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Contemporary woman artist's self-portrait created by recycling usually discarded paper products, such as magazine cut-outs, paint samples, color paper forms, etc.  The painting depicts the artist during an imaginary conversation with God.  The artist is happily smiling; her body moving as in flirtatious dance; hair, made up of cut-out photos of flowers swaying with the motion. God is represented by a blue ghostly image in the background with eyes reminiscent of those of the artist herself.
**click portrait to enlarge**
(collage painting on cardboard, 30X40, 2007)

"Before I was born..."

I prefer to think that I'm here of my own accord and that I actually chose my life. Sometimes I like coming up with different scenarios as to how it all happened. This is one of them:

I'm dressed in a blue organdy gown. I'm weightless and glowing. There is a white rose behind my ear. God, dressed in a perfectly tailored English suit, business-like and parental at the same time.

God: Are you sure you're ready to go back?
Me: Yes, I'm sure.
God: Which level would you like to choose this time?
Me: Extreme.
God: I don't think you're ready for that.
Me: It's worth a shot.
God: You realize that it means you'll have to go through the full range of feelings this time.
Me: I know what my objectives would be.
God: You might not be able to deal with them as well as you expect. Remember, you'll be in the dark. It means no memories from the past and very little help from me.
Me: I'm ready.
God: Well… If worse comes to worse you'll always have a way out. Although, I don't look favorably on people who take it and you won't be given any credit for this lesson in case you decide to take it.
Me (impatiently): C'mon! Give me some credit! This is not my first rodeo... I feel really strong! I know I'm ready!
God: OK. You have several choices: Peru, South Africa or Ukraine.
Me: Let's do Ukraine. I haven't been born in those parts yet. Being born in the Soviet Union could be interesting.
God agrees. I'm born.

"When we talk to God we are praying; when God talks to us, we are schizophrenic."
Lily Tomlin

"The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do."
John Holt

"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today. "
James Dean