Excerpt from TREASURES:
DANCING TO MY EASEL
I escaped to my small studio in Venice, California, on the corner of Millwood and Abbott Kinney. A sharp southern light streamed in through high, horizontal windows as I passed the welcoming multicolored Madres bench. In a leather journal on my small steel desk I jotted new-felt longings, put on my paint spattered lab coat and squeezed oil pigments onto my palate, then began painting with frenzy. I felt an artist’s work should reflect her life, and mine was for the first time, mired in desire. It was as though I had been asleep; suddenly to awaken as this highly charged sexual being. After all those years of deprivation, silence and loneliness, I was wildly in love. Shoving a Gordon Jenkins cassette into the tape deck I danced to my easel, dabbing brush into rose-red and burnt umber, attacking the canvas.
Away from the studio I started wearing long clingy knit dresses, died my dark hair red and felt like a wild animal in heat. My married friends stopped inviting me and kept silent when they saw me at functions. I felt I had become the fallen woman in their eyes. They were all married. Was I now a threat, or perhaps they were jealous?
When I moved to New York in 1988, nine years later, I left those infamous paintings parked in my Venice studio racks, and then, when I bought an old factory in Tribeca, I hid them in my basement. They were my hidden past, no one in my new life could have guessed.