Author Archives: Alison

Who Is El Salvador?

Claudia Lars…Margarita del Carmen Brannon Vega is her birth name; she is also called Carmen Brannon Beers or Carmen Brannon de Samoya Chinchilla. She was born in El Salvador. She studied and lived in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

Her early work in the 1920s and 1930s was compared to Agustini, Mistral, Storni, and Ibarbourou. She lists as her early influences Cervantes, Fray Luís de León, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Góngora, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Burns, Coleridge, Whitman, Poe, Dickinson, Shelley, Byron, Yeats, Blake, and Darío (Barraza 142). Critics called her a lyrical postmodernist.

Sketch of the Woman of the Future

Standing tall in the mud.
Not like the flower’s stalk
and butterfly’s desire . . .
No roots, no flitting,
more erect, more sure
and more free.

Knower of shadow and thorn,
With miracle held high
in her triumphant arms.
With obstacle and abyss.
beneath her stride.

Absolute queen of her flesh
returned to the center of her spirit:
vessel of the celestial,
domus aurea, home of the golden;
clod where shoots burst forth into
maize and fragrant flower.

Forgotten: the Mona Lisa’s smile.
Broken: the spell of centuries.
Conquered: the fears.
Bright and naked in the pure, clean day.

Unequalled lover
in enjoyment of a love so lofty
that no one today could predict it.
with controlled sweetness
that doesn’t hurt or intoxicate the drinker.

Maternal still,
without the caress that holds back flight
nor tenderness that traps,
nor submission and giving in, that little by little, smothers.

Pioneer of the clouds.
Guide to the labyrinth.
Weaver of veil and song.
Adorned only in her simplicity.

She stands up from the dust . . .
Not like the flowering stem
that’s not so beautiful.


Dialectical Conversations

Perspectives. Dialectical conversations are crucial to intellectual growth, diplomacy, artistic strength, and a whole host of ways in being human.  Simply put, it is a method of philosophical argument that involves some sort of contradictory process between opposing sides; not necessarily winner vs. loser, but learning, defining, clarity, exchange, analysis, problem solving, which leads to deeper understanding and hopefully a more expansive comprehension of a matter.

The posts begin…


Step Away

Very few of us intend to beat out head against a wall; it happens. When it does there is a point when it becomes crucial to stop.  This post is about the stopping.

STOP – ceasing a particular activity with an inherent beginning of a new one, stepping away. For quite a long time I was blinded to the fact that one of the most significant and valuable activities I might embrace was to basically end an one. Not implying this was easy or simple, it just is.  This HALT gave room for the next act, taking one leg moving it to one side and following with the other. Not a dance, though it could be called one, nor a race of any sense of the work, merely a step from, thus, a step to. That’s it.


Foucaut: Revisiting Power

As a graduate student I felt and was in a race to catch up. Having primarily studied religion rather than philosophy, my perspective on most every matter other than religion was sorely crippled.  Had we remained in Seattle, Washington throughout my high school and college years I imagine most artists and thinkers immersed in Lacan, Adorno, Benjamin, Arendt, Rawls, Butler, Beauvoir, Bachelard, Nussbaum and more than need be listed here. Yet, knowing that this may not have been the case, most definitely attending high school (1970’s) and college (1980’s) in rural Texas, part of the “Bible Belt” not only lacked opportunities of study in the liberal arts, but more so, in my midst there were few if any conversations on life other than the saving power of Jesus Christ. To fit in, I bought it all, swallowing it whole, spewing out bits and pieces throughout my young adult years.

The primary and ultimate power was based on fear; if I didn’t believe in that ultimate overseer my life would be condemned to pain, suffering, and eternal punishment. Dread The Word, Truth, submission, denial, insecurity, uncertainty, controlled, with my permission. Battling weariness, numbing the human spirit, body, soul, mind seemed to stabilize until the disconnection became paralyzing.  Power given over to predestination; fate prevails.


Experimental Action: Performance Art Houston, February 23 – 25th, 2017

Last entry, September, 2016. Since then…professor of art, teaching art appreciation, and interim gallery manager at a local college. Resting, yoga, walking, time with spouse and dogs and family and friends – HEALING. Today, co-Manager of the Cliff Gallery, Mountain View College and member of ART BEEF/BEEFHAUS collective, Dallas, Texas. Now am honored to be invited to speak at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston symposium for the international performance art event in Houston, Texas. Excited!


click pic to support



Artists Sometimes Make Public Art

Some cities figure out how to gather up money from citizens to hold a competition for artists to apply for making public art for their city. When an artist gets a city “gig” they can go at it and do all sorts of things as long as they follow the rules established by the city. Then once the work has been completed the artist has the opportunity to be so very proud of their work. Sometimes they find that there is a collaboration between them and the public, such as the drawing/text here as seen in this photo. The F is so flowey. The U so elegant, the C is direct, and the K very bold. The scribbleys bring a sense of humor to the work and the T in the word That is such a throwback to the ’80’s when cheerleaders used to spell our football teams name “Gimme a T!” As for the remaining characters of the drawing/text well I will leave it to the viewer to enjoy dive into deciphering that.


June through August 2016

On sabbatical, hiatus, furlough, leave of absence, recess, break, time off, terms typically used by those who are doing just that from a job or work or something they are doing to take leave of. As for me, my hiatus, has been more like a gap or opening between my life pre-graduate school and about a year following. Something inside me shifted. I’ve stopped trying to figure out why; it just did. In the process of this shift one significant friend died, one moved away, my paternal grandmother passed away (carrying with her stories we will never hear), I seemed to have lost a great deal of my passion for many things, and I felt overlooked, misunderstood, under appreciated, and an absolute loserfailureidiotfatslobtoopolitenotworthyourtimeartistreject. Perhaps my solution was to move. I’ve always dreamed to move back to Seattle. Jim is open to it. But that could be running away. What about NYC, LA, OKC, Chi-Town, or anywhere else but Texas!?!

I’ve been isolating myself from those I know, well those I’ve been socializing with at art openings and such. Tiring of the bullshit that can happen. Not blaming anyone really, but myself; getting caught up in my insecurities. Taking risks and chances, doing things to “help” me seem interesting. No more. This isn’t real. Not me. I hate that this was done to me, to you. I’m not really self-righteous, I’m a true introvert and shy and better at home making art, writing, having pot lucks and small groups over for dinner, or doing yoga and meditating. Or better yet, hiking in the woods or swimming in a clear stream or the waters of the South Pacific. I’m not lonely at all. The air is sweet.

Here’s the thing. I’m just more me now. It fits.

More to come.