Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Firearms: Yes, it's a women's issue (I have opinions.)

Above: Lyudmila Mykhailivna Pavlichenko (July 12, 1916 – October 10, 1974), 
a Soviet sniper during WWII. She is credited with 309 kills, 
and regarded as the most successful female sniper in history. 
(Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons.)

Russian Female Snipers in WWII
were feared by 
combat trained German troops. 
(So much for guns being a macho-man only sport!) 

In fact, there were approximately 2,000 female snipers in the Red Army, of whom about 500 survived the war. Lyudmila Pavlichenko (pictured above), Nina Lobkovskaya, and Klavdiya Kalugina (who was only 17 at the start of her military service in 1943) were among the thousands of women who put themselves in the line of fire for Mother Russia.  They were armed with slightly more accurate but less-rugged sniper rifles (German: Scharfschützengewehr or SSG), than their conscripted brothers: an upgrade from the cheaper assault rifle.

While I have openly said that we, as a culture, really ought to consider just how "universal" that "right" to own a firearm really is (Hey, we do have a licencing process to drive cars, showing that we're not going to act like a damned fool when behind the wheel, correct? Most NRA members that I've talked to understand gun safety and the rules of firearms so well that they could teach a gun safety course themselves, and agree this is reasonable.) ...guns are also a women's right's issue, in that they truly become the great equalizer.  I am not a small woman (or a woman who should ever own a firearm) but I understand the fear that my petite friends feel when at risk of being beaten, abused, or raped.  Cornered and out-massed by 200 lbs. of angry pot-roast is no place to be.

...but one bullet is one bullet.  Nothing says "I'm not getting raped (mugged/ beaten) today!" like a large-caliber round to the center chest.  Simple, eloquent, and to-the-point.  The vast majority of rape cases will never go to trial, the majority of those that do will never be convicted, and, if you grew up in the United States, you probably know the rest. Dead men can't become repeat offenders.  If she is fighting for her life, no further argument is necessary.


  1. The Russians didn't have any assault rifles to speak of during the war. They had battle rifles--Mosin Nagants. The sniper rifles were accurized MNs. The first assault rifle was the German Sturmgeweher StG 44 in 1944. The AK47, of course dates from 1947, after the war.

    While they did have female snipers, the Soviets are reliably believed to have exaggerated all their body counts for PR purposes.

    Also, I don't know which gun owners you've spoken to, but:

    I will license my guns when you license your computer, your religious books and your gender orientation. It accomplishes nothing and is a gross intrusion of privacy. Its only purpose is to be able to violate rights later.

    Nor would it matter what most people agree. We don't rate rights based on what people think of them. Most people might agree we need to license computers against pedos. Most people DID support slavery and separate but equal at one time. Irrelevant. I can even show surveys that most people believe in restrictions on speech and religion.

    But you are correct that a firearm is the single most effective means of self defense, and much easier to master than any martial art or melee weapon.

    1. +1
      Some may find this a tad trite, but there is a saying that is applicable here;
      "God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal."

  2. Have to agree with Michael.

    Also, on the 'just like cars' idea, I'll pass the commentary on that over to Lawdog:

    I'll also add that the ownership of arms is one of the basic enumerated rights; driving is not. Big difference.

    1. A right does not have to be enumerated to still be a right.