My American Dream: Heroes and Villain
My Husband Andrew and Goldie our Goose, 2017 Oil on linen 30 × 20 inches
My Husband Andrew and Goldie our Goose, 2017
Oil on linen 30 × 20 inches

The personal is political, and I love my husband Andrew Madrid–who I’ve been together with for almost 30 years, since we met when I was a grad student at UC Irvine, where he was also a student. We love our animals, and now that we are in Southern California again, have dogs, parrots, chickens, turkeys, and geese that are all truly our pets. The fowl have names, and this goose is Goldie, who has been with us for a couple of years now, and, like the others, is fully domesticated and loving. This is from a photo from our porch in front of our beloved cabin in Riverside, which originally belonged to Andrew’s grandfather, and that we lived in first as a vacation home, and then as a primary residence until recently when we had to move to larger quarters. On the right is the back of our German Shepard Leonardo, and to his left is the ear of our Anatolian Shepard Georgia. Andrew finds true solace in these animals, and it’s not infrequent that he gives them hugs and kisses which they wonderfully reciprocate in their way. But Andrew is the man I’ve also chosen to live my life with, and who is the one I love and care for, who gives my life meaning and wonder, hope and ambition. We got married the first Sunday it was legal on this very porch, and although I’ve done many paintings of him, this is one of my favorites, as it really hopefully captures his spirit, and the place and animals that are the heart of our home, wherever that may manifest. I’m a great admirer of Manet, one of my favorite artists, and I believe the first to be “post post-modern” as he realized he could paint the aspects of his personal world and have it resonate to a larger context of politics, history, and the culture beyond the picture frame to help to progress ideology (the power of women and more!) of his time, but also do so in a warm, painterly manner that was beautiful and transcendent. By either painting from appropriation or my own life, I hope to do the same, and although this work is deeply personal to me, I hope it is about the agency of POC, LGBTQ people, and the harmony we all must embrace between humans, animals, and nature for us to all progress into a higher plane of existence and progressive world.