panel 19 “creativity”

My original idea was to represent creativity with dancers, since the visuals are so dynamic.

The panel morphed well beyond that, but dancers from SPACE Theater are stars in this show.

These fantastic photos were shared by Paulette Arnold and Laurel Near, co-creators of SPACE School for Performing Arts (photographer: Evan Johnson). They told me that Majin Barnette, who goes by the name X, was an early creator of breakdancing! Later, after painting his portrait, I met him and he shared many memories of that early creative time.


Notice the row of books below the women dancers. They represent literary creativity and I thought of putting titles and authors on their spines, but the task of compiling a list of the most important local authors was too hard. Email me if you have ideas! They can always be added.

Music and sewing

Musical creativity is represented by Will Siegel and his wife Ellie Colville Siegel who were back-to-the-landers and band mates, and who still perform. The 1978 photo is from the Promise of Paradise oral history project where I listened to their story, before meeting them in person. They graciously sat for the poses in the mural and Ellie told me she loved that white blouse, which she had made from doilies. More creativity! Which I emphasized in the painting, showing her sewing.

Below them are two little boys, the sons of back-to-the-landers Vicki Bitonti-Brown and Jim Morris, who came to the area in 1978 in an old yellow truck. Their homestead grew to include a pole house, garden, orchard, pond, garage and guest cabin. The boys enjoyed an indoor rope swing, walks in the woods and weekly potluck saunas with their neighbors. 


Their sons Gabriel and Christo were in kids theater so they easily cross over from the subject matter of love to creativity. When Christo was very young he complained to his mom that his name Chris was too common and henceforth he would be known as “Christo.”

Painting the painting in the painting

What remained in this panel was my self-portrait, a tradition dating from the Renaissance where an artist paints himself (it usually was a “him” in the past) into the picture, as well as the artist’s kids, dogs and more, all of which I did.

I wanted to include my best boots, but also to depict myself more realistically wearing the awesome Acer tennies that I work in. I also painted my purse with its great new strap (I sew these.) More creativity!

With creativity finished, SECTION FOUR is complete.