essays by shé

Voguing Snowgal

So I was painting the other day, and did a series. Seems to be an Xmas theme with me. In 2019 I filled eight canvases with one giant heart each, some with polka dots, some blue-green, some orange-red: love expressed. I gave them to folks I treasured the most.

This year I use ivory black and iridescent medium on three 11″ x 14″ canvases. Then I press, one by one, seven 8″ x 8″ canvas boards on the paint. Reflections, I call them. After they dry, I notice the voguing snowgal. I place her in front of an altar of sunflowers and oranges. The flowers are in my mother’s black and white cremation box, her name prominent. Santa always put oranges in our Xmas stockings.

My mother is why I dance, or the impetus anyway. Ballet with Debbie triggered an abiding love for Erik Satie’s “Trois Gymnopédies,” which she played during pliés. En pointe with Suzy, I tucked lamb’s wool around my toes and learned, mind over matter. Choreography class with Linda, I created to Emily Dickinson, I can wade grief. Cornish College of the Arts: a torn medial meniscus focuses me on writing. But this body will always move, so I participate in Global Water Dances: Olympia, Long Beach, Floras Lake, Flagler Beach, Waimea Canyon.

Pandora plays Percy Faith’s Xmas music, and suddenly my mother is with me. We twirl and strut and boogie and shake and flick and flop and bounce and fling… until we fall in a heap on the floor. She was always able to make me laugh until I pee.

The finale announces itself and we strike a pose, arms up in glee, in joy, in life. Ho ho ho.

"Strike a Pose (Voguing Snowgal)" by Shé, 8" x 8" acrylic on canvas board, 2022
Strike a Pose (Voguing Snowgal) by Shé, 8″ x 8″ acrylic on canvas board, 2022





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