Second Generation Artist
I am leaving for Santa Barbara and Everywhere Else, and I stopped by to give my mother, Verna Norman, and her husband Ralph each a big hug. I won't be back in LA until November. I gave them a copy of the new Living On The Earth, which I signed, "Without you, I would not be an artist."
I began drawing and painting early in life, partly out of proclivity (my siblings were not nearly so driven in this direction), and partly because I had an encouraging and knowledgable teacher from the time I could hold an impliment in my hand (although my younger brother insists I left graffiti in the womb. My mother says that, as a fetus, I never kicked and never stopped moving. Still true.)
My mother is a double Scorpio, holds a Masters in Fine Art, and can make clay scream, sulk, seduce, celebrate, or fly. She can weld, carve wood, silkscreen, oil paint, watercolor, draw with pens, charcoals, and pastels, photograph, do lost-wax bronze pieces and make collages of mixed media and found objects. There are two large kilns in her garage. Many of her pieces are reproduced in clay, hydro-cal, wood or bronze. They people her home inside and out, and she ornaments them with other objects, furthering their emotional effect. She classifies her work as expressionist. I think she is a genius, and still beautiful at eighty.
West wall of my mom's art studio
East wall of my mom's art studio
A diorama of the garden of Eden: the Fall. Eve is offering the apple on bended knee while Adam lounges.
The snake and other animals watch anxiously. In case I didn't understand this message was for me,
she added a photo of me in my patchwork gown.
The somewhat cubist bust below is my grandmother, and the figure next to her is a bronze of me in my early teens.
I am nude except for drum majorette boots and hat, and under one arm I hold a squirming pig.
In the upper shelf on the left is a Diego Rivera-style woman she carved in the 1930's.
Her portrait of me at age 13.
Her head of me singing at age 33.
My portrait of her, drawn in 1984.
This is how she looked when I visited today.