The Monk and His Whore

The Monk and His Whore
the one that got away

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Daughter the Chinese Doctor

   My beautiful, daughter, Dawn, graduated in December 2010!  I'm so proud of her!  She received a Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture) from Five Branches University in Santa Cruz (she'll actually be a doctor in one more year).  She received her Bachelors Degree from UC Santa Cruz in 2004.  After completing a course in massage therapy, she returned to Santa Cruz to continue her studies in the healing arts.  I can see that this is her calling.  She decided on this field herself and followed through, four years, to completion.  I know she will make a wonderful doctor, her compassion for others is a keystone of her character. 
   Before she returned to Santa Cruz, Dawn embarked on her study of acupuncture at the College of  Acupuncture And Integrative Medicine in Berkeley.  She was not happy with the Maoist philosophy of the school that separated the spirit from the body.  Dawn believes that the spirit and the physical need to be treated as one in order for healing to be complete.  That is why she has been concurrently studying medical Qigong and Daoist philosophy at the Institute in Monterey.  She told me that studying Qigong is like studying magic.  We tease her about going to "Hogwarts".  Dawn has also been to China a couple of times to follow this course of study.  I learned about a year ago that on these trips she has been initiated into an ancient Daoist order.  I am so impressed by her accomplishments.  
   Her dedication to this course of study is particularly gratifying to me personally.  I lost my faith in western medicine at the age of twenty when I realized that my own father, a medical doctor for 50 years, was out of touch with the real causes of health and disease.  At that age I also gave up my beliefs in traditional religion. 
   When you give up your belief systems, life becomes scary... It's like you are floating in the void.  You can no longer rely on others for answers.  As much as I wanted to believe that someone had the answers, someone in a white coat or a white beard, I just couldn't.  I had a mind opening experience working with a naturopathic physician in Sacramento.  I saw people with cancer that the medical establishment had given up on.  One man had a huge scar the length of his abdomen where the doctors had opened him up and then closed him back when they realized they couldn't help him.  I believe that chemicals, surgery and radiation do more harm to the human physiology than good.
    When Dawn was a child, I wanted to teach her and her sister, Gaea, about religion and spirituality.  But I didn't know what to tell her.  I let her know that I believe there is more to everything than we understand.  I also gave her a book about Edgar Casey, a documented healer, who saw his deceased grandmother as a child.  I guess not teaching her what I didn't know helped her to find her own path.  How exciting for her, a mature adult now, to embark on this new life as a professional healer.  Where this path will take her in life is anyone's guess.  Dawn, my beautiful darling, I am so proud to have brought you into this world.  Your gifts and light will be welcome where ever you go!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Next 1000 Years: Problems

   Herein is the continuing blog about about the Next 1000 Years...  It was a cold dark December of 1999, I was lying in our rope hammock under the clear starlight of the Sierra Foothills.  Gazing across the light years, I thought about the hype of the upcoming y2k thing.  Why was everyone acting like this was such a big deal?  Who cares about the stupid computers having a melt down?  People should be more concerned with how mother earth, Gaea, can survive the scourge of civilization. 
   Our oceans are being polluted with oil spills, and dumping of low level radioactive waste.  Then there's the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a heap of debris floating in the Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, according to marine biologists, composed of mostly plastics and plastic bags.  Chlorine is purposefully added to the drinking water (for what? to keep us healthy?) and the pvcs and pharmaceuticals in our drinking water are added unintentionally.  (I own the best water filter I can find, drinking lots of clean water is essential for good health).  Concrete and landfills are taking over the surface of the earth while the rainforests are being destroyed at the rate of more than an acre per second.  It's ironic that most babies born today will have contributed about 5000 non degradable diapers to the local landfills and the national debt they will inherit averages to about a million dollars per American worker (or 50,000 dollars per American citizen).  The air we breathe is polluted with factory smoke, vehicle exhaust and particulates from combustion of fossil fuels and garbage.  Surprisingly, the hole in the ozone from hydrocarbons at 22million sq km is actually the smallest it has been in a decade. Then there is global warming, or are we overdue for another ice age?  Who knows?  ENOUGH Already!!  Ok,  so what then?   The artist and print maker in me yearned to rise to the challenge ...  In the past when I wanted to publicize or promote something I made numerous screen prints as posters and/or bumper stickers.  The Next 1000 Years....   I thought to myself, if I made 1000 bumper stickers, a limited edition, with that phrase, in tribute to the new millenium... I could travel around and post them where they would be seen by others.  I wouldn't need to say anything more, merely
the next 1000 years
that is enough to make people think, to question, what does it mean?  All I wanted to do is plant the seed of thought.  Thought comes first... awareness, then action!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rockwell Sisters

    In biology circles there are known to be two kinds of parenting styles, investors and cheaters.  Investors are typically higher mammals, giving birth to only a few offspring during a lifetime.  Because they have few descendants, the parents make it a priority to invest sufficient time and energy into each individual to insure the survival and prosperity of each.  Cheaters, on the other hand, do not invest in the individual young.  They are usually of the lower species of animal life such as amphibians, insects and reptiles.   The cheaters insure the survival of their precious genes by creating numerous offspring.  Knowing that many will fall beneath the treadmill of life, they create multitudes of spawn in the hopes that some will live to reproduce again. 
    My parents belong to the latter category of animal life.  As Irish Catholic children of immigrants, (nouveau riche) mom and dad felt it was their personal calling to repopulate the world in their image.  I will say my folks must have had more chi, raw life energy, flow through their long lives than most people ever experience.  At the ripe old age of 86, each of them is the surviving sibling of their own large birth families.
    I was born into a big family that got bigger as I grew up.  I have six sisters and (had) three brothers.  My dad remarried twice and gave us also a half brother and a half sister.  One thing about my childhood, it was never boring.  There was always someone (or several) to play with.  I remember spending entire summers with no TV.  (My dad did not care much for TV, he cut the chord so often that eventually it was only two inches long and useless).  We developed imagination, a talent that post electronic generations are sorely lacking.
    Most of my siblings are writers of a sort.  My eldest sister, Kathleen  Rockwell  Lawrence was always there to look out for us youngsters.  I think a lot of the parenting/mothering fell on her shoulders.  She is well loved by us all and is still almost like a mother to me, in the very best of ways.  She is now a published author. The novels Maud Gone and The Last Apartment in Manhattan are among her works.
    My sister Mary Ann Rockwell was always very imaginative to the point of being almost otherworldly.  It was Mary who instigated and directed the various plays and imaginative games of our childhood.  She was a great artist as a kid and made us sit for (what seemed like) hours while she did a portrait.  The first I ever  heard of yoga or tarot or astrology (and Sonny and Cher and Aretha and Janice) was from her!  Mary still has a beautiful singing voice and is a published poet.  Her work has appeared in such journals as The Comstock Review, and Pharos.  She is also an accomplished artist, plays the penny whistle and writes a mean tarot blog (see below).
    Sister, Peggy Rockwell, barely a year my senior, was my "Irish Twin".  She was a star athelete while growing up and is also a fine writer. 
    My youngest sister, Brigid Rockwell, is also a fantastic artist.  She shows and sells her art in upstate New York. (She, too, had to put a fig leaf over the vagina of a figure drawing that was too sexy for the Hudson store window it was in). Brigid is also a very clever writer as you can see from reading her blog (listed below).
   Taine Rockwell, is also a fine writer and very creative individual.  She is busy managing a firm in Huston and raising a young son.  When she has time to write a blog, I will link it here.
   I, Terrie Rockwell, Rockwell sister #5, also self published a book called No Direction Home about life with my late brother Paul.  I am also a publishing house for my own limited edition arte prints.  If you want to see my resume and other accomplishments, go to my website, listed below.
    My brothers are also very creative.  Paul, Kevin and Gerard are (were) all musicians.  Gerard also writes stories and plays.  My half sister Alisha is a doctor and Susan is a Lawyer.  Not sure about Rocky yet... he's still young.
    I love my sisters and am proud to call them family.  Like other great creative families we will leave behind a legacy of our creative works!

Terrie Rockwell's web site
Brigid Rockwell's Art Blog
Mary Ann Rockwell Tarot Blog
Kathleen Lawrence Rockwell

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wild Thing... The Fugitive Kind

I was flipping around on the TV last night and I happened on one of my all time favorite movies; "The Fugitive Kind".  In glorious black and white, the 1960 movie stared Marlon Brando, Joanne Woodward and Anna Magnani.  This movie was based on a play by Tennesee Williams, "Orpheus Descending"  which itself was based on the classic Greek myth of the god of music's descent into the underworld to rescue his bride, Eurydice, from death.
The sexy, guitar playing, Val, comes to the small town and falls in love with the mature Italian woman, Lady.  Their romance is hindered by the fact that she is married.  Her dying husband's spirit is as sick as his body. 
The small minded townspeople are also jealous of the lovers' new found passion.
One of the most beautiful scenes in the movie is in the newly completed "confectionery".  Val has helped Lady realize her dream of creating a darling terrace off the store, where she hoped to cultivate a sparkling night life for the small town.  She has just found out that she is pregnant... it is Val's child.  After countless years in a barren marriage, she is overjoyed that she has finally found a love that will bear fruit.          
Lady recounts the story of a fig tree she owned that never bore fruit, everyone thought it was barren.  After many years it produced a small fig.  Enchanted with the small miracle, she pulled out her Christmas decorations and embellished the fruitful fig tree with her glass birds, icicles and delicate ornaments.
Dancing through the confectionery she cries
Decorate me!  Decorate me!
They embrace tenderly.  And then... well you know if you've seen the movie, and if you don't know, I won't ruin it.
At the end, Joanne Woodward's character holds Val's snakeskin jacket and says... (to paraphrase)
wild things leave their skins behind.  they leave their skins and bones and teeth behind, as tokens, for us to follow... the fugitive kind.
It was this prose that inspired the name of my multi media painting completed at UC Davis in  2001.  My painting "Wild things.... Leave behind"  is embellished with mouse skulls and bones, feathers and footprints.  These tokens I received from friends there (Troy Dalton and Michelle Disney)  who believed as I do in the reverence of nature and its creatures.  love animals

terrierockwellart at bonanza
terrierockwellart web site
terrierockwellart at Etsy

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rectangular Black Hole

    Funny, to me, how people are still so uptight about seeing the nude in art. It is 2010, after all!  Even this blog, has a button one must push to consent to seeing "adult content".  This seems so hypocritical when television and the media assault us daily with blatant sexual and violent images.  What is more pornographic, I ask, a classic nude painting, or the scantily clad torso of an emaciated young woman with an obvious boob job, blown up to triple in size, and shouting at you from store windows all over the mall? 
     My primary subject matter as an artist is the human figure.  Maybe because my dad was a physician, I grew up with the understanding of the human form as an incredibly intricate and intelligent machine.  This outlook was what called me to art in the first place.  I was in my early twenties when I took my first figure drawing class at Sacramento City College.  Northern California artist, Fred Dalkey was my instructor.  (Fred is a fantastic figure artist and his portraiture is stunningly beautiful).  I was going to study accounting, but when I took this class for the first time, something ancient awoke in me.  Learning from Fred was like living in a past life.  The whole atmosphere of the course was steeped in tradition.  We had to keep a sketch book (I filled up three that first semester).  Our text drew heavily from knowledge of anatomy.  Fred seemed to me like a latter day Rembrandt (his favorite artist).  I was able to repeat the course 3 times for credit.  My skills grew.
     I moved to the Sierra foothills and the first thing I looked for was a figure drawing group.  I found one, every Monday night at Tyler Micheleau's Gallery on Commercial Street.  I attended religiously for the next decade.  I happily abandoned my puritanical upbringing and stepped into the other side of the experience to model myself.  (It made sense to me that if I wanted to draw the nude, I should be able to model as well).  My kid's, Dawn and Gaea, just got used to having pictures of naked people hanging all over our house.  When their little friends came over they would ask Gaea why there was a lady with red boobs on the wall.  Gaea would just shrug her shoulders and say, "that's my mom's art".
     All this has been so natural to me, that I am still surprised at a street fair, or in my studio at the Placer arts Building, when the young kids stroll slowly past my art pointing and whispering, their parents looking too (often uncomfortably).  I remember then that the "real" world does not take nudity in its stride. 
    When I started oil painting, I wanted to create images of clothed people, as portraits, their attire reflecting their personality.  Funny how, many times, when I did ask a friend to model, they would just whip off their shirt or all clothing, to model for me in the nude.  I didn't ask them to strip, nor had I planed on it, but somehow, that's what they did....  I think being a woman artist in this day and age, gives me greater freedom than my male counterparts.  I am not considered chauvinistic for my subject matter, and somehow, my models feel safe enough to be nude in front of me.
     When my fellow artist, Menlo, agreed to model for me, I didn't ask him to take off his clothes, he just did.  The painting I came up with (above) is a reversal of the classical female nude (under the gaze of male society).  The artist in his studio, surrounded by his paintings, he named this piece for me; "L'homme Odalisque".  When I want to post this image in my Etsy or Bonanza online shops it is too sexy, I have to label it mature, and pull out the proverbial "fig leaf" to hide what god gave us all!  Well I didn't have a "fig leaf" handy on my  photoshop  samples,  so I used what I call a "rectangular  black  hole"  instead.  So if you  look into my  shops, and wonder why the paintings are censored, the vagina or penis is covered with the rectangular black hole, that is the reason.  My limited edition giclee reproductions are the original uncensored version.
(The original oil  painting was bought by my good friend Terry Hollowell, she loves the look of his bright pink balls and penis displayed proudly on her wall for all to see).
naked man paintings
naked woman paintings 
penis paintings

Sunday, September 19, 2010

gray paint

I gave my first painting lesson yesterday to a couple of little girls I met while subbing at a Montessori School in the Sierra foothills.  We started with three primary colors, making a color wheel and added a tint with white paint.  I told them next time we would work with shades of gray.  I learned from northern California artist, Gary Pruner how to use gray paint in a scale of one to ten.  So today when I went to the Placer arts building to paint, I decided to work with only gray to start with.  I like to go to the Placer arts building where I am resident artist.  I sell my arte prints there and have found the environment to be very conducive to my productivity.  Sometimes I go down on  Sunday when no one else is there.  I bring my easel out to the front window, (it's good to paint in different light now and then) and unlock the front door, in case people want to come in and walk around. 

So I have been working on this long narrow horizontal painting that started out from a sketch I did of Angie's daughter at figure drawing.  I got frustrated with it repeatedly even though the figure and basic composition was good, it wasn't great (or potentially).  Then I turned her into a sexy nude Salome in an erotic Roman setting.  I struggled with that quite a bit, also, but I know that getting rich tonal gradations often takes layering, almost sculpting.  So I went in there today to paint with steps of the gray scale.  I worked for about five hours, immersed in the work, (or play)  painting only with gray, and I can see I am getting "there".  I know where "there" is, I will know it when I get it.  I can't express the sublime satisfaction that painting brings.  It's like, you feel sometimes in this life that you can't seem to get anything right.  Work, money, relationships, investments, so often I am banging my head against a wall.  Even painting, most days I just can't seem to get that right either.  But, today, it was flowing, for hours!!!  That is the gift... not thinking I have talent or anything like that, just that I can find it now and then,  that special quiet place that allows you to put aside your heartache for the time being, and just do the work that only I can do.  No one else can make my paintings, and that is my gift, the gift to me.  How lucky I am, when I have that for my work.  Will post painting in progress soon.
red hat paintings   at fine art america

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Memories of Troy Dalton

(You know I lived there for almost a decade!)
Troy NY that is.
I know I can be irreverent because I am talking about Troy Dalton, he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

So in Troy NY there was this cool stone stairway going up to the RPI campus, we used to drink ripple and smoke joints rolled from strawberry papers there when I was 14. It was called “the approach”.

Troy Dalton, northern California artist, was always approachable, (except for that one year in ’99 when he and I had a falling out over a trip to a dumpster by way of SF).  He passed away last June 2010.  We miss him.

So, I saw Troy’s work first at the J street Himovitz, in the early ‘90s, and later at the Crocker with a friend. A couple of years later at the newer Himovitz on Del Paso, I saw those GEORGEOUS ten foot charcoals of Eve, erotic, nude… in Eden humping that crazy tree!. Oh my god, how beautiful! I thought where is this artist? Secretly I hoped he was as sexy as his paintings. Then outside on the patio, I saw Troy Dalton… his smiling self with those big teeth. So I walked up to him and told him how I loved his pictures. I told him I was an artist too. Aven, his daughter, was there that night too. I met both of them on the same night. I commented on how beautiful she was and that she would be a great subject for a painting. I had often wanted to do a portrait of Troy Dalton too, since that day, and regret that I didn’t. He was going to do a painting of me too… so if anybody finds those photos of me lying around at the Yolo Town Hall … please let me know!!!   He said they didn’t turn out… he also said that they would be totally private and no one would see them… (yeah sure.. just like all those other nude photos of women you see, laying around in the chaos he nurtured there.)

So Troy Dalton, I loved being his friend. At first I would go over to his home at the Yolo Town Hall and drink vodka with him and eat brie cheese and French bread on the weekends after work.  Often we made fun of the pompousness of the art academy and would end up throwing cheese balls at what are now his very valuable paintings.  I know I drove back to Sacramento more than once when I shouldn’t have.  Of course he always wanted me to stay there.  I had recently moved to Sacramento again from the Sierra foothills, trying to be an artist and pay my way working as a waitress for the first time in my life.  Shit, that was hard at 40.  I found out I wasn’t a very good waitress.  When life gets me down I do the one thing I know I am good at … paint.

Troy Dalton liked my art too, and encouraged me to go back to school, he told me to take a class with northern California artist, Gary Pruner, that led the way to my BA and a free trip to France.

During my stint at UCDavis good old Dave Hollowell (another northern California artist) gave me units to do an internship at Troy’s. (He knew we were friends)  Did Dave know I was to be the studio bitch???  That's what Dave's wife Terry says, we were all his studio bitches.  I would go over there on a Thursday and spend 4 or 5 hours pushing a broom and getting rid of crap that he would replenish from the nearest dumpster by Sunday afternoon.  Crazy!  We were trying to make room to get at his litho press so we could use it.  It must have been back in ’99 that I first tried to get rid of that carpet with the cat shit on it.  But there was so much other crap on it that I only ever could get halfway there. Finally last July, Aven, Heather and I cleared that area to the back and pulled that funky carpet OUT OF THERE!!  Ironic that we had to hire a dumpster to get rid of all the stuff he aquired over the years.
When I first met Troy Dalton, he wanted to make an artists community at the Yolo town hall.  Troy was very generous… he would always give an up and coming artist supplies that he had.  I would say he embodied the term “generosity and abundance”.  That was Troy.

He helped me cut wood for paintings and frames, take slides of my work and gave me books and supplies for my school kids.  Furniture, almost anything he had, if someone else needed it or could use it, it was theirs. He gave me castings of ears and crayons that I mounted into a painting. He showed me how to stretch a large canvas onto the wall with the staple gun, (a technique I have used many times since). And he showed me how to keep my eyeliner in the fridge on a hot day so I could sharpen the tip without it breaking (how did he know that?).  My 10 year old daughter, Gaea, would love to come over because Troy would line up some of his miniature plastic animal collection and the two of them would take turns shooting at those figurines with his BB gun. “He shoots his gun inside his house!” she would tell her friends with delight. The thing that was frustrating about him though was that we could never do that artist community because his own tendency to rat pack created too many obstacles.

I didn’t meet Tery 2 until years later, must have been 2005 I think. We met at an opening, through Troy… we liked each other right away.

She gave me some brownies to take over to him one day. We ate them and he proceeded to give me a tour of his entire collection. I’ve since regretted that I didn’t have a video camera that day when Troy Dalton was at his best. He took me from one cabinet full of collectables to another. He picked up a 2 inch plastic pooh bear who was bending over to look into his honey jar when Troy goosed him from behind with tigger’s manly pride. “the bastid!” From there we went to his collection of glasses. He liked to wear one outrageous pair over another. Then there was that gorgeous collection of vagina!!! Troy wanted me to model for one of his vagina castings. First of all, I thought it was gross, and I knew that would make my man go CRAZY! So I said “no way!!!” but later, when he was giving me the tour that day of what I had seen so many times before… I saw the cabinet with his natural history collection, there amid the fossilized starfish, nautilus shells and rodent skulls were the beautiful castings of women’s vagina. One woman had the fingers of her hands spread, gracefully framing her road to nirvana. The repetition of her fingers that way echoed the patterns of the starfish and reminded me of how we couldn’t deny our own place in nature.  (I sometimes wonder why he never did casting of his own penis, he did include it in his paintings, it seemed to be a favorite subject of his!)
Any how, Troy Dalton was a truly great and creative man even if he never painted a thing. (but the paintings he will leave behind are killer!)  As J.D.Salinger had written of his hero, Seymour Glass,  (don't know that I have this quote right)  "He could write a poem with a flick of his ear".  That was Troy Dalton, if you knew him, his paintings were secondary.  So I miss him, his unwavering friendship and I love him. And maybe someday his dream will be realized, that the town hall becomes a community center for working artists.

Go to  Facebook:

Troy Dalton In-memoriam

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Love animals?

Hi, the blog today is not about "the next 1000 years" I will write more on that and post images. I wanted to write about a dog that lives (lived) near me. I don't have any pets. Some people think that I don't like animals because I don't choose to have any live with me. To me that domestication is unnatural. I like to see animals in their natural environment. Granted, it could be argued that, after thousands of years (there I go again!) of domestication, a cat or dog's natural environment is with people! I get that. I just like to have a dog or cat house outside with acres for them to run on. I do love animals... I don't eat them.

So I live in a condominium complex in the Sierra foothills. Lots of low income folks here, many are hard working and considerate, like myself. Some I'm not so sure about... So I have been hearing this dog howl sometimes at night. Sad like. This dog is sad or uncomfortable, and it is a very sad sound to hear. I asked the manager if she heard it and she didn't notice but she doesn't live here. I have thought about calling the spca, to look into it, but haven't. I am a single woman living in what can be a rough neighborhood so I try to keep a low profile. Last week the dog was howling more than usual. Brave, (or stupid) after a glass of wine, I walked across the parking lot to see what was going on. Poor thing was tied up to the tree, looked skinny, and sad. The people having a party nearby yelled at it to "shut up". I said "is that dog ok? he sounds sad." They dismissed him saying a hound dog sounds like that. like I was crazy for noticing. but I know a sad sound when I hear it. When we went camping the week before, sleeping on the ground, the cold earth was leaching the warmth from my body, even in my sleeping bag. If that dog was left to sleep on the concrete night after night, the cold floor sucks his warmth. And being tied up all the time... my legs hurt if I sit in a car too long. And we all need love, someone to show you kindness and not tell you to "shut up" for your tears of sadness. I know I should have just called animal protection agency anonymously instead of going over there, but what would they do? ... put him in the pound? I haven't heard the dog lately. I don't know what happened. In my guilt I think it was his final cry that night. People if you have an animal or a child, love them, love animals. Treat them with kindness, for they will love you and they deserve kindness and no ill treatment.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Next 1000 years

So I wanna know, have you seen "The Next 1000 Years"? Tell me when and where?
What the heck am I talking about? Well 10 years ago I was sitting in my hammock, in the Sierra foothills, looking at the stars and thinking how everyone was getting so crazy about that Y2K thing that never happened. And I thought... "Jeeze, people should think about what's gonna happen after instead. Where is this planet going? When will we revere Gaea?"  I thought about how the government officials at the time would have some meager solutions for problems that would take us 50 or 100 years into the future. That's just not enough, I thought... If we could make it 1000 years, then maybe by that time we, as a species, would be able to solve some of the real problems like what to do with nuclear waste that has a half life of say 100,000 years, and how to feed people, (should we all become vegetarian?)  As I was pondering, it occurred to me that many ancient civilizations in the past, such as China or India, did at one time make plans 1000 years into the future. So why not... is it too much to ask of the "greatest country in the world" (to use another's words and opinion of the good old, but really, not so very old USA). Then what... tune in to Terrie Rockwell, northern California artist, for next time!  What to leave behind?
landscape paintings