GRACE AND GRAVITY: The Story of Queen Make-Believe and Her Broken Winged Donkey

These paintings, completed over a 2 year period, are about magic, truth, flight, depth, the invisible, beauty and the supernatural. They also deal with issues of dishonesty, gravity, seduction, avoidance and illusion. This work reflects my desire to escape a tumultuous period in my life through artificial means. The imagery that I have chosen is representative of my attempts to lift myself out of this earthly realm. Wings designed for flight that would never get off the ground and stilts that were made to elevate but could only reach so high, are symbolic of the ways in which I have tried to rise above the chaos and failed. The animals represented are visual interpretations of my inner self as it is grounded by gravity.  A symbol of denial and the donkey a beast of burden, represents the stubborn diligence in which I pursue my escape. Ill-conceived efforts to elevate my spirit and get closer to Grace, however, gave me a greater hold. These paintings reflect the struggle of the spirit to rise authentically while the body is still physically present in the world.

While painting this series, I came to see myself as Queen Make-Believe, a name that refers to my childhood preoccupation with fantasy and a tendency to accept illusion as reality. With every step toward Grace and each artifice abandoned, my paintings reveal my journey, layer by layer. The physical weight of the donkey is lightened and replaced with the transparent flightless bird. Perhaps in the end, as Grace triumphs over Gravity, I will become a rising Phoenix, an invisible bird whose legend is everlasting.

PDM 2005