**click artwork to enlarge**
(collage and oil painting on glass, 16X20, 2009)
"Portrait of Billie Holiday"
Billie Holiday is one of my favorite singers. I can listen to her endlessly. That voice… Oh, how I wish I could sing like Lady Day. Alas, we can't have everything that we wish for. However, we can cultivate the talents that we actually do have. Furthermore, I whole-heartedly believe that it's our responsibility not to waste them and it's our responsibility to live our lives to their full potential.
It breaks my heart to think that so many talented people (such as Billie Holiday) died too soon. Ms. Holiday once said "I never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own." She couldn't be more wrong. Her life choices did hurt her fans. Not to mention her family and friends. I've lost many people close to me due to the same life choices as Lady Day had made. I feel like weeping when I think of what kind of great ideas, great music and great art was lost to us because of the circumstances great artists like her chose to put themselves in.
I understand that creative personalities often come with a variety of excesses; I understand that a creative person might have a desire to explore life from every possible angle; I understand that the use of drugs and alcohol might be perceived as part of creative process, but I can't understand why artistic people choose to continue their dependence on substances when it clearly stunts their potential. I enjoy partying just as the next gal, but I enjoy painting much more and I would never let anything interfere with my art. Granted, sometimes I view hangovers as an opportunity to take a break from working that I wouldn't otherwise allow myself to take, but I would not let myself waste my talent and my life on a permanent hangover...
"Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what's more than enough."
"You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling."
"I can't stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession, let alone two years or ten years. If you can, then it ain't music, it's close-order drill or exercise or yodeling or something, not music."