From painting in progress by Bea Garth

“Bringing Her Back To Life” by Bea Garth, copyright 2018

I just recently started work on this new painting which I am now calling “Bringing Her Back To Life,” by Bea Garth, copyright 2018. Its for a show I will be participating in this September called “Stories We Could Tell” at The Cave here in Vancouver, WA.

"Bringing Her Back To Life" acrylic painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2018
“Bringing Her Back To Life” acrylic painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2018

Of course I have plenty of stories in my paintings, but this one is calling to me given my recent health crisis  that became a crescendo the last  couple of years. Fortunately my broken wrist is healing and is becoming stronger and more flexible with each passing month. Ditto with my knee. In addition, I have gotten clues studying genetic snps that have proven to be very helpful regarding dietary advice. That plus taking Maca and Ashwagandha is  making a positive difference with counteracting some of the effects of underlying Lyme Disease that I have been struggling with the last few years.

Fortunately, I am in the process of bouncing back. I am nothing if not doggedly persistent looking for and finding  remedies. That and, of course, the Painting Gods are healing me. I honestly often feel a direct connection with the healing powers of the Earth and Sky (represented here by a  couple of their emissaries in this painting), especially when I am in my creative element.

I have more to do with the painting of course. Basically it is just blocked in with no shading or anything. However I really like the basic color scheme and feel like it could be  very strong  once completed. In many ways it reminds me of my ceramics. It has that playful yet structured character. The main thing for me is to stop before going too far!  A lesson I keep needing to learn it seems in my life. Hopefully by this time I am getting better at it.

“Trap Door,” work in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2018

I am finally beginning a new series about the effects of radiation from Hanford etc. from a personal child-like point of view. Here I am falling through a trap door into the waiting arms of Pluto (God of the Underworld–and of nuclear radiation) with my  cat falling with me at my side.

I am still  planning to put in some shading etc. Otherwise I think this new 2′ x 3′ acrylic painting is close to done.

The pink represents invisible radiation that blanketed the area outside of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation the night of December 2nd and 3rd, 1949 — including where we lived in Walla Walla, Washington. Apparently it rained when it wasn’t “supposed to.” Twice the amount of radiation was released than they had originally planned.  I have read they secretly released between 8000 and 12,000 curies of radioactive iodine–and that this was not the only “green run,” i.e., where green uncured uranium was used at Hanford. The scrubbers for the effluent were turned off at night for 12 hours.  It was part of the Cold War race for nuclear  superiority with Russia.

There was no notification to the locals so none of us knew about any of this, and thus we did not know we needed to protect ourselves. It wasn’t discovered until years later when mention of the “green run” was found inside mountains of paper-work that was given to an enquiring reporter from Spokane (Karen Dorn Steele). The paper-work was supposed to prove Hanford had nothing serious to hide.   As it turned out, it was far more serious than anyone ever thought.

"Trap Door" w.i.p. acrylic painting by Bea Garth, copyright 2018
“Trap Door” w.i.p. acrylic painting by Bea Garth, copyright 2018

Now I realize my recurring dream of falling through a trap door was my child self representing what actually happened.  After being a very healthy baby, at age 4 months (coincident with the Green Run) I suddenly became severely  ill with pneumonia for close to a year.

Eventually I was taken to the hospital and put in isolation to figure out what could be done. I was given special treatment since my parents were  local celebrities for their work as  archaeologists finding and carefully uncovering Fort Walla Walla. I was  taken off  gluten, sugar and milk fat, plus  given gamma globulin for my “failure to thrive.” Fortunately I bounced back! Much later I learned that some of the Chernobyl victims were also given gamma globulin and often special diets. Like me, they got better.

It makes me sad to think of all the other babies who could have been helped like me, but weren’t. Quite a few ended up in the cemetery.  Babies are a lot more sensitive to radiation than anyone else.  Clearly we need a new paradigm where the health of the Earth and those who live on it needs to come first rather than continuing a focus on an  insane arms race that forgets we all live together on a fragile planet.

This makes me think of the continuing problems at Fukishima and, similar to Hanford, how real news coming from there is largely suppressed. And the very real threat of bringing back the Cold War–or a hot one, possibly started in the Middle East ,rather than focus on how we can restore our ailing planet.

Meanwhile, here in Washington at the Hanford site, problems with the clean-up  continues to be a sore point.  The numerous open radiation pits, leaking cannisters and the fact spent fuel rods are stored just 400 feet from the Columbia River,  leaves us  open for trouble.  I wish it would all just go away, but it looks like Hanford’s old demons will stay with us for some time.





“Swimmers,” painting in progress by Bea Garth

I just started working on my painting Swimmers again in preparation for the Clark County Open Studios in mid November.

"Swimmers " painting in progress by Bea Garth copyright 2017
“Swimmers ” painting in progress by Bea Garth copyright 2017

Given this very traumatic fall season with massive forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and yet another mass shooting, I feel its important to  realize we all have special moments that make this world very worth preserving.  Meanwhile we need to do what we can to help those in need and begin to rectify some of the causes of these difficulties such as global warming and creating a better socio-economic system while still remembering to cultivate and savor those happier moments.

“Guitar,” painting in progress by Bea Garth contd.

Thought I’d be done with it, but still tweaking this painting. Even though its small its drawing me in… This is from an Instagram photo, so its not showing the whole thing. I changed some of the colors to give it more contrast.

"Guitar," in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017
“Guitar,” in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017

“Guitar,” painting in progress by Bea Garth

This is a very small painting I am calling “Guitar.”  I have been working on it the last couple of days–and should be able to finish it tomorrow. It was inspired by my husband who plays the guitar, though he is a redhead, and I have brown hair. So imagination takes the lead here, but like a good friend of mine says, the emotions are what matters…

"Guitar," painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017
“Guitar,” painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017

I am in the process of making some small new works for my part in the Clark County Open Studios for November 11th and 12th, 2017. I have lots of bigger paintings, but not so many small ones…

“Underwater Dance,” painting in progress by Bea Garth

" Underwater Dance" acrylic painting in progress by Bea Garth 2017
“Underwater Dance” acrylic painting in progress by Bea Garth 2017

After a hard winter/spring, I am starting to feel much better. Finally got going on this painting of mine of a man and a woman dancing underwater. Its kind of a celebratory piece of getting healthier again and enjoying warmer weather finally. I am really looking forward to summer!

I still need to work on the painting Its hardly done since a lot of shadows and gradations are missing, and likely I will eradicate some more of the fish. But I got it all blocked in.  I like to work loose and then refine it.

I also applied for the local Clark County Artist Open Studios for next winter. November seems a perfect time to have it. Plenty of time to prepare…


“Lady in Pink” in progress by Bea Garth

This piece is nearly done! I may need to change the title now that I added an extra dimension with the  hieroglyphic-like facial parts and silver paint in the background.

"Lady In Pink" painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017
“Lady In Pink” painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017

Am enjoying how the blue paint under the silver adds a subtle extra dimension.

My thoughts? Perhaps “The Whole World Is Watching.” Right now I just need to cogitate on it…

Still have to work on shadow for the hand, cat and face–but these will be minor adjustments.  Am planning to get back at it later today.

“Lady In Pink” in progress, painting by Bea Garth

Here’s my latest update of my painting “Lady in Pink” –still in progress. I did some good work on it last night. I am enjoying the rich new paint I bought recently and plan to do more with it. I am enjoying the drama the shadows bring to it.  Even though it is a very simple painting I think it creates a strong  presence.

“Lady In Pink” acrylic painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017

Meanwhile, I think the imbalance in the world events finally got to me — I ended up depressed and developed a really bad case of hives. Talk about the itchy bitchies!

As a result, I have gotten  back into doing yoga and meditation again. It really helps me feel much more balanced and far more capable of steering a positive path in this turbulent world. Plus the meditation has helped me get rid of the hives!!

I can well imagine the “Lady in Pink” along with her trusty cat about to meditate too!

“Lady In Pink” contd. painting by Bea Garth, a new paradigm shift emerging

Despite several  interruptions this last week given the goings on in the world, plus going to visit a wonderful friend in another town who had a poetry reading etc., I have finally gotten back to my painting “Lady in Pink” again. I now realize what all the pink is about, i.e., why both this and the other painting I did recently (Legs Like Leaves) have women featured prominently with all that hot pink!

“Lady in Pink” painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017

The fact last weekend’s  Women’s March was the largest march ever in the USA is heartening. Women and their male supporters marched (with their pink hats!) not only here, but also in 33 other countries.

I believe we are at the beginning of a new paradigm shift wherein the values of the patriarchy are just going to have to move  over. Greed and rampant egoism as well as “us vs them” thinking is destroying the planet, not to speak of our souls. There simply is no future in following that path any more.

We need to put aside our differences and learn to love or at least accept each other if we are going to heal the planet enough to have a future for ourselves and our children.

I believe creative and positive spiritual endeavors are more important now than ever to help sensitize and open us up to our feelings and what is going on in our unconscious. This can help us face who we are in a healing way and  help us see and appreciate the humanity in each other despite our differences. Thus empowered, we can become more able to finally perceive what is going on in the world without freaking out or going crazy-which will help free us to take right action to help save the planet. This is what growing a positive world culture is all about. Together we can do this; I know it in my bones.

“Lady In Pink,” contd. acrylic painting by Bea Garth

I added in the background and most of the pink, plus now have a yellow cat! More to do of course. But I got a lot of it blocked in.

My cat helped me by sitting on my lap.

"Lady In Pink" contd. painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017
“Lady In Pink” contd. painting in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2017

She was actually transfixed by what I was doing, and finally attacked the painting with her paw!

Note: Please Click image to see a larger picture.

“Lady In Pink” underpainting on canvas by Bea Garth

"Lady In Pink" underpainting, work in progress on canvas by Bea Garth, January 2017
“Lady In Pink” underpainting, work in progress on canvas by Bea Garth, January 2017

This is my new canvas painting I am working on. It is inspired by an extremely small painting on watercolor paper  I did back in San Jose (about the size of a large card).

The idea is that she will probably be wearing pink and black, and likely has dark skin.  Though all this could change depending…

Obviously I am still working on the cat!! This time it won’t be brown. It will be a contrasting color… And yes I want the cat to feel alive with movement!

I often like to make an underpainting like this before I go ahead and paint the whole thing in color with all the shading, contrast etc. This way I make sure I get the composition worked out in a simpler state rather than have to remake the whole thing if I didn’t get it right.