The last Horn. Or Halo?

Cheers everyone! Here is an update on the project. I’m working on the last relic in the series but with the world upside down, I’ve hit a bit of a setback. So, until I can get to the kiln, St. Vexa’s shrunken head will be a chalky clay hunk and until I can get to a thrift store to get coffee tumblers to work on, her shrine will be a sketch, and a pile of sticky gems… could be worse.

Here is the in progress on St. Vexa. Next I’ll be sharing the story out line and how this all will lay out for galleries!

The 24 ounce shrine of St. Vexa design

St Vexa of the Perpetually Annoyed-Patroness of Those Who Can’t Even was an intra-generational  Guest Experience Coordinator at a hair salon in Seattle.

Vexa (Claire White-Numen*) was martyred when she died of the Seattle Freeze.  After a season of failed encounters and missed rendezvous, Vexa’s ability to inform and influence the motives of her social media following became severely compromised.  Already dissipating in an atmosphere of undeserved invisibility, she succumbed to the Freeze when a clearly unlearned barista failed to heed her very civilized and resolute requests for the additional cinnamon for her daily green tea, 3 shot, nonfat soy latte with exactly 4 shots of cinnamon, stirred in counterclockwise.

With the preservation of her lissome and deftly exfoliated countenance, we venerate Vexa’s multiple, cross posting social media accounts, where she broadcast her message of self-demonstration via her many selfies, inspirational quotes, and homemade essential oil recipes.

Her Feast Day is September 29th, in conjunction with National Coffee Day.

Horns & Halos

Whew…this winter has taken it’s toll in so many ways. But to the good, the next series is almost completely finished! Doing something a bit different this time. Mixed Media pieces.

AND a new twist. Along with the storylines for each saint I am in process of writing a short story to be told on Twitter, that will chronicle the relics on tour and the lives they change. I’ll keep you updated!

Su

St. Superbia The Affectatious-Patron of Distended Heads was an Artisan Sandwich Engineer in Manhattan. This job, of course, was just to be close to ‘real people’ as he worked to bring his word to the stage.

Superbia (Stan Boring) was martyred after bemoaning the shortage of locally grown, organic, fair trade wheat grass to an already truculent customer. Upon breaking into a rendition of ‘You Gotta Have a Gimmick’ (Gypsy), he was met with a fatal choking mouthful of day-old Ezekiel bread.

We venerate Superbia’s ‘gimmick’ — his commitment to ill-informed, consumer-driven vogues — with the preservation of his vast and vaporous head. His feast day is November 3rd, which is coincidentally National Sandwich Day.

St. Motus of the Zealously Credulous, Patroness of Uncritical Thinking, was a self-proclaimed civil rights activist who could be seen at any and all protests and rallies. Fist raised, sign held high, she would histrionically proclaim her message of “SCIENCE = TYRANNY.”

Motus (Roseanne Blaschko) was a founding member of Mom Calls the Shots: The Pro-Choice Inoculation Front” in Salem, OR, to advocate for a mother’s choice to be intransigent regarding scientifically-driven thinking around children’s health, including the right to freedom from having to consider the benefits of this thinking.   St Motus’ doctrine emphasized the principle of obdurate individualism regardless of the situation; she gathered around her a large following dedicated to this thinking. 

She was martyred by a curable illness when she volunteered to be the ‘independent variable’ in at an elementary school science fair project.

We venerate her impressionable heart, held aloft in the model of her sign-bearing hand.

Motus’ Feast Day is March 16, which allows those who venerate her to highlight National Vaccination Day.  To spotlight Motus, free vaccinations will be administered to all who donate $25 or more.

St. Beneficius, Enabler-Patron of the Extra Special, was a mulitple year PTSA Golden Acorn Volunteer of the Year winner from (a Good Neighborhood), a position they used to initiate those around them into their canon of COMM(UNITY), regardless of who might not qualify for inclusion.

St Beneficius (Identity confirmation withheld) was martyred when run over by a hastily wielded Prius; Beneficius required that the driver move the Prius after finding it parked in their Volunteer of the Month spot. The driver, seized with petty wrath, responded by squashing the Saint

We venerate their vainglorious ‘No-No Zone,’ which they wielded as a Wand of Authority as circumstance demanded (and convenience allowed).

Their Feast Day is November 17, also appropriately and incidentally designated National Me Day.

I can barely ‘contain’ myself.

Back in January I broke my hand. It still hasn’t healed 100% and I don’t have full use. As an artist I was devastated. I admit it is still hard for me to move forward with confidence. But with the help of some very dedicated friends, I’m trying.

Current works in progress-living in the PNW I am inspired by the landscape-the mountains, the water, the  earth. To honor the gifts around me and my journey through them, I am working on a series of pots and planters. Here is the first completed piece! 

Mountain bowl with branch handle.

Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues

Our Lady of the Precious Blood

Menstruation.

Period. Cycle. That time of the month. Aunt Flow. Have the painters in. Crimson tide. On the rag. Shark week. A 2016 study conducted by the International Women’s Health Coalition found that there are more than 5000 slang terms or euphemisms for the word ‘period’.

I’ve experienced this myself when training for my black belt and was asked to use the word ‘Medusa’ instead of saying I was on my period and would refrain from certain training. I kid you not. I refused to comply or ask any of the women I trained with to do so.

I decided to do this a bit off centered or ‘slightly off’ as I often feel that way when having an aggressive cycle. The extended decorative halo is rough an uneven but still draws attention to her glory! Her halo is an unfurled tampon, a triumphant open flower of womanhood. It symbolizes the fact that menstrual products are often taxable as a ‘luxury item’ rather than a necessity.

She wears armor to shield others from being ‘unclean’. An X is over her mouth to prevent her from speaking about her period, as that would be ‘offensive’ and ‘rude’.

On her right is the full moon looking with disdain at being associated with a woman’s time of hysteria. On her left are the icons of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, 3 religions that have looked at women as filthy, frenzied subordinates because of the nature of their bodies.

In her left hand she holds a toad. In medieval times, the church considered menstruation a reminder of ‘Eve’s original sin’ and so did not make pain relief readily available to women in need. Ingesting powdered toad to relieve cramps and heavy flow was totally acceptable though…

In her right hand she clutches lavender, which was often used to mask the smell of blood that some found distasteful. Both flowers and toad ashes were often worn in pouches around the neck to discretely dispel odor, but Our Lady wears it right out front-so that those offended can be reminded it is their shame that makes them uncomfortable-not hers.

“OMG Becky…”

Our Lady of Maternal Judgement
I’ve been on both sides of this ugly issue…
I can answer why I did it. Fear. Pure and simple. Exhausted, monkey brain fear. Fear that in that moment I wasn’t a good enough mother, wife, woman. Fear that if I didn’t condemn first, I would be condemned. Fear that another mom might know something I didn’t. Fear that another woman might be more confident in her motherhood and womanhood than I was.
Boredom. Anger. Exhaustion. Fear. Jealousy… I’m sorry. Moms, I need you. We need each other. It will only get better if we care for ourselves and SEE ourselves in others.
Here in our exhausted Lady. Hair up, surrounded by her halo of crayon, lovingly scribbled.
On either side she is reminded by the struggle of her choices-the education of her children or her income. In her hands she bravely displays the tools of her trade-her cell phone and her double latte.
Her comfortable green robes are the color of renewal, though she has been wearing them for days.
Across her chest she bears her child outward to face the world with and because of her. His heart is big and new. He waves at us happily, almost brushing his halo of tiny Goldfish, which he has to have in the car or he screams. And he makes a mess and it’s a royal pain the ass to get those damn crumbs out from in between the seats anyway. And have you seen Brenda’s car? Does she EVER clean it?
Its like a zoo in there. I don’t know how the kids don’t have typhus or something…

I Wish a Bitch Would…

Our Lady of Subdued Domesticity

One in three female homicide victims is killed by an intimate partner. Twenty-four percent of adult women have been physically assaulted by a partner at some time in their lives. Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. In my original sketches, Our Lady looked more the victim-bruised, timid, silent. But I decided to take another direction, a triumphant one. Our Lady’s halo is the laurel wreath of victory and honor. Her survival is her dominion. Next to her is the sigil for justice and accountability. She is armed. Will justice come by her own hand? She wears vibrant robes do be seen, not to hide. In one hand she is armed with a Thyrus, wands suggesting uninhibited pleasure. The wands were reputedly tipped with poison. And she WILL defend herself. Do not be charmed by the ‘feminine’ pink ribbon… In her other hand is a shield. On the outer edge repeats the word ‘MINE’. Our bodies, our minds, our spirits are our own. On the front of the shield is the Imperial Orb of Victory in purple, the color of Domestic Violence Awareness. Her self-love and perseverance will grant her ascension. She is not defined by what was done.

Armed with Knowledge







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Our Lady of Enlightenment
Obviously, Malala had an influence on this. Lack of funds, untrained teachers, no classroom, lack of materials, distance from home to school… There is a global education crisis. There always has been, especially for females. Gender is one of the biggest reasons why children are denied an education. Even with recent advances in girls’ education, a generation has been left behind. Over 132 million young women around the world are not currently enrolled in school. Our Lady’s halo is a series of measured concentric circles-education spreading outward. She holds in her hands the Golden Rule(r). ALL should be equally educated. To her right is a graduation cap attached to money. Education in any form is costly. Her gaze turns to her right. The number 26. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26 states the everyone shall have the right to education… She stands on a tower of books in her bare feet, conquering them. Carved into the board are the outlines of her shape as well as examples of basic schooling. Our desire for information and education is deep and penetrating. It will not be erased. 
 

Need Not Apply…

wage

Our Lady of the Wage Gap

Is the wage gap for real, or are women who chose to have children choosing lower paying and less high-profile careers in exchange for more flexibility in the workplace? Or both?

There is a wage gap between men and women AND an opportunity gap. Over the course of their career, men move into higher level roles at significantly higher rates than women. Women are often poorly represented at higher levels of the talent pipeline. The most significant cause is the gap in career progress due to family caretaking.

Our Lady is white, blonde haired and blue eyed, Traditional American traits that should take her right to the top! If she were male. Look! She’s even got the power suit. Doesn’t that count?

Her halo is the ‘glass ceiling’, which she has put quite a crack in.

Her left fist is bold over her heart, nestled in a cog, reminiscent of common worker’s rights symbols. She is prepared to give her all and do her best.

She turns her head away from the painful reminder that she earns less than her male counterparts to look lovingly at her male child, who could grow up to earn more than she does.

Her child holds her degree as if it were his. Both are equally tied to her career path.

How Old are You Now?

grey

Our Lady of the Grey

I’ll admit, this one hits a personal nerve. I am one of those women who was subjected to assumptions about whether my family obligations interfered with my commitment to work. I know many women who shifted thriving careers to focus on family and when they were ready to rejoin the workforce, their careers stalled and in some cases compensation didn’t even match what they started with and progress stalled by a reduced tolerance for aging women at work.

Women are outliving men but are being forced out of the workplace earlier. These generalizations often take the form of stereotypes with the older women traditionally seen as inactive, unhealthy, asexual, and ineffective.

Here Our Lady is seen as both her younger and older self. For better or worse, we often do not embody ‘correct’ examples of our age as others may perceive it.

Ecclesiastes in the Bible, an almond tree is used as a symbol of age, and so almond branches in various stages of bloom are her halo.

On either side are stages of the Goddess archetype. The blooming rose and waxing moon on the left, the crown of wisdom and waning moon on the right.

Her face and hair show both youth and experience-exuberance and trial.

Her younger side wears bright pink. Her older side, red or an ‘older’ pink.

The Maiden side holds a mirror facing outward. She is concerned with her own appearance and how she is perceived. The Crone carries a shepherd’s crook. It is a staff she can lean on and a symbol of ‘caretaker’ status. Note that the top is a question mark, representing a position she may have been put in that she did not want for herself.

Hate gets you laid!

I’m not in a mentally stabile enough position to discuss this further than just posting what inspired this particular work….

20181114_130239

St. Stacy of the Incels

If hate could get you laid, then misogynists would rule the world! We do not ‘owe’ any one our bodies or our affection. We are not property to be bought, sold or traded. Love is not currency. St. Stacy is modeled after the ‘perfect woman’, Barbie. She wears the color of the Madonna, hiding her figure until the mantle purity. She guards her heart, the heart of all women. Although it has been wounded, pierced, it is still vibrant and full. It is hers to give. Her halo is stones. To remind us of those lost to ‘Honor Killings’. She is surrounded by ‘cherubim’. Infantile, not infants. They ridicule and taunt her out of fear, ignorance and resentment, and yet, like Barbie, she smiles on.