marlene mountain
painting series 22

Joan Marler
Sebastopol CA

August 1 1994

Dear Joan

I hope you're not too shocked with what I've done--in fits of passion--
to the beautiful pages you and Marija have so carefully put together.
The originals in color are more inviting and not as harsh-looking.
'birdy' and I are even iridescent, she gold and I orange.

Some of the texts in
the copies are lighter and less readable than the original paintings.
To get them darker would have made other images too black.
The texts, of course, aren't intended to be completely readable but more
as an introduction or enticement to encourage viewers to get Marija's books.
Actually, when shown last year at a small private gallery (with some of my
other paintings on the wall) the 'birdy paintings' were in flat plastic bags and
viewers could--and did--pick them up and sit throughout the space
and read. I had crayons and paper available at the opening and asked if
anyone would like to draw impressions of 'birdy.' I have 9 sketches
but only 3 are signed.

The series was begun last July
but at the September showing I hadn't been able to come up with
the right wording for a few conversations between 'birdy' and me.
I've now added them (except for #45) and put together the last image (#70)
which I've had in mind for a year. I told
Marija I thought she (on the jacket portrait) looked like
the bird goddess. She seemed amused. (I did ask permission to incorporate
it and the renderings, as well as the photographs, in my work and
she replied that she'd paid for everything and I was welcome to use them.)

The enclosed page of numbering from Marija's books is not completely proofed
but will give you an idea. I've numbered the paintings
on the back of each copy. Also enclosed is a translation of my letter
to 'birdy' (#34). I've found two mistakes on the painting so I
will have to change the original somehow.

I think one of the reasons I've
had so much trouble getting this material together this year is that it
seems too much like a closure. Even though Marija's daughter said
'passed on' or maybe 'through' I haven't wanted to admit to such.

I want to thank you for all that you've done to get Marija's work out
in the world.

from the mountain

Marlene Mountain

PS In a sense I'm sending these just for you. If you have interest
beyond this, could you let me know about your plans as
I may have a privacy problem.


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