Another character that will forever show up in my art is my late Aunt Dorothy. Her recent death inspired me to tell her story in a series of paintings that will take many years to finish. At an early age, she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and she lived with my family on and off throughout my childhood and early teens. Looking back now, I believe she also suffered from Asberger's Syndrome which could have been in conjuction with her illness. She stayed on medication all her life to help treat syptoms and this is more than likely why I remember her as a happy and spunky eccentric who liked to sing and dance. Although her situation was a dark mystery and caused a bit of confusion in my young mind, she still remains a positive figure in my life who brought alot of joy and entertainment.
Aunt Dorothy #1 (24"x13" acrylic and pencil on wood assemblage with polyurethane)
This is the first of the series and illustrates my Aunt Dorothy the way I remember her the most. For years one of her favorite pastimes was to put a blanket over her head like a wedding viel and walk around the house while humming the Wedding March with much vigor and grandiosity. (Our friends really got a kick out of this). She would also tell us reverently about her own made up concept called a "wedding bag". We're still not very clear on what this was but she was sure to inform us that is was "no joke" and it was "very important". The text in the piece reads, "Thank you Aunt Dorothy, now you have your wedding bag."
Aunt Dorothy #2 (13"x12" acrylic and pencil on wood assemblage with polyurethane)
This one tells the classic Aunt Dorothy Christmas story. Me, my sister, and our cousins were eating dinner in the living room with Aunt Dorothy when a risque mood striked her and she started feeling....sexy? Right there in her sweat suit and knit cap with a pom-pom, she broke out into a provacative dance which included her thrusting her pelvis in the air. She was singing what sounded like a soulful and old school stripping song and for accents she would pull her shirt up and flash us her braless boobs. The more us kids howled with laughter, the more she ignored the adults politley asking her to refrain. It was a blasted hoot!