The first things I did way back when the afternoons were catching up to me and it was dark at 4:00 p.m. were very discrete, very demure attempts at “painting”. All I had was old construction paper, some fingerpaints and a set of children’s watercolors, a few stubs of oil pastels. Oh!, and some color pencils. That was it. The first things that came to mind were cats. I’d owned more than one in the past. My Mom was now the official caregiver of Frida, my most recent acquisition who had stayed behind in Puerto Rico and whose name had been changed to the unsophisticated Cuca. She was my first subject. I made her from memory. She’s the sleeping black cat you saw on my introduction post.
But after her came a slew of imaginary cats who pareded through my head in impossible colors and settings. These were my first efforts. I went from cats, to
flowers, to people, to things that might be people, to my first “Big Eyes”, my first face, the first attempts at whimsy…
until I finally understood that even if I did not have the whimsy “gene” in me, I was on the right track to find my own style,
my own girls -who were always really women already, maybe that’s why the girlish whimsy thing was not for me anyway-
and withing it all, my own voice with which to tell a story.