Merwoman's Blog

I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.


Corbett, Oregon, US
June 15
Hippie Chick
OS #2421
I'm a 40-something therapist living in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I'm also the chief critter-wrangler in a household that currently includes Abby the Border Collie, Collin the Aussie, Chance the Persian, Lizzie the Tortie, Mouse the Manx mix, and Jeffrey the husband. >^..^< I've been described as a bleeding heart liberal hippie do-gooder. Probably a pretty accurate description. :)


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FEBRUARY 21, 2009 2:33PM

Christine's Artwork, Part II: Gothic Neurosis

Rate: 30 Flag

After years of figure paintings, I entered a bit of a neurotic phase. There were good personal reasons for this, really, and it was therapeutic and cathartic for me, in ways I can't quite explain. They're based on the kind of "bored in a meeting" doodles I'd been doing for years. And still do, actually. OK, maybe I'm still just a weensie bit neurotic. ;)

The first, from February '89, is titled "Arabesque." I have since discovered paint pens, which are ideal for this type of work; but at the time (actually, with all the neurotic paintings), I was using a brush. This accounts for the variation in line thickness.

Arabesque, Feb '89

The second, from June '90, is titled "Breaking Glass," although I'm just as likely to call it "Shards." It's a bit sharper, a bit angrier, probably not enough to be noticeable. ;)

Breaking Glass June '90

Next is "Lilith Amazed," from October '91. This was a wedding present for two dark goth friends. It combines the neurotic style of the recent paintings with the figure painting of old; in fact, it's the last figure painting I've done.

Lilith Amazed Oct 91

And last is "Prism," from January '92. This was also a wedding present, but for two sunny, happy friends. It's also the brightest of my neurotic paintings.


Prism, January '92


The next phase of my artwork defines a whole new level of neurotic, but that will wait for next time.

In the meantime, a few more pictures to make your visit worthwhile. The goth-ware below was all painted in '88/'89.

First is my "Swirl Dress." I bought a long black vest, which I painted and wore as a dress (sometimes it's handy being too short for the world!). Friends called this my "Puzzle Dress" because they thought the painting looked like puzzle pieces.

Swirl Dress, 1989

Next is a vest I painted for myself in summer of '89, featuring Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & The Banshees. It was based on this image:

(image courtesy Impact Merchandising)
And here's my version. The snaps made it interchangeable with two of the other panels I painted.

Siouxsie Vest (Jacket Art) Aug 88

  The next two are interchangeable jacket panels I painted for the then-husband in 1989. The first is based on the Love & Rockets "Express" album cover: 


(image courtesy


Love & Rockets (Jacket Art) Early 1989


The second is based on the"Love and Rockets" album cover:


(image courtesy


Love & Rockets (Jacket Art) Aug 89


And last but certainly not least, my beloved Siouxsie jacket, painted the summer of 89.

It was based on this image from 1982:


(image courtesy mital-U)
And here's my version:

Siouxsie Jacket, 1989

I still have it, and I still love it. She's looking a bit rode hard and put away wet these days, but then, she is 20 years old. :)

(Comments and ratings always appreciated!)

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you are such an amazing artist. patience, dedication, love passion, not, as you say in your tags, neurosis. just wonderful stuff
The art is just great. Paint pens? I'd not heard of those before now.
I love how you use the light, especially in "Shards" and "Lilith Amazed". The panels for the jacket are awesome, and the vest/dress is beautiful. The arrow through the heart reminds me of the retro tattoo art that's everywhere you look in the past few years. This is nice work. Have you ever shown your work? Besides here, I mean. Rated
These items are superb my dear! Absolutely superb!

Fascinating art. I'm the las to critique art, my art is still in the stick man mode. On a good day, I can actually draw a circular head. This seems to me that it came from very deep within.

Wonderful, Christine! I love the paintings, look like something you would see under a microscope. I'm an inveterate doodler too...inspiring that you turned it into art. And Siouxsie Sioux! You hipster you.
Barry, thank you so much, I appreciate the compliment greatly. But I'm pretty sure I am neurotic. ;)

junk1, paint pens are a godsend. The next post will have my celtic artwork, which I used to line with a brush. Since I discovered paint pens, lining has become much much easier. I've been able to find them at Michael's and Aaron Bros. I have not ever shown my work anywhere, no. Every once in awhile I think about it, but then I chicken out. Thank you so much for your comment!

M. Chariot, I am honored that such a cultured gentleman would compliment my humble offerings. Merci. :)
Exquisitely beautiful and diverse work.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Bob, it was from a fairly deep place. I some stuff out. And thanks for making me giggle. :)

Donna, I was indeed a hipster. In fact, I was tragically hip. Tragically, that was a long time ago, and I don't think I qualify anymore. ;)

Greg, thank you. :)
I like your work, Christine. I'm reminded (and I'll naturally assume you won't take this the wrong way) of an article in Slate about an art show in New York called "Obsessive Drawing". The slide show is worth looking through, I think; some of the work is remarkable, in its attention to detail, as is yours.

merwoman, you're really a gifted artist. very rated.
Christine, your artwork shows a nice aesthetic. The swirl dress is beautiful and it's too bad it isn't available in stores--I bet it would sell very well with it's distinctive and stunning design. "Lilith Amazed" reminds me of some pieces I did in wood with a wood router and then stained the wood. I like intricate designs like that. Great to see photo from Siouxsie and the Banshees integrated as a design for a jacket. I hope you're still working on designs like these currently, too.
Rob, "Obsessive Drawing" sounds pretty damn accurate to me. "It is difficult to look at these works without sensing how much their creators were driven by necessity, or, as curator Brooke Davis Anderson comments, by the need "to help them cope with regret, fear, loss, or illness." That really resonates with me. Although I look at those works and think I would never have the patience for it, they seem much more intricate to me.

Nana, thank you. :)

John, I haven't done any of them lately. I did a few for friends when I was in Houston--people who saw my doodles every week at Staff and decided they liked them. Those were much smaller, though. I do have one that I started years and years ago and never finished; once I get it re-stretched I think I'll rectify that.
Very cool! I really like these. I cannot imagine using a brush to paint all those tiny lines. I will look forward to the next phase you mentioned.
Beautiful, brilliant art work. These are absolutely superb! Thank you for sharing.
This is beautiful work. Thanks.
Beautiful work, rated. I never heard of paint pens before, I'll see if I can get them here, too. OS has threatened to replace my doodling but who knows?
I'll bet that 20 year old jacket is in many ways better now than ever! Great stuff.
Wow. You are so talented!
I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like and I like your art. I'm surprised there is nothing in your bio at all about your artistic talents. You got some good skills there, Merwoman!
Gah! I meant to get over here long before now but, well, you know how it goes: "One more post, and then I'll....." :)

Jane, thank you very much. I have been told I'm a bit intense, so I guess that comes out in some of the more neurotic stuff I've done.

MB, thank you for stopping by. I can't believe I did all that with a brush, either, after getting so spoiled with the pens. Actually, I didn't discover paint pens until, um...1998, I think. Up until then, it was all with a brush. I was a bit obsessive. :)

Renaissance, Dorinda, and Odette--thank you for stopping by and for leaving kind comments. I appreciate it.

Psychomama, there will always be doodling time. I can't take OS into staff meetings. :D

Jane and Psychomama, the paint pens I use are DecoColor Opaque Paint Markers. They have fine line, medium, and wide, and come in all sorts of colors. Granted, you can't mix them like you do liquid paint, but they're fantastic for pretty much anything else. They're available all over the place on-line.

Steve, my jacket does have that certain non-poseur element after 20 years of use. :D Alas, one of the sleeves is coming off, so it is pending a rivet repair. Otherwise, she's all good. :D

Michael, thank you! That's a very sweet thing to say. I'm glad what I do falls into the what you like category. :)
Again, you simply astound me. These are wonderful, especially the jacket panels which are so close to carbon-copies that if you hadn't said so I would've wondered who was copying who! The other pieces are wonderful as well, particularly "Lilith Amazed" (I'll spare you my rant on Lilith for the time being). Great work, thanks for sharing it
Rated (obviously)
awesome, Awesomeness! My teen is gonna love this stuff. Thanks!
and of course, I love it, too, especially the so-called neurotic scribbles.
My God you're talented! Really really cool stuff. But why, oh why, did you stop figure drawing? The drawing of Lilith is absolutely lovely. I could see it not only as a free-standing work of art, but also a book cover or interior illustration. You must be a pro. We have some amazing artists on here (OS), of which you are one.
For a raving neurotic, you're SO DAMN GOOD! WOOF.

Of course you know #4 is my favorite. For Mrs. C. and me, it's unforgettably burned into our memories from the time you'd posted it for Karen. You're quite wonderful.

Victor, thank you so much! "Carbon copy." :D :D :D And now you've got me curious about you and Lilith. Do tell?

Connie, I'm glad you like my neurotic scribbles!

Dickens, wow, I don't know what to say. :) I stopped doing figures because I started doing this stuff, and then I got into Celtic knot work next, and that has been my obsession for years now. I actually do have a couple of dance photos (of course!) that I'm considering painting, but I haven't quite got myself talked into it yet. You may have just helped that along. :)

CCC, you old dawg, you, you're making me blush. :) I remember Mrs C's reaction last time, I think that was one of the best things I've ever heard about one of my paintings. Thank you for complimenting this neurotic lady again. ;)

I just want to say, all y'all have just been so positive and supportive in your comments, it's given me major warm-fuzzies. And it's making me feel really good about deciding to post my artwork, which I took awhile to talk myself into. So thank you!
You know I love your "neurotic" art--although I definitely don't see it as neurotic. Your talent is easy to see as not many of us could do anything like these!
Susan, you are very kind and make me feel very good. Thank you. :D
the bit with the lines is called horror vacui, it's quite common in the art of certain cultures, like the aboriginals of Australia and northern North America. Also, Where's Waldo is considered to a form of the genre. I think it's natural as opposed to neurotic.
Aw, Siouxie...those were the days!

These are amazing, Christine. I love them all but I especially love the one with the sun (probably due to winter sun deprivation.) You are very talented!
marcelleqb--Holy crap, there's a NAME for it? I learn the most interesting things from you! I have one painting in particular in the next batch that really fits this description. Although Wiki did note that "Many examples of horror vacui in art come from, or are influenced by, the mentally unstable and inmates of psychiatric hospitals." Neurosis sounds much better than mentally unstable inmates! :D

Lisa, thank you very much, I'm glad you liked them. :)
Your art is amazing! I clicked on your name when I noticed you had rated my "Pocknis" thread.. thank you! I really like your puzzle dress and "Arabesque." That took patience!

I'm so glad I stopped by...
MAWB, thank you for stopping in! I just barely got started on your post before bedtime last night, but I'm working my way through your archives--some really good stuff there. :)
Damn, you're good! I like them all, but I am struck by the fractal nature of the first several.

Sorry, I've been off the grid and not keeping up with people's posts.

I like your art.
OOOOH! I love your paintings! And I am SO impressed by your Siouxsie jacket! It is just gorgeous. I have a much-beloved motorcycle jacket with a broken zipper in my closet--I don't think it even fits anymore, but I can't seem to part with it. If it had Siouxsie on it, I know I wouldn't!

That does it, I'm digging out Hyaena and Through the Looking Glass today!
Thank you, Rich! I'm very flattered. :)

Ginny, I'm so glad you stopped by! And especially to find out you're a Siouxsie fan! Hyaena and Peepshow are tied for #1 for me (I even have Pkabou personalized plates--misspelled because my nickname is Bou), but Looking Glass is a very close 2nd place. Her renditions of Strange Fruit, The Passenger, and Gun are especially good.

I also have an autographed copy of The Scream hanging in a place of honor on my goth wall. Along with an autographed copy of a Bauhaus single from their first reunion tour. :)
How cool that you have a goth wall! And autographed copies...does that mean you, gulp, spoke to and/or *touched* Siouxsie or one of the Bauhaus boys?! Swoon...
Ginny, I love my goth wall. It's got a lot of the weird gothic artwork I've collected over the years.

Alas, I did not get to touch Siouxsie, or any of the boys from Bauhaus. I was almost close enough to Siouxsie at the first Lollapalooza for her to sweat on me, though. Siouxsie in broad daylight in summer in SoCal, that's just so WRONG.

I have gotten quite close to the boys in their various incarnations--Bauhaus, L&R, and Peter solo--but not close enough to touch, darnit. I never even had the luck to run into David J in San Diego's North County, where we both lived at the same time, and he was a regular at some of the local businesses. Sigh.

I have, however, touched Eddy Vedder. I know, that's just not as cool. :D
Ah! I saw Siouxsie at that first Lollapalooza, too! Except I was in Chicago. I think. Or maybe Milwaukee. It was a long time ago...but I do remember the broad daylight (and a billion sweaty kids) dampened my experience, too. Gimme a dark & grimy club any day. (well, not so much these days, when I'm asleep by 10:30, sigh.)

And touching Eddie Vedder is nothing to be ashamed of. No, nothing at all. ;-)