20 December 2022
State of affairs for women today:
In Australia, Tanya Raffoul, a Liberal party hopeful from Paramatta NSW, is told by party members she is “too aggressive” and advised that she “settle down and have children” instead of running for parliament.
Iranian artist Elham Modaresi is being “psychologically tortured and withheld medical care” in Karaji’s Kachoui Prison near Tehran, accused of “sinning, being a slut and propagating against the regime”.
In Britain, ousted television presenter Jeremy Clarkson tweeted he “will be more careful in future”, after targeting Megan Markle, Duchess of Sussex in his column in The Sun newspaper. Clarkson wrote that he “hated her on a cellular level”, among other misogynist vindictives.
ABC (AUS) reports that lawyers representing “a boy”, one of seven “boys and young men” accused of raping two “women” in a carpark in Adelaide AUS, are presenting video footage in an attempt to raise questions about lack of consent.
In addition to this all-too-common attempt by perpetrators to justify raping girls and women, the ABC shows its own bias by describing the perpetrators, ages 17-23, as boys and young men, but the 18 and 19 year old victims as women. There is no place in news reporting for this type of not-so-subtle bias that misconstrues the power dynamic of rape.
And then there's Harvey Weinstein. In Los Angeles, after nine days of deliberation, a jury of his peers found him guilty of rape and sexual assault for the umpteenth time, but not guilty on three counts, and acquitted on one. Despite overwhelming evidence that Weinstein is a sexual predator, one of his lawyers Mark Werksman had the audacity to describe Jennifer Siebel Newsom, as "just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead." Weinstein was found not guilty of raping Ms. Siebel Newsom.
In response to the outcome of the trial, Ms. Siebel Newsom said, "This trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do. To all survivors out there --- I see you, I hear you, and I stand with you." Ditto.
Amidst the not-so-good news, a ray of light:
In my home state in the US, Maine Congressional delegate Chellie Pingree embraced the House Jan. 6 committee’s referral of Trump to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, saying, “If we fail to hold Donald Trump to account, the threats to democracy will only grow.” Right on, Chellie.
Women like Chellie Pingree of Maine and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, join the long line of women who stand up to misogyny and suppression. In the background photo taken around 1905, my grandmother Mary Agnes Shaughnessy Mooney (on your right) is standing next to her sister Margaret Shaughnessy, shortly after Nana arrived in America from County Galway Ireland. She travelled alone across the Atlantic and met up with her older sister in Bangor, ME. She was 20 years old.
(Compiled from ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) / Bangor Daily News/ New York Times/ personal photo)
Leftover yarn, one stitch leads to another until it becomes something.
...Slow and steady...
In 2019, ABC (Australian broadcasting) journalist Leigh Sales interviewed E. Jean Carroll about her book What Do We Need Men For: A Modest Proposal. Answering a question about Donald Trump sexually assulting her in a changing room at Bergdorf Goodman department store, Carroll made a gesture indicating there was only a tiny mention of him in her book.
With so few victories for survivors of sexual assult, let us momentarily indulge in the humble double entendre.
Photo: ABC 7:30 Report
Leaving Casco Bay
Maine US August 2022
This painterly photograph captures my mood as I was leaving Maine, returning to Tasmania...calm amidst ripples, dark around the edges with some brilliant highlights. It appears to be a painting, but it's real life.
Penobscot Bay Maine US July 2022
IT'S NOT OVER
WE WILL NEVER FORGET GERRI SANTORO
Racism in Maine, US
Nothing changes if
Ku Klux Klan Rally
88 - HH - Heil Hitler
Rumford, ME 1987
(Photo: Jeannie Mooney)
Harry E. Reed Insurance Agency
Millinocket, ME US 2022
(Photo: Lisa Groelly)
17 May 2022 In the Studio
I was listening to some of Seal's music the other day when I was driving to the hardware store. I'd forgotten not only how beautiful his melodies are but the cover art for his albums/cds are just as striking. Remember the glistening jet black bird-like image of him floating in space beneath the one-word title SEAL? Gorgeous.
A few days later I was sitting at my desk looking through some old Australian Geographics when an article and images about marine life caught my eye. As it happens, I started tinkering with pencil and ink on watercolor paper. It didn't don on me until just now when I uploaded this image and started thinking about seals that Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel had infiltrated my psyche, floated back into my consciousness and settled in my right brain. I love it when this dynamic happens.
At the moment, I'm glancing to my right looking at an old Christmas card my mother sent me back in 2011. It's standing open on the altar next to her photo. It's a bird's-eye-view painting of two children making snow angels. It reminds me of a black & white Polaroid picture she took of us kids back in the 1960's. I'm pretty sure that snapshot floated up from her psyche too when she picked out this card.
14 May 2022
There's a lot going on in our world today that needs attention, but tonight in my little world my attention is to twilight. In need of restoration, I am looking up, taking some good deep breaths and feeling the cool ground enveloping my body.
The Epidemic of
Against women continues
Remember her name.
April 28, 2022 - In 2018, Victoria AUS mother of three children Gayle Potter was killed when her ex-husband Glenn Martyn ran over her and dragged her under his vehicle in front of her home. Yesterday he was cleared of all charges relating to her death.
Not guilty of manslaughter.
Not guilty of dangerous driving causing death.
Not guilty of failing to stop after an accident.
According to court documents, when Martyn was confronted by his son, he told him he only "bumped' her as he drove off.
Glenn Martyn knowingly bumped Gayle with his 4000lb vehicle and a judge and jury still found him not guilty of failing to stop and help her.
When Martyn was confronted by his daughter telling him, "You f***ing killed her," he responded, "Don't be stupid!"
During the trial Martyn's lawyer Peter Morrissey said, "It was dark... He thought he ran over a pot-hole... Ms Potter went at him... She'd been drinking... Really it was Gayle Potter who caused it [her death] by her acts."
A Supreme Court judge and jury of 12 people sided with Martyn's defence of not guilty of all charges.
Remember her name.
STAND UP. SPEAK OUT.
Michael Slater, former AUS cricketer
Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed
April 27, 2022 - On Wednesday, just hours before Sydney court Magistrate Ross Hudson dismissed domestic violence charges against former AUS cricketer and sports commentator Michael Slater, he was accused of assaulting another woman at a Manly, NSW unit.
In October 2021, Slater was charged with stalking, menacing, intimidating and harrassing a former partner.
In December 2021, Slater breached an AVO which Magistrate Hudson deemed "not too serious" to be dealt with under mental health legislation. Hudson stated that Slater's barage of sexually harassing texts and phone calls,"appears to be a cry for help." Slater was granted bail and a minimum of three weeks in a mental health unit.
"I am of the view that it's better to treat the cause rather than the consequences."Magistrate Hudson said yesterday, ordering Slater to a 12-month treatment plan under the care of a doctor. The ABC reports Slater has been diagnosed with depressive disorder, alcohol addiction, borderline personality disorder and ADHD.
When are these mental health conditions acceptable excuses for dismissal of other violent crimes?
To Magistrate Hudson I say, cause and consequences go hand in hand. There is no possibility of healing for domestic violence abusers and certainly no justice for their victims when there are no consequences for stalking, menacing, intimidating and assaulting women. Those of us dealing with the same mental health issues as Slater can tell you that you do him no favours by dismissing consequences for abusive violent behaviour against women, because he had a manic day.
Will Slater's victims be compensated and given justice as part of his treatment plan?
Until magistrates, lawyers, police and polititians stop enabling men to abuse women by dismissing charges of domestic violence in lieu of bail and lighter sentences to rehabs and mental health units, there will be no slow-down in the incidents of violence against women. We will continue to see men like SLater get away with abuse, re-offend and take no personal responsibility for their actions.
We will continue to see women carry the full burden of domestic violence living in fear of intimidation and re-abuse.
It is an injustice not only to women but to the entire society when there is more concern shown for the "unravelling of the mental health" of the abuser than for the well-being and mental health of the abused.
Why is an abusers assumed "cry for help" more worthy of compassion than a woman's right to safety and accountability from her abuser?
Slater's lawyer James McLoughlin indicated previously that if his client failed to respect the conditions of Magistrate Hudson's order regarding the October 2021 charges, he would plead guilty to all charges. This did not happen. Slater and his cadre of protectors are not men of their word nor are they willing to make any effort to stand up to the culture of toxic masculinity and violence against women. They appear to be feeding us the same old serving of dismissives women have endured for centuries.
Retribution may be slow in coming, but the truth always surfaces.
STAND UP. SPEAK UP.
"A tiny grain of truth is more powerful than a huge illusion."
(words of Yoko Ono during a lecture at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit MI, US, 1993)
photo: Joel Carrett
Cuba Gooding Jr. Actor
Serial sexual abuser & alleged rapist
April 13, 2022 - Cuba Gooding Jr., serial groper, accused rapist and born-again Christian, was granted a no-jail deal for pleading guilty to one count of misdameanor forcible touching, instead of the criminal charge of sexual abuse, for grabbing a woman’s breast at a bar in Manhattan. His sentence: Six months in rehab.
“I apologize for ever making anybody feel inappropriately touched,” Mr. Gooding said, adding that he was a “celebrity and doesn’t want anyone to feel slighted.”
More than 30 women have come forward accusing Gooding of ‘not slighting them’. In October 2019, the office of Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. introduced 12 examples of alleged misconduct by Gooding, ranging from 2001 to 2018 in LA, NYC, Dallas and Albuquerque, among others. Video evidence of Gooding covertly pinching a women’s bottom in a bar is in the public realm. Gooding’s lawyer Mark Heller describes the accusations as “overreactions to commonplace gestures now mischaracterized as offensive.”
To Gooding and Heller I say, your time will come. In the meantime, keep your hands off our bodies and grow up.
"Our voices are stronger than your lies." (VeraHouse.org)
(Photo: Alec Tubak)
7:30 AM 26 March 2022
For the first time since last fall, a cool mist hovered over the back paddock as I headed out for a morning stroll. Walking between the trees this morning felt like entering a portal to a pastel painting.
(AP Photo: Emilio Morenatti
(AP photo: Emilio Morenatti
Back to the real issue
In 2017, ABC journalist Russell Jackson made an observation about former Australian tennis great Margaret Court who fell from grace with her support for apartheid and her vociferous criticism of LGBTQI rights, that could now apply to Novak Djokovic. For better or worse, he is the principal architect of his own image.
Now, back to the real issue… Keeping the pressure on the Morrison government to free all asylum seekers who have been imprisoned for almost 10 years. STAND UP. SPEAK UP. SHARE THEIR STORIES.
Photo: The Guardian
While Novak Djokovic is whinging about not being able to stay in Australia to play tennis, more than 30 refugees are being 'detained' in the same Park Hotel in Melbourne. While Djokovic has been cruising around the world playing tennis, hanging out with war criminals and spreading COVID-19, asylum seekers have been moved from one detention center to another, some for more than nine years.
The Australian government's inhumane treatment of refugees is not news to Australians. Prime Minister Scott Morrison proudly displays a trophy of a boat on his desk titled I Stopped These as a reminder of the cruel immigration policy fashioned by former PM Tony Abbott and himself then Immigration Minister... A policy that turns back boatloads of refugees seeking political and humanitarian asylum in Australia... A country populated by more than 50% permanent residents, like myself, born in another country.
Humanitarian asylum seeker Mehdi Ali imprisoned inside the Park Hotel, tweeted 13 January, "To all the people who have been asking me how they can help: Raise our voices. Talk about us and share our stories. Call your local MP. And pray for us. I'm protesting by speaking out. Please protest with me."
Photos: The Guardian, Treatment, Getty
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
What is it good for?
While Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and other conservative Democratic and Republican Senators complain about the US deficit, holding up passage of the Buy Back Better Bill, now on the back burner, they had the temerity to pass a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act, funding US military for one year. That’s $25 billion more than the proposed budget asked for.
As tornado alley widens across the country, and more and more Americans collapse from mental exhaustion and gunshots, will we continue to allow elected officials to steer our society straight to hell in a hand basket? Can mutual devastation and grief bring our hearts and minds together? Is it possible? Is it too late?
(altered stock photo)
Be in the Moment
When one of us loses the right to choose what we do with our own body, we all lose the right to choose.
Chief Justice Amy Coney Barrett
You chose to have five children with your husband and adopt two. What about your daughter's rights to choose?
Keep your hands off their bodies and their right to choose.
Chief Justice Brett Kavanaugh
Your wife chose to have two children with you. What about your daughter's rights to choose? It remains to be seen if you greased the truth when you told Sen. Susan Collins that Roe v. Wade was 'set'.
Keep your grubby hands off their bodies and their right to choose.
Chief Justice John Roberts
Your wife chose to adopt two children with you. What about your daughter's right to choose?
Keep your hands off her body and her right to choose.
Chief Justice Neil Gorsuch
Your wife chose to have two children with you. What about your daughter's rights to choose?
Keep your hands off their bodies and their right to choose.
Chief Justice Samuel Alito
Your wife chose to have two children with you. What about your daughter's right to choose?
Keep your hands off her body and her right to choose.
Chief Justice Clarence Thomas
Your first wife chose to have one child with you. Your second wife chose to have no children with you.
Keep your grubby hands off my body and my right to choose.
La Nina climate pattern
Walking in the rain
13 November 2021
I love wandering around the land on a rainy day coming across vignettes of flora dampened with color. I've gotten used to our dry sclerophyl landscape but when it rains everything becomes so verdant I'm transported back home to the Maine woods. The weather forecast says 10 more days of rain, most likely continuing off and on all summerlong.
Tinkering in the Studio
22 October 2021
I love it when surprising things happen in the studio when I have no plan, no intention, just going with the flow. This painting began with the floating elongated 'S' in the center left. This little branch-like figure shows up quite often in my drawings. I think it's an imprint from looking at all the eucalyptus branches around our house, so many of them are curved into unique shapes.
This playful underwater scene has inspired a book collaboration with my grandniece Maddie, also a writer and artist.
SpringSpring in Tasmania
Drawing on the ground
Up the Golden Road Maine 2001
Ready for a fight?
Now you've really pissed us off
Brett Kavanaugh (accused rapist), Amy Coney Barrett (cunning misogynist) and all you haters in Texas... (And Susan Collins & Lisa Murkowski: Shit or get off the pot. Are you pro-abortion or not? No more pussy-footing around ladies!)
You think sexual harassment pisses us off? We're just getting started. Remember these Texans who stood up to misogyny. We're everywhere, we're organized, and we're angry.
Sen. Barbara Jordan
Sen. Wendy Davis
Gov. Ann Richards
Activist Emma Tenayuca
(Photos: AP / Eric Boman / Pam Francis / San Antonio Light)
In the studio
21 August 2021
Wondering where this will lead...
17 August 2021
I found this chunk of sedimentary sandstone while on my morning walk up back, looking like the paintings I did in June. Back in the 1970's I remember reading something by Shakti Gawain talking about these numinous moments that indicate all is right with your world.
Paradigm shift in progress.
Stay awake for the revolution.
11 August 2021
Christine Blasey Ford
AP photo compilation
(Photos: Evan Agostini, Matt Rourke, Saul Leob, Miranda Barnes, AP Photo compilation, Tasmanian Times, ABC News)
Monday 9 August 2021
Small delicate everlasting
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
One Man's Meat
5 August 2021
The unfortunate title of E.B. White’s collection of essays mentioned in my previous post (One Man’s Meat), took on sordid meaning this morning after I listened to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo attempting to defend his honor in the face of multiple accusations of sexual harassment, a statement CNN political commentator SE Cupp describes as ‘a masterclass in gaslighting’.
I wondered what E.B. White might have to say about this governor of his home state if he were alive today. I thumbed through his book and found his essay The World Tomorrow, about his experience at the 1939 World’s Fair in Queens, NY, coincidentally the birthplace of Andrew Cuomo. He sums up the Fair’s theme, man’s dream of tomorrow, as “… a contradiction and an enigma, the biologist peeking at bacteria through a microscope, the sailor peeking at the strip queen through binoculars”. He goes on to describe a scene in the honky-tonk section of the Fair, a giant robot with enormous rubber hands groping the breasts of two girls sitting on its lap.
At the end of White’s essay, he laments the strange concoction that makes up the Fair. “… The heroic man, bloodless and perfect and enormous, created in his own image, and in his hand the literal desire, the warm and living breast.”
During Cuomo’s televised statement, he is looking directly into the camera telling us he wants us to fully understand the truth. He waltzes through 15 minutes of self-aggrandizing, culminating in a pseudo-apology saying he was sorry for bringing his personal experience into the workplace. He’s referring to his propensity of touching and kissing everyone… even strangers, he said. “This is something I learned from my mother, and my father”.
To illustrate his point, Cuomo ran a slideshow showing himself kissing, hugging and fondling the faces of the masses, accompanied by his synchronized voiceover. E.B. White described similar behavior back in 1939 as peculiarly lascivious.
Don’t worry about being misunderstood Governor. A man willing to drag his parents from their graves to legitmize his illegal behavior speaks loudly and clearly. Every woman who has ever been man-handled, groped, pinched, slobbered on, patted, leered at and squeezed by men, fully understands who you are.
(Photo: NBC News)
2:20 pm 4 August 2021
Several years ago while visiting my friend Colleen on Vinalhaven in Maine, I was lucky enough to find a discarded copy of E.B. White's book One Man's Meat at the town dump. On the cover is one of my favorite photographs: Jill Krementz' photo of White in his studio in Brooklin ME, sitting at a small wooden desk adjacent to a large open window with a view of Eggemoggin Reach beyond Penobscot Bay. E.B. is sitting on a simple wooden bench with a small wooden-barrel for a trash can nearby, typing on a manual typewriter. He's wearing comfortable clothes, glasses, a watch and white socks.
At my workplace in Tasmania, my wooden desk faces a wall with a large (6'x6') window above it. During quiet times, I can stop and look up and see snow on kunanyi, storms approaching from the northwest, white cockatoos flocking and a grove of casurinas swaying.
Looking with fresh eyes
8 am 28 July 2021
I started this piece several years ago and recently pulled it off the 'in process' shelf. Its history began in my studio in Maine. One night during a full moon, I placed the bare cloth under a patch of yew bushes beside the Kenduskeag Stream that runs alongside the studio.
So it began imbued with moonlight, then moving to Tasmania it became imbued with charcoal from the clearfelled burned rainforest. The two small square pieces were added a few years later...one is a particular boulder I used to see every time I went up the Golden Road outside Millinocket in northern Maine. The other one is a canary in a cage referencing a canary in a coal mine.
Everything I need seems to pop up in my work (and life) just at the right time. I had a birthday this month. I've been thinking and meditating on adapting to change and looking with fresh eyes. The older I get, the more of a necessity this becomes.
Seeing with fresh eyes. Over and over again. I'm more in love with this piece than I was the first time the images popped out from the wax and charcoal back in 2001. I have more confidence in my ideas these days, and I'm more willing to adapt to change.
Lingering in the studio
6:30 pm 20 June 2021
Today was a glorious winter day in southeastern Tasmania...bright sunshine with a nip in the air wafting with the smells of moist dirt, eucalyptus and toadstools. I caught sight of a flock of spotted pardalotes whooshing through gum tree branches.
In the studio moving from one project to another, I was in the flow... Painting with ink & crayon... sketching leaves and branches... making notebook covers. Sipping hot lemonade from my little Hepburn cup with 'dollop handles'... Yo-Yo Ma and murder mystery podcasts in the background.
And, I finally settled on a simple design for the outdoor shower enclosure: 1965 mod-print fabric hung from a string of fairy lights.
2:18 pm 21 May 2021
It's Fall here in Tasmania in the southern hemisphere. It's 70˚F sitting here in the sun and feels just like a Spring day in Maine, US, minus the blackflies. If I was there I'd be up the Stud Mill Road, probably walking barefoot in the middle of Hunter Brook, wearing a wide-brimmed hat covered with netting tucked into a long-sleeved high-collared shirt. At the moment, I'm barefoot wearing a muumuu and a wide-brimmed hat blocking the sun's glare while I write.
We've had lots of rain lately filling our two 24k litre water tanks and greening up the paddock nicely. Fall here really is like a Maine Spring making it impossible for my brain to flip hemispheric seasons... as if it matters.
The clouds are fantastic this time of year. On my way home from work around 3:30 in the afternoon, I usually stop at our local IGA situated on Ralph's Bay with a 180˚ view of uninterrupted sky. You can't help stop and stare... a slow time-lapse movie right before your eyes. Try it for yourself.
8 May 2021
Setting up outside is one of my favorite ways of loosening up my drawing and painting. There's something about being outdoors, facing the outside wall of the studio that focuses my attention but keeps it loose at the same time. I don't aim for exact rendering of a specimen... I just go with the flow and see what happens. I have hundreds of what I call specimens... sticks, shells, rocks, bits and pieces of bark, bone, metal...whatever catches my eye. I love that feeling of being amazed by what I've just drawn... how my hand and my brain and my heart work together and come up with something mysterious but familiar
In the studio
2 pm 12 April 2021
It seems like no matter how large the work table or desk, I always end up using a space not much larger than the piece I'm working on. I like close boundaries and having lots of materials close at hand.
4:48 pm 6 April 2021
Sometimes while I'm doing dishes looking out the kitchen window, if I squint just right, the sunlit grasses look like snowfields. I've been living in Tasmania since 2004 and I still miss a good northern hemisphere winter. In June, I can see snow atop kunyani, the 5000' mountain overlooking Hobart, but nothing compares with an evening walk on a country road in Maine, snowflakes falling through streetlight glow
5:35 pm 5 April 2021
I start my day sitting on the back porch looking out into a thicket of wattle trees, gums, blonde grasses and bird baths. The L - shaped deck connects the house with the studio. There are two comfortable chairs, a daybed and two low tables usually stacked with books and a scattering of seashells, rocks and sticks.
Sometimes I sit in a favorite chair I found on the side of the road in Flagstaff Gully. She's a 1960's era red naugahyde easy chair with delicate legs. It's just me and the birds at first light, half an hour before the sun comes up. This quiet time helps set the pace for the day and reminds me that today is the day...