fox landed by a large puddle that had collected between gnarly tree roots and rock. She caught her reflection in the shimmering water. Her wish had been granted – her dream realized. Instead of being jubilant for the change, she sobbed mightily. She was neither a little red fox nor a complete kangaroo…

fox:kangaThere was once a snowman who wished he was a fox-

Snow Fox

Snow Fox

Hope you enjoyed my little fable.
Thank you and goodnight. May you dream of being content in your own skin…

(Fox Up Close: Prisma, 2000,  Foxroo: acrylic on canvas, 1999,  Snowman with Fox Mask: Prisma, two days ago)

Why Can’t Marilyn Die?

Dear Friends,
What is it about Marilyn Monroe? Our appetite for her is limitless.

marilyn magI fell for her too. I created all these Marilyn images while in college to fill bare apartment walls.

marilyn zinc Though gorgeous, sexual beings have gone before and will after (especially today with sophisticated ‘self-improvement’ technologies) none will ever come close to Marilyn’s platinum pulchritude. What is it beyond her obvious blessings? What keeps Norma Jean ever present on our radar.

Marilyn hands Perhaps, the perception of innocence around her persona allows us to love her above all others. It allows us to forgive her ‘naive’ transgressions. We blame Hollywood, we blame the machine for allowing her to slip through the cracks. Had her full lips creased at forty-five, would she have tarnished? Would her ‘innocence’ have turned stale? Maybe…

conte marilynI don’t know about ‘candles in the wind,’ I only know Marilyn Monroe ended her life (unless you subscribe to other conspiracy theories) before life ended her. As for me, I’m still looking for Elvis and Jim.

Thank you and goodnight. May you dream of statuesque blonde angels…

(magazine pic taken in local Stop & Shop, top Marilyn: 18″ x 24″ print from zinc plate etching, middle Marilyn: 5′ x 3′ acrylic painting, bottom Marilyn 9′ conté crayon) All images painted from photographic reference, couldn’t locate original photographers’ names, if anyone knows, please pass on – all photo images are under different estates…thank you