Where is Home


When I travel, I like to find “things’ that I might be able to add to my art. While in Bohemia I ducked into a tiny antique shop and searched frantically for something to catch my eye, because the rest of the group was still trekking on. I spotted this pin and the price was reasonable, so I bought it and ran to catch up with the rest of the group. Again, while in the little village of Cesky Krumlov, there was a small craft show inside the walled courtyard of an old palace, and I sidetracked into there and discovered some hand carved wood cookie molds, and abstract shapes by an iron worker that intrigued me.

Eventually, I found myself in my studio, looking at the treasures I had brought home, and wondered what I was going to do with them. I started by molding little paper clay appliques from the wood molds. I was having so much fun, I started making molds from other shapes, and then I made a mold of the image of this pin. When I unmolded the replica of the pin, I was shocked to see writing on the pin, because it wasn’t visible to me. I copied the words, and on a whim, I googled them. You can only imagine my glee when they popped up on the internet telling a whole story about an old opera and a national anthem!

The idea of Where is Home locked hold in my brain, and the story and work really began. Czechia has had a turbulent 1000-year history, with its borders and populations being reshuffled by every new government. Czechs were only an ethnic minority in The Austrian Empire in 1834 when this song was written for the opera Fidlovaka. I wanted to create an image that gave the feeling of a beautiful “home” being sought while not quite knowing where one was going.

While in Prague I had discovered the images of Art Nouveau painter, Alphonse Mucha, and knew that his “girls” had to be my lost souls.

The lyrics of Kde Dovov Muj:

Where is my homeland? Where is my homeland, where is my homeland? Waters murmur through the meadows, forests rustle all over the rocky hills, spring blossoms glitter in the orchards, paradise on earth to look at! This is a beautiful country, the Czech country, my homeland, the Czech country, my homeland!

The Story: In my work you will see a background of a forest of birch, with the Mucha images positioned over the trees. Are the forests rustling? The spring blossoms are glittering in the surrounding orchards. You will find the paper clay appliques adding a feeling of the classical antiquity of the palaces that are so prevalent in Czechia. The “treble clef” symbols were perfect to add as the music of the title. And you won’t miss the lock and key representing coming home.

The Mucha images were transferred onto the canvas on which the tree transfers had already been applied. There are several layers of molding paste creating a frame of sorts for the girls “lost in the woods”. The added glitz of the antique pins, give a sense of time gone by. And thus, Where is Home was created!

12" x 36"

Spirit Dancers
Acrylic on large canvas, with added assemblage. 30" x 40" $800
Pharoah's Phantasy
A multimedia collage that was inspired by my trip to Egypt in 2008. The paper collage extends into to the custom- made frame that shows a lot of subtle glyphs. The collage is covered with a plastic resin coating.This photo shows the true color very well.

W:24.25" L: 28"

Unbridled, but Finally Found
The ingredients for this assemblage were found all over the world!

The rusty metal on the bottom was found on a busy London street by my friend Natalie, who finally gave it to me after treasuring it for a long time. The rusty metal at the top and the drift wood snake were both found on the beach side of Santorini Island in the Aegean Sea. The Caravaca Cross, which is an antique double sided one from Spain, and the brass coat of arms adornment were found at a little antique mart in Barcelona. The sea glass was found somewhere along the Pacific coast. The quail used to be a night light from a glass artist in New Mexico and the dichroic glass pieces are from a glass artist at a bead show. I found the antique horse bit at a rodeo vendor's stall. I found the hands, which are good luck charms, on a horse and buggy in Luxor, Egypt. The broken mirror was found on the floor of a local glass shop! Other adornments and artifacts have been collected over the years! The frame is old fence wood from the Southern San Joaquin Valley in California.

Build your own story:

The quail is a symbol of a contrite spirit, communal love, and higher consciousness. It is Artemis in the Greek mythology, who lived on "Quail Island," and the sacred animal of the Phoenician sun god, Bel. The quail is the early, dewy morning awaiting the first rays of the sun.

The Lion has always enjoyed a high place in heraldry as the emblem of undying courage. The lion, as the king of beasts, signified majesty and kingship from early Roman times. In later use, the lions have become emblematic of strength, courage, and generosity.

The Cross of Caravaca is a powerful amulet believed to ward off evil and increase good fortune, and is said to impart a deep feeling of tranquility. Today it is the custom in Spain and other countries to give a small Caravaca Cross to friends as a symbol of affection, peace and love.

Snakes as Symbols in religion, mythology, and literature often stand for fertility or a creative life force. The ancient Chinese connected serpents with life-giving rain. Traditional beliefs in Australia, India, North America, and Africa have linked snakes with rainbows, which in turn are often related to rain and fertility. For both the Greeks and the Egyptians, the snake represented eternity.

Hands: the hands guard against bad fortune!

The Celtic knot can represent an uninterrupted life cycle. Some may use this symbol as a charm of sorts - warding against sickness or setbacks that might interfere with an otherwise calm and stable life.$1200
The Lion Sleeps
A multi-media collage incorporating hand carved wood artifacts, a zebrawood mat, (http://www.woodzone.com/woods/zebrawood.htm), authentic African bone beads, fabric, and images on several different types of paper.
Price: $400 plus 12% shipping

Another look at The Lion Sleeps
This is the first collage that I've done using so many different media. I started forming it in a collage workshop this past summer and it kept evolving over time into a finished piece that just amazes me!
Close up: The Lion Sleeps
The whole collage is under glass, but the images pull you right into the space!

Fabric and paper collage.18.5"x18.5"$75
Chinese Lady on Silk

An original painting on silk, that I purchased in Suzhou at the Garden of the Fishing Net Master, by local artist, Pan Xian Ling. I decorated the matting with carnelian and jade gemstones and used other Chinese artifacts on the hand crafted wood frame. I took the photo without the glass that now covers the art. In real light, the mat is deep terra cotta rather than orange.

Echos from the Ancients

The Minoans erupt from the sea to lay claim to their Greek islands!

A collage of images and artifacts collected in Santorini.

16x20 $195SOLD
The Blue Door

My Inspiration: A postcard in the mail from a realtor...a blue door in an old wall...where? Tuscany, Spain? A secret garden in my mind...17x 21.5 framed SOLD
It's All Greek to Me

Greek Orthodox icons and prayer offerings. Collected on Paros, Greek Islands. 12"x14" $85 Sold
Bejeweled Cross
ATTENTION: This piece was stolen in a burglary in Hayward CA on 6/27/09.

This wood Mexican cross is embellished with antique and contemporary costume jewelry found at estate sales and collected from friends. I have added 12 cabechons of boulder opal, 2 of carnelian, and 2 of pink jade. This piece is truly a must- have for the collector of the beautiful and unusual!
9.5"x 11.5" Price: $250

Top of cross-close up
Cross bottom- close up
The female images in this collage come from a body of work done by artist Patricia Wyatt of Santa Fe called On Common Ground, Paintings of Women around the World. One year I bought a calendar with these images, and when the year was up, I transformed those images into glittering fairies peeking out from the flowers. Then of course, I hand made the frame to match!
Price: $150 plus 15% shipping

Adinkra Dancers

This collage and frame incorporate tiles of Adinkra motifs, textiles, and trade beads.

The Adinkra symbols of the Ashanti (Asante) in Ghana, Western Africa, are timeless and still used today. The Adinkra motifs are often used as transmitters of certain messages.

Center Tile: Afuntun mmireku/ Denkyem mmireku
Two crocodiles that share the same stomach—a symbol of solidarity and tolerance between different groups of people. It also tells us that one mind alone cannot decide for many.

Upper Right: Gyawn Atiko
Symbol of great courage and determination.

Upper Left: Kojo Baiden
Symbol of the universe. This symbol combines the rays of the sun, the double crescent moon, and the Asante stool.

Bottom Right: Gye Nyame
Suggests not to fear anything except God. It’s the highest of all the symbols and describes the all-encompassing God and his omnipotence.

Bottom Left: Mmra Krado
The lock, or seal of law and order—a symbol of the authority and power of the court.

The tiles were made at Arius Tiles in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Close up of Adinkra Dancers Collage
The collage/ frame is 21"x25" and priced at $400.SOLD