Thursday, October 8, 2009


I am so excited to have my Calaveras on display at Fantasma! The show will be up all month. If you haven't been by yet, please drop in. The shop has lots of magical, mystical items for sale as well as some lovely marionettes handcrafted by Linda Rand. The shop owner Jessica Rega is on the lookout for handcrafted, locally made art, so if you make altars, shrines, tin art etc. you might want to check it out. My Calaveras feel very at home in her shop, but I'm sure they would love to come home with you too!

The Calavera series is inspired by the Mexican Sugar Skulls of Dia de los Muertos; the tradition of honoring loved ones who have passed and welcoming their spirits home for a festive visit to celebrate the best of life. In Spanish, Calavera refers to 'Death's head' and is intended as a whimsical way to mock death's power over us. I started painting the skulls as a way to process my grief over losing my friends. It has become a creative confrontation with my own mortality. It has been empowering and healing as a constructive way to Transform the immensity of such devastation into something intriguing, Lasting and beautiful.

Each skull is created from 3/4" thick reclaimed plywood which I cut out, sand and then paint. No two are ever the same! Personalities begin to emerge as I explore different techniques, materials and found objects. They serve as a striking reminder to celebrate the life we have and know now.

Later this month on Last Thursday, October 29th, there will be a Dia de los Muertos Procession on Alberta at 7pm. It will be a great opportunity to dress up, bring candles, photos and other offerings to honor those that you want to Remember. Come and join me in the festivities!

FANTASMA is at 2314 B NE Alberta Street

Friday, October 2, 2009

Remembering Ruby

Earlier this Summer while strolling down Alberta, I stumbled upon this new little shop called FANTASMA: an Altar space. I got all tingly as I stepped in and felt like I had found the golden key that would unlock the door that would send me forth on my chosen path. Could there be anywhere more perfect than this magical little shop of Mexican handicrafts, steeped in Day of the Dead Folk Art? We were meant for each other. I introduced myself to the owner and described the Calaveras I have been making. She liked my work and booked me! And here I am, the featured Artist and Altar builder for the entire month of October. Viva la BoneWerx!

This is the first altar that I have ever assembled. As a flower child, I grew up around various forms of altars to different gods, cats, poets, artists, relatives and friends. My parents, grandma and aunt have all been altar builders, it has been a family tradition. . . and now it is my turn. I consulted my aunt Zoe, an artist and educator in the Bay Area. She is the authority on Mexican Folk Art and gave me the traditional guidelines that I needed to begin with. In the end, I branched out with where my heart led me.

The altar I have created is an 'Ofrenda' to Ruby. It has been 2 years since Ruby was taken from this world and it has taken me this long to get to the place where I could do a piece about her. In the aftermath of the horrific event that stole her away, I knew I had to make something, but it felt too painful then. It has been nagging at me ever since yearning to come out in some way, but not knowing how. It feels very important for me to honor Ruby in this way; to remind the world that she was here - touched our lives - and we miss her.

Bright bud
Glowing Firecracker
Racing bug
Spunky Dream Catcher
Wild wildflower. . .
on the wind
blowing through my mind
blowing up my heart
scattering fire seeds
softly glowing

I hope you will take the opportunity to visit the altar and celebrate the spirit of Ruby.

FANTASMA is at 2314 B NE Alberta Street