Beauty and the Bear (available)

2021; 18 x 12 inches; $495

My California Dreaming series is a tribute to my mother and dreamers everywhere.   

My mother’s parents were Italian immigrants who followed their dreams to come to America.  They settled in Detroit, Michigan, where my mother was born in the late 20’s.  As a teen in the Great Depression, she was obsessed with Hollywood. She dreamed of leaving Detroit to find the California depicted on the pages of her film magazines.

Once she had a family of her own, she convinced my father to sell their house and most of their belongings.  In December 1956, when I was six years old and my brother was three, they loaded up their brand-new 1957 Buick with a trailer hitched to the back and drove across the United States. They had never been to California, knew no one in in the state other than a distant relative, and had no jobs waiting for them. But they were able to build lives in a land of orange and palm trees, bordered by an ocean. They considered it paradise, and never regretted their decision.

My mother always insisted that I was an artist, and I learned from her to never be afraid to follow dreams. Now that my own children are grown and launched: I have arrived.