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Drapala Gallery

Drapala Gallery
Nationality: us United States


1,012 artworks   Artistic domains : Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Sculpture

Biography:
Pamela Carvajal Drapala - Born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. Attended Yuma Union High School, Arizona Western College and Northern Arizona University. Degree: AA, Arizona Western College. Three courses away from BA in English and a focus in Art. Scholarship Founder of the Vincent A. Carvajal Art Scholarship for Yuma high school area seniors. Graduate of Northern Arizona University. Member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Tau Delta, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Arizona Association of Chicanos for Higher Education, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Publications:
Poetry, essays, and short stories can be found at - In the Eyes of the Wild, Yuma Daily Sun, Shuz Magazine, Awareness Magazine, Colorado Crossing Editions, Library of Congress, Reaction Exit Art, La Hercencia Magazine Editions (2), and Time of Trial, Hidden Press, two CNN I-Reports.

Exhibitions and Performances:
NAU Celebration of Achievement and Showcase, April 8, 2008. Gathering of Three, June 9, 2006, through
September 30, 2006, Yuma Art Center Museum (Historic Downtown), 254 S. Main Street. Supported by the Yuma Fine Arts, City of Yuma, Arizona Commission On the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Galeria Tonantzin - Las Mujeres Exhibit, San Juan Bautista, California, March 11, 2006. Night of 1,000 Drawings, Artists Space, New York, New York, December 2005. Arizona Western College - On the Border Exhibit - Farm Worker Series - September 2004. Agora Gallery, Soho New York - June through July 2004. Taste of Fine Art Auction - Yuma, Arizona - Donation of Frida at Peace. Hospice Ocean to Ocean Art Show - October 2003 - Donation of The Crossing and African Sunset Tiles.
Art, Poetry, and Photography - Presentations to Audiences
Northern Arizona University 20th Anniversary Celebration 2008, art, poetry, and photography presentation – Fruitful Yuma Valley, Arizona Western College 2008, art, poetry, and photography – We are all Connected, March 13, 2008. Desert Artists, Yuma, Arizona, November, 2006.

Awards:
Outstanding Purple Ribbon, Fine Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Pay Day, Farm Worker Series. Blue Ribbons: Fine Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Geronimo and Adam, Farm Worker Series. Cash Award Gold Rosette and Purple Rosette, Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005. Luz, Farm Worker Series. Purple Ribbon, Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Jorge, Farm Worker Series. Outstanding Ribbon: Fine Art Competition Yuma, AZ 2004, Yuma Eve, Farm Worker Series. Grand Champion (Cash Award) and Outstanding 2003: The Weaver Outstanding, The Green Eyed Girl, 2003 Outstanding: My Daughters and Angel, 1990s. Three Cash Awards for Costume Design - Yuma Country Fair. First Place: Frida at Peace, 2003 First Place: Frustration, 1990s. First Place: Blue Moon, 1990s. Second Place: My Friend Hong, 2003. Second Place: Laura and Ashley, 1980s.

Next Endeavor: Day of the Dead painting series.

Proudest Moment as an Artist: Selling my nine portraits in the ...
Biography:
Pamela Carvajal Drapala - Born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. Attended Yuma Union High School, Arizona Western College and Northern Arizona University. Degree: AA, Arizona Western College. Three courses away from BA in English and a focus in Art. Scholarship Founder of the Vincent A. Carvajal Art Scholarship for Yuma high school area seniors. Graduate of Northern Arizona University. Member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Tau Delta, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Arizona Association of Chicanos for Higher Education, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Publications:
Poetry, essays, and short stories can be found at - In the Eyes of the Wild, Yuma Daily Sun, Shuz Magazine, Awareness Magazine, Colorado Crossing Editions, Library of Congress, Reaction Exit Art, La Hercencia Magazine Editions (2), and Time of Trial, Hidden Press, two CNN I-Reports.

Exhibitions and Performances:
NAU Celebration of Achievement and Showcase, April 8, 2008. Gathering of Three, June 9, 2006, through
September 30, 2006, Yuma Art Center Museum (Historic Downtown), 254 S. Main Street. Supported by the Yuma Fine Arts, City of Yuma, Arizona Commission On the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Galeria Tonantzin - Las Mujeres Exhibit, San Juan Bautista, California, March 11, 2006. Night of 1,000 Drawings, Artists Space, New York, New York, December 2005. Arizona Western College - On the Border Exhibit - Farm Worker Series - September 2004. Agora Gallery, Soho New York - June through July 2004. Taste of Fine Art Auction - Yuma, Arizona - Donation of Frida at Peace. Hospice Ocean to Ocean Art Show - October 2003 - Donation of The Crossing and African Sunset Tiles.
Art, Poetry, and Photography - Presentations to Audiences
Northern Arizona University 20th Anniversary Celebration 2008, art, poetry, and photography presentation – Fruitful Yuma Valley, Arizona Western College 2008, art, poetry, and photography – We are all Connected, March 13, 2008. Desert Artists, Yuma, Arizona, November, 2006.

Awards:
Outstanding Purple Ribbon, Fine Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Pay Day, Farm Worker Series. Blue Ribbons: Fine Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Geronimo and Adam, Farm Worker Series. Cash Award Gold Rosette and Purple Rosette, Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005. Luz, Farm Worker Series. Purple Ribbon, Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Jorge, Farm Worker Series. Outstanding Ribbon: Fine Art Competition Yuma, AZ 2004, Yuma Eve, Farm Worker Series. Grand Champion (Cash Award) and Outstanding 2003: The Weaver Outstanding, The Green Eyed Girl, 2003 Outstanding: My Daughters and Angel, 1990s. Three Cash Awards for Costume Design - Yuma Country Fair. First Place: Frida at Peace, 2003 First Place: Frustration, 1990s. First Place: Blue Moon, 1990s. Second Place: My Friend Hong, 2003. Second Place: Laura and Ashley, 1980s.

Next Endeavor: Day of the Dead painting series.

Proudest Moment as an Artist: Selling my nine portraits in the ...


Articles:


Biography:
Pamela Carvajal Drapala - Born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. Attended Yuma Union High School, Arizona Western College and Northern Arizona University. Degree: AA, Arizona Western College. Three courses away from BA in English and a focus in Art. Scholarship Founder of the Vincent A. Carvajal Art Scholarship for Yuma high school area seniors. Graduate of Northern Arizona University. Member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Tau Delta, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Arizona Association of Chicanos for Higher Education, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Publications:
Poetry, essays, and short stories can be found at - In the Eyes of the Wild, Yuma Daily Sun, Shuz Magazine, Awareness Magazine, Colorado Crossing Editions, Library of Congress, Reaction Exit Art, La Hercencia Magazine Editions (2), and Time of Trial, Hidden Press, two CNN I-Reports.

Exhibitions and Performances:
NAU Celebration of Achievement and Showcase, April 8, 2008. Gathering of Three, June 9, 2006, through
September 30, 2006, Yuma Art Center Museum (Historic Downtown), 254 S. Main Street. Supported by the Yuma Fine Arts, City of Yuma, Arizona Commission On the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Galeria Tonantzin - Las Mujeres Exhibit, San Juan Bautista, California, March 11, 2006. Night of 1,000 Drawings, Artists Space, New York, New York, December 2005. Arizona Western College - On the Border Exhibit - Farm Worker Series - September 2004. Agora Gallery, Soho New York - June through July 2004. Taste of Fine Art Auction - Yuma, Arizona - Donation of Frida at Peace. Hospice Ocean to Ocean Art Show - October 2003 - Donation of The Crossing and African Sunset Tiles.
Art, Poetry, and Photography - Presentations to Audiences
Northern Arizona University 20th Anniversary Celebration 2008, art, poetry, and photography presentation – Fruitful Yuma Valley, Arizona Western College 2008, art, poetry, and photography – We are all Connected, March 13, 2008. Desert Artists, Yuma, Arizona, November, 2006.

Awards:
Outstanding Purple Ribbon, Fine Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Pay Day, Farm Worker Series. Blue Ribbons: Fine Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Geronimo and Adam, Farm Worker Series. Cash Award Gold Rosette and Purple Rosette, Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005. Luz, Farm Worker Series. Purple Ribbon, Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Jorge, Farm Worker Series. Outstanding Ribbon: Fine Art Competition Yuma, AZ 2004, Yuma Eve, Farm Worker Series. Grand Champion (Cash Award) and Outstanding 2003: The Weaver Outstanding, The Green Eyed Girl, 2003 Outstanding: My Daughters and Angel, 1990s. Three Cash Awards for Costume Design - Yuma Country Fair. First Place: Frida at Peace, 2003 First Place: Frustration, 1990s. First Place: Blue Moon, 1990s. Second Place: My Friend Hong, 2003. Second Place: Laura and Ashley, 1980s.

Next Endeavor: Day of the Dead painting series.

Proudest Moment as an Artist: Selling my nine portraits in the Yuma Farm Workers’ Series to a Yuma Business man in Yuma.

Platform: An advocate for peace for all peoples of the world.
Favorite Quote: “Man is nothing without a meaningful purpose.” . . . Pamela Carvajal Drapala

Frida Kahlo's Influence on My Art

Frida Kahlo's Influence on My Art


Mexican Arts and Culture
Northern Arizona University
Professor Judith A. Costello - Instructor
Humanities 381
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
Summer 2009
May 30, 2009

Essay

Thesis Statement: Frida Kahlo worked at a time in Mexico’s history when women artists were not well-known or accomplished. Because of her tenacity, courage, and steadfastness, she demonstrated that she could be an artist in her own right. Frida Kahlo paved the way for many other female artists, and now more women artists have been successful. Frida Kahlo's accomplishments as an artist were historically significant for this breakthrough for women.

Frida Kahlo was born in 1907 to Matilde and Guillermo Kahlo in Coyoac’an then later moved to Mexico City. As a child of six, she caught the polio virus and her father became her primary caretaker during this time. Her right leg and foot were stunted by the virus and never recovered completely. Later in life, she would be given the name of “Peg-leg Frida” by her playmates which she detested. Yet, later as a painter, she named one of her paintings that name. As an adult, she would hide behind her long Mexican skirts to conceal her disability from many people.

After attending her primary education at the Colegio Alema’n, a Mexican German school in 1922, she took her studies at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria where she desired to study natural sciences and ultimately sought to be a physician. She studied many books on many subjects and also studied works of art. In 1923, Adolfo Best Maugard’s “Self-portrait”, dated 1923 had a major impact on Frida. Later, she would include his style in her own self-portrait of 1929. In addition, she took a class in anatomy which would become a useful tool during in the future when she painted portraits.

In 1925, while on her way to school with her boyfriend, Alejandro Gomez Arias, they were involved in a monstrous vehicle accident. Their bus collided with a tram and several people were killed at the corner of Cuahutemozin and Calzada de Tlalpan. Later, in 1926, Frida would draw a small sketch to interpret the day that would ever change her life. Frida suffered many injuries during that accident that included being impaled with a metal rod that pierced through her uterus. Because of this, she would never be able to bring a full-term baby into the world. This event impacted her paintings tremendously during her child bearing years. Frida’s paintings that demonstrate that period of time are: “Henry Ford Hospital or The Flying Bed”, 1932 and “My Birth or Birth”, 1932.

While Frida was recuperating from the accident, her parents prayed and gave thanks to Our Lady of Sorrows for saving Frida’s life. The accident kept Frida confined to her bed for three months, and she started to suffer frequent agonizing pain in her spine continuously. Little did she know that the injury would continue to cause her pain for the rest of her life, and her pain would influence the subject matter of her paintings during her lifetime. Frida’s paintings would not only be considered as extremely realistic, but is unbearable for some people to view even today. Doctors would find, through x-rays, that many of her vertebrae were relocated; therefore, she would have to endure many plaster corsets throughout her recovery.

Frida sometimes had to remain immobile in bed which caused her to be bored for hours. During that time is when she found great comfort in the box of oil paints, paintbrushes, and a palette that her father had kept in his photograph studio. After using the paints and brushes while recuperating, she came to the conclusion that she might have to change her desire to be a physician to becoming a professional artist.
“Ever since I was a little girl, as the saying goes, I’d had my eye on that box of paints. I couldn’t explain why. Being confined to bed for so long, I finally took the opportunity to ask my father for it.”

Consequently, like other individuals who have had insight about their life’s destiny, so did Frida Kahlo.
Her mother asked a woodworker to create an easel for Frida that would attach to her single bed. As Frida’s body improved somewhat, she painted her family; “My Grandparents, My Parents, and I” dated 1936. Before long, Frida was painting many portraits that would become true Mexican masterpieces. Like it is said, do what you know and understand. There is where you will find your success, and that is exactly what Frida did.

As Frida painted, she painted people and objects that were familiar to her, belongings that she understood, and took comfort in such items as her doll, her pets, and a child’s image. Later, she focused on half-bodied portraits that had symbolic meaning that were images of her own life story, such as her self-portrait, “Self-portrait in a Velvet Dress, 1926, “Time flies”, 1929, Self-portrait, 1930, and later “Self-portrait with Necklace of Thorns”, 1940. Frida other first paintings included, “Portrait of Ruth Quintanilla” 1927, “Chong Lee, Mike, older brother, don’t forget Cachucha No. 9”. She painted the portrait of Miguel N. Lira in 1927. Other additional works of art were created during this time by Frida; yet, many were destroyed by Frida or simply went missing.

Eventually, Frida needed to have a qualified artist evaluate her art work; therefore, she contacted an artist that was working in the area. Diego Rivera, was the well-known controversial muralist she went to see. Diego believed that her art had promise and that is all Frida needed to hear from him. From there, she decided this is what she wanted to do, make a living as an artist. Little did she know, before long, Diego Rivera would become a much bigger part of her life, not only influencing her art but also influencing her political views.

Meanwhile, Frida’s relationship with Diego grew closer and closer each day. The couple was soon married in 1929 when Frida was 22 years old and Diego was 42 years old. Diego was 21 years older than Frida. Diego called attention to the art world from his point of view with all its artists, politics, and glamour. Frida observed it and digested it. Later their marriage became a tumultuous because Diego bad habits had already been put in motion which included having affairs with many women including the models that he painted. In time, Frida demanded that he stop; however, that was like asking a rabbit not to hop . . . impossible!

Most importantly Diego Rivera saw Frida as his equal as an artist. In the 1950s, Diego would acknowledge Frida’s gift as a painter . . . “the first woman in the history of art to treat, with absolute and uncompromising honesty, one might even say with impassive cruelty, those general and specific themes which exclusively affect women.” Diego’s recognition of Frida’s work showed others that he had given his “seal of approval” which was a triumphant accomplishment for her.

As Diego’s infidelities continued, Frida continued to paint and gained overwhelming recognition throughout the world, displaying her paintings in other countries such as America and France. To her surprise, the American actor, Edward G. Robinson purchased four portraits at two hundred dollars each. “For me it was such a surprise that I marveled and said . . . “This way I am going to be able to be free, I’ll be able to travel and do what I want without asking Diego for money.”

Mr. A. Conger Goodyear, once president of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City was extremely energized by Frida’s painting “Fulang Chang and I”. He commissioned Frida to do a similar work since “Fulang Chang and I” had already been taken. Finally, the world was giving Frida the acknowledgement that she deserved.

Clare Bothe Luce, the “Vanity Fair” fashion magazine publisher, commissioned Frida to paint her friend, Dorothy Hale, who had recently committed suicide in October 1938. Dorothy had taken her life because she feared that she would die penniless. The picture that Frida painted, “The Suicide of Dorothy Hale”, now part of the permanent collection at the Phoenix Art Museum, was rejected by the requestor and almost ruined because it was appalling. Ms. Luce became physically ill when she viewed it for the first time. “I will always remember the shock I had when I pulled the painting out of the crate. I felt physically sick. . . “

In 1939, Frida’s works of art appeared with other Mexican works of arts from the 18th and 19th century. This exhibit included photographs from Manuel Alvarez Bravo, the pre-Columbian sculptures by Diego Rivera collection, and other folk-art items.

J. Lamba’s feelings were that the French were too nationalistic to be even interested in works by a woman foreigner, and felt that “Women were still undervalued. It was very hard to be a woman painter.” None the less, Frida received good reviews from the magazine “La Fleche”.

The Self-portrait, “The Frame” became the first 20th century female Mexican art work to be purchased by the Louvre. Later, Frida’s color photograph graced the cover of Vogue Magazine which again conveyed to Frida that her efforts were finally paying off.

It was 1939, and Diego had asked Frida for a divorce; Frida threw herself into her work like never before and painted one of her most magnificent painting, “The Two Fridas” 1939. She communicated all her feelings onto the huge life-sized canvas not in words, but in multi-colored bold paint. Never ceasing, not even when she was ill, Frida had evolved into a true genius in her own right. No one could deny that she had finally become the artist that she always desired to be, and she accomplished her heart’s desire by pouring her life blood upon the naked canvas with passion and energy beyond what other women artist’s had done in the past. Frida had communicated her life through her paintings like no woman had done before. Frida had achieved all this even though there were obstacles in her life path. By her work, little did she know that she would open the door for many women artist in the century to come.
Diego eventually asked Frida to remarry him because he felt that the separation “ . . . was having a bad effect on both of us.” Frida agreed to remarry him, but requested that she would pay for half of the living expenses and that their marriage would be a sexless one. Thus, they remarried again on Diego’s birthday, in San Francisco, on December 8, 1940.

Frida continued to paint until she could no longer do so. Listed below are names of many of her art works from the 1940s:

• Me and My Parrots, 1941
• Self-portrait with Monkeys, 1943
• Flower of Life, 1943
• Self-portrait, Diego in my Thoughts or Thinking of Diego, 1943
• The Broken Column, 1944
• Without Hope, 1945
• Landscape, 1946/7
• Tree of Hope, Keep Firm, 1946
• The Wounded Deer or The Little Deer or I am a Poor Little Deer, 1946
• Moses or Nucleus of Creation, 1945
• Sun and Life, 1947

Frida was now a different person. “Frida Kahlo had gained self-confidence and financial and sexual independence, and was a recognized artist.” Diego remained Frida’s companion until Frida became sick and died from pneumonia between July 12 and 13, 1954. The physicians revealed that she had died from a pulmonary embolism.

Today, Frida Kahlo paintings are considered to be most recognized works of art by a female painter. Frida is recognized along with other female artists around the world such as; Georgia O’Keefe, Mary Cassatt. Because of Frida Kahlo’s art work, other female artists including myself have strived to be a better artist in my own right. It is as if she is my muse. In 2002, I first saw my first Frida article in a woman’s magazine; the article was most intriguing. I hungered for more information on this artist. As I read, I learned about the famous Hispanic Female Artist who was part Hungarian Jew and part Spanish. I am also part Jew and Mexican descent. It became an obsession that I read everything about her I possibly could find because I found her life so fascinating and informative. Before long, I was painting as I never painted before. Then, remarkably within a few years, I sold my “The Farm Worker Series” to a local businessman in the Yuma area. The nine portrait paintings sold for a total of $21,000. Therefore, it is my belief that I will have not been able to do it without knowing about Frida’s life as an artist.

Frida’s work was not widely known until years later after her death. However, after the Mexican movement known at Neomexicanismo began, she became important. Two movies have brought her life to the screen, and on June 1, 2001, Frida became the first Hispanic woman to be honored with a U. S. postage stamp. In 2006, Frida’s painting “Roots”, 1943, was auctioned off at $5.6 million dollars. It set a record for a Latin American painting.

In conclusion, Frida lived in a time in history when women artist were not recognized. She was strong, brave, and dedicated her time to her art. Because of Frida, she forged the way for many success female artists in the future. Frida liberated the art movement for all women artists including me.

Bibliography

Frida Kahlo 1907 - 1954; Pain and Passion
Kettenmann, Andrea. Frida Kahlo 1907 - 1954; Pain and Passion.
Germany: Benedikt Taschen, 1993.

Diego Rivera, 1886 - 1957: A Revolutionary Spirit in Modern Art
Kettenmann, Andrea. Diego Rivera, 1886 - 1957: A Revolutionary
Spirit in Modern Art. Germany: Benedikt Taschen, 2003.

The Life of Frida Kahlo
Moffat, Charles. "The Life of Frida Kahlo". Art History Archive. May
15, 2009
.

Artists in 60 Seconds: Frida Kahlo
Esaak, Shelley. "Artists in 60 Seconds: Frida Kahlo". May 15, 2009
.

The Trouble with Frida Kahlo
Mencimer, Stephanie. "The Trouble with Frida Kahlo". May 15, 2009

Citation Page

Books:

Frida Kahlo 1907 - 1954; Pain and Passion
Kettenmann, Andrea. Frida Kahlo 1907 - 1954; Pain and Passion.
Germany: Benedikt Taschen, 1993.

Diego Rivera, 1886 - 1957: A Revolutionary Spirit in Modern Art
Kettenmann, Andrea. Diego Rivera, 1886 - 1957: A Revolutionary
Spirit in Modern Art. Germany: Benedikt Taschen, 2003.

Websites on the Internet:
The Life of Frida Kahlo
Moffat, Charles. "The Life of Frida Kahlo". Art History Archive. May
15, 2009
.

Artists in 60 Seconds: Frida Kahlo
Esaak, Shelley. "Artists in 60 Seconds: Frida Kahlo". May 15, 2009
.

The Trouble with Frida Kahlo
Mencimer, Stephanie. "The Trouble with Frida Kahlo". May 15,
2009


Update - Interview with the Artist

Update - Interview with the Artist


June 3, 2009

Update. I have retired and now am moving into a new area. Hopefully, in a month or so, I will find my path into the art world. What have I done so far to improve my chances to be be a well-known artist? I have submitted my works to a workshop and photography contests, however, I need to do more.

Is painting my number one gift? No, there are many, yet, I need to focus on my heart's desire on my art because no one truly knows when their expiration time will be. Peace and love to all, Pamela Carvajal Drapala.


Interview with the Artist
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
April 26, 2008

In less than 52 weeks, I will be retired from my present job. I will transition into a second career from a part-time artist into a full-time artist. I became interested in that profession at an early age and since that time; I have surpassed my dreams as an artist.

When I created a scholarship fund for Yuma, Arizona high school students who were interested in portrait painting, I did not know that I would become a mentor to young artists. I was recently asked by that student to give him advice on the steps to becoming a successful artist.

With that in mind, I decided to do a written interview on myself, which is probably a bold thing to do; however, isn’t that exactly what an artist would do?

I have gained incredible experience as an artist the past seven years because of my hard dedication to that field of work and will share my love for the profession. First of all, why does someone like me become an artist? Let’s say, it is an inborn trait for some individuals. At a very early age, I believe four years old, I was drawing on paper; in fact, those very tools were my first toys. While children played with other children and played games, I sat inside my bedroom drawing crude portraits, continued to draw throughout high school, and took as many artist classes that were available to me at Yuma High School.

Then when I became a middle aged adult, I continued taking art classes and art lectures at Northern Arizona University – Yuma, and later Arizona Western College.

It was always my heart’s desire to become a commercial artist when I graduated from high school. However; that never happened because those types of careers were very limited to women at that time and the support of my family was not there. Therefore, I invested my time in business courses; which has been an excellent decision for me as it has taught me to be more organized. I’ve learned a lot of in the past 36 years in the business world about what it takes to be successful in what you do.

Yes, I have thought how things would have been if I had continued my dream to go into commercial art; however, I am a believer that people are put in certain situations in life so they can learn valuable life lessons.

In reference to being a successful artist, one needs to have a love for the arts. That means investing your time in hard work, sweat, and have real committed of your trade.

Sometimes that means you cannot always do what you want to do. Just because you might chose that field, doesn’t make it an easy job to do.

I’ve spent many a day and night preparing for art classes, art shows, writing articles for magazines, chapbooks, speeches, presentations, and teaching art workshops.
You are physically giving of yourself to your art when you take on such responsibilities.

“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all.” - Michelangelo

Artists have been around since the beginning of time, and they will continue to be until the end of time because for some, art is who we are. One will find cave paintings at left bank of the river Vézère, Lascaux near France. The cave paintings were created around 10,000 B.C. by the first artists of humanity.

“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech.”
Simonides - Greek poet (556 BC - 468 BC)

Listed below are valuable lessons that I learned over the course of many years:

1. What is the required recommended education/training for this profession?
The art world is extremely competitive work. One must have an edge over others in this field to be considered a success. That means that one must create a style of work that has not been done before. This style is very similar to individuals having their own separate set of finger prints or your particular style of handwriting that identifies who you are. If an artist’s style has been done before, it will not be received by others as new or different. People want art that is unique.

2. What is required or suggested prior experience for this profession?
Painting schools, art institutes, conventional colleges, or universities are a good way to educate you about the arts. These courses will separate those individuals who are truly serious about the profession and those who are not. You will soon know who has talent by the end of a few semesters of the learning institute. In addition, surprisingly there are many career avenues that an artist can take; such as being an art teacher, commercial artist, art photography, graphic artist, portrait artist, webpage designer, and so forth.

3. What is a typical work day schedule look like?
If one is a free lance artist, as I am, you can pick and choose your own hours as long as you focus your energy on art and have goals in mind. It’s possible that you might have several projects that you are working at one time on; but again, it is important that you continue to work and focus almost everyday or you will get off the track of art. You must work at it everyday, even if that means, taking photographs, reading about art, writing about art, decorating your house, or looking for beauty in a garden. So, discipline is important. However, that does not mean that you will not have time for yourself and family. It means that you will need to prioritize what are the most important things and people are in your life and go from there. You may have to give up some activities so that you meet your goals, but that’s the price you pay for having art that you are proud to share with your art community. This is when you put those important family appointments on a calendar so you keep your humanness.

4. How much time is spent in a one-on-one group, tradeshows, and teaching at workshops, conferences?
Collaborating with other artists, attending tradeshows, making presentations, workshops, and attending conferences are important if you want to get your name out there in the art world. Also, it’s important to think about publishing your art work, entering art contests, sending sample photographs to galleries that you wish to show at in the future. This keeps you on track by creating new works and let’s you find out how your work compared with other artists.

5. What important thought would I like to convey back to future artists out there?
Like everything else, if one wants to be successful in what you do, you have to work hard that means investing years in your work and you will be satisfied that you did your best and that you made a positive impact with your art to the world.

6. Is it better to work for a company or yourself?
When you work for a company, you don’t need to be concerned about taxes, renting an art studio, searching for a medical/dental insurance plan, or when your next paycheck is going to show up in your bank account. On the other hand, working for yourself means making your own decisions on how you want to run things in your business. However, you have to think long range about when your next pay check is going to come in, find an inexpensive medical/dental insurance plan, save for your retirement, find money for your supplies, pay taxes for the art work you do sell, and how are you going to advertise and market your work. One cannot do that just by creating art. Maybe that’s the way it was done for some in the past, but one cannot live that way today.

You have to wear two hats, the artist hat and the business hat. Someone has to get your work out there to the public. In addition, you must save every receipt you spent on art supplies and have good bookkeeping skills or hire a bookkeeper to keep your books accurate so that you will submit your income tax files yearly at tax time. The decision on the way to go is up to you, which ever works better in your situation.

7. Do you have the right credentials to be an artist?
High school alone is not going help your work unless you are a genius at what you do. Even the best artists, such as Van Gogh, Michelangelo, or Frida Kahlo had some type of art training. They were born with talent and they worked their talent until they developed their style of painting. The same goes for everyone else who wants to be an artist. You must have a little talent to work with and then you can go from there. Four years of college learning art may seem laborious; however, having that diploma can open many doors. I’ve seen it even in my own career.

8. What types of materials do I need in my portfolio?
Besides including outstanding copies of your art work, you need references from reputable people who believe in your work, business cards, former clients who commissioned you to paint for them, a biography, drawings, and anything else that will help in sell your work.

9. What does it take to be a good artist?
Besides what I have already listed, you also need to be thick skinned because it is competitive out there. Some people will be plain mean and will say they don’t like what they see. Others will rave over your work and think you are a real genius. Then, of course, there will be those who like your work but may want it for free. Remember, your art has value. Remember, that you put your blood, sweat, and sometimes tears into your work. Your work has worth, so in turn, you must not give it away. Consider the hours, the materials, your schooling and knowledge, and the quality of your work before you sell it, and ask yourself, what is the fair market value of your work? Could someone easily purchase a similar work somewhere else, or is your work unusual, one of a kind? These are the things you need to keep in mind when determining a price.

10. What other things should you keep in mind?
-One should be humble when receiving compliments and be timely.
Yes, people do not want to know an artist who is arrogant or conceited. A little humbleness can go a long ways. Also, galleries want to work with people who are courteous, submit their paperwork in a timely fashion, and they want to work with organized artists. I know this personally, as I have had my work exhibited several times from Yuma to New York City. Everyone is the same; they expect their client to be a professional.

-Copyright your work. If you don’t sign your work or it is not copyrighted, you may lose it.
Read all agreements/documents before signing. If you do not, you might end up giving your copyright away on a painting. It might be prestigious to win an art award, but what are you giving up in the process? Are you giving your copyright up to others so that they can print massive copies of a painting then later putting their name on the piece of work and later using the art for their advertising? All this can happen, so keep your eyes opened at all times on the small print.

-Donations and cash contributions from your business.
This can be beneficial especially if you are starting your business, but at some point, you must pick and choose who you will donate to because you cannot donate to all causes. Also, tax credits for those works you did donate are small. Therefore, it is better to donate an excellent copy of your work that costs you $100 instead of an original that might be worth $1,000 as a sale.

-Remember, the economy fluctuates, but good art always sells. When times are good, people buy good paintings. When times are tight, people buy good paintings because paintings are investments. Keep in mind, since the beginning of time, people have loved to have art in their homes, and paintings are no different then buying a piece of furniture for some people.

-Insuring you.
It is important that you set up a type of business that is insured, such as a LLC, Incorporation, and Corporation. For more information, contact your family attorney.

-Paint, paint, and paint.
The feeling of having a paint brush in ones hands can be exhilarating. And, the more you work on your art, the better your work will get, the more people will want to have your art, and you will become even more successful in what you do.

In closing, remember this, do what you like to do and the money will be sure to follow.
Pamela Carvajal Drapala, Artist, Poet, Writer, and Photographer

References
culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/ Cave Paintings
quotes/authors/m/michelangelo.html Painting Quote
quote/28670.html Painting Quote



Following My Heart’s Desire
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
July 1, 2007

On New Year’s Day, 2001, I wrote a heartfelt essay in my journal, which I entitled “Reflections”. It is difficult for me to believe that almost six years has passed since I wrote that essay. During that time, I was having difficulties trying to figure out my life’s purpose, its importance, and where I belonged in this universe. What should I do with the talents that God had given me?

In the first paragraph of that essay, I wrote . . .

“My life wasn’t supposed to be like this. I have so many hopes and dreams, but people and things get in the way. Day by day, I find that there are chores that need to be completed, bills that need attention, family needs to address, I have come to the point in my life where I need to reflect the last forty-eight years of accomplishments. How sad it is to say that I believe I am living someone else’s dream, not mine, and I ask, “Would the grass have been greener on the other side? "

As I read the essay this week, I was somewhat shocked to read that at that stage of my life I was so unhappy. My husband and I were in the process of raising two daughters, and we were focusing on getting them to and through college the best we could. Financially, things were fine because we both worked full-time. Because of that blessing, we could afford to assist them with their monthly living expenses: car payments, car insurance, food, housing, health insurance, and yearly clothing while they attended universities away from home expenses. In today’s economy, how many parents could do what we did?

I knew that I was living vicariously through my daughters because they were enjoying life that I had not experienced because my options in life had been limited. In any event, for the sake of the family, I continued to forge on as wife, mother, and career employee, and I did not think I was revealing how much I wanted to express myself through some type of art form whether it was painting, or writing short stories, or poetry. Unexpectedly while sitting at the computer unto the late hours of the night after our eldest daughter left for college, I began to compose my sentiments in my journal.

Finally, I had time to do some soul searching, and I wrote. . .

“Oh, to be free and to pick up a paintbrush with my fingers in the middle of the day instead of a telephone at work. To feel the wet paint between my fingers and inhale the sweet smell of a new canvas . . . that would satisfy my cravings. To remember how it felt opening up a new tube of paint and gently applying it to my used pallet? It felt as though I was opening a new gift each time I painted. The hours in my day were not hours but glorious moments flowing incredibly quickly.”

I was not as strong as Marie Curie in seeking my own dreams when I was in my early teens. I was born in the 1950s, and lived in the southwestern part of the United States, which is a conservative region, and grew up very differently from younger women of today.

Currently, anyone can be anything he or she wishes to be today as long as he or she is on the right educational track. In the last thirty years, career boundaries have changed in this country for both men and women. Who would have thought then that we could have a female astronaut or a female Speaker of the House? History will acknowledge that three decades ago, it was unheard of in the United States to have women in those types of professions.

The jealously I felt, toward the women in our office, who were in professions such as engineering and management in the late 1990s, was evident. One would have to have been numb not to have observed all the new female employees in those years that had entered our work force with engineering, management, environmental degrees, and I wrote in my journal . . .

“I envy the today’s woman who focuses all her energies on her career and
opportunities. Here I sit, as a secretary promoting others’ career and advancement by taking care of the trivial tasks such as preparing the paperwork so that they may go on training to learn even more about their professions. When is it going to my turn?”

Shamefully, I wondered . . .

“Should I forget about the details of my life and go forth with my own ambitions?”

However, in the back of my mind I knew. . .

“I made a commitment, and I do not break commitments.”

Then I thought . . .

“Hmmm, I wonder if I have indeed created a painting . . . “a living painting” of my own life. My life looks like a nice piece of work to others.

“Just the other day, a co-worker said to me . . .
“Pam, you lead a life of pasta.”
“Does this person not see the hours of sweat that forms on my brow when I have deadlines to meet. She does not even have a clue of all the washing, cooking, and the cleaning I do throughout the week to keep a tidy home. No one ever sees all the hours I put in being a wife, mother, or employee. “A pasta life”, no, I think not.

At that time, I wondered what the road less traveled would have been for me if I had truly listened to my heart. My mother honestly tried to protect me from making the same mistakes she did. She said,
“Pam, you should have a career working behind a desk and not on your feet as I did.”

I have yet to share with my mother my feeling on this subject, and I have no intentions to do so because she would never completely understand how I feel about not following my own dreams.

Conversely, I raised our daughters differently. I suggested that they pursue whatever career made them happy. If they followed the desires of the hearts, money would follow.

Without a doubt, I recognized that I did not have the abilities of an engineer or a doctor. I am a right-brained person; however, I was born with a talent to draw that was evident throughout my younger years. I continued to question my circumstances and wondered what life had in store for me next and wrote . . .

“Why have I wasted my talent? It is true that each human being is unique and is born with talents at birth that God has given them; should not those talents be used to the fullest?”

Amazingly one evening, I attempted to take my life back by writing a story about a Quinceanera that our youngest daughter had been part of and later wrote in my journal. . .

“If one day, God intends for me to be another Grandma Moses, the painter, or a full-time writer later in my life, then so be it. Perhaps, my time is yet to come.”

When I was writing in the journal about my state of being, little did I know that I was really writing a letter to God. I believe, in my heart, that God read every word I wrote because from that moment, I began to live my dream by fulfilling my needs as an artist, writer, and poet.

A new life chapter began for me. My poetry and short stories have now appeared in several books and anthologies; occasionally my articles and photographs appear on CNN online. In addition, I have sold a series nine of my “Farm Worker” paintings to a local businessman in the Yuma Community, and my limited edition paintings are selling well throughout the United States. Several of my paintings have received awards in Yuma and an artist group from England presented me with an award. I have now my own “art” business.

I owe my success to God’s acknowledging my commitment to my family and with His grace; my talents will be for His glory. Prayerfully, I continue to do His will.
(end)


Laurel Bloom

Laurel Bloom


Laurel Bloom
Fantasy Poetry
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
April 22, 2008


The little old Irish lady, 71 years old,
with silver hair and pink cheeks wore
a permanent smile on her face as she
gardened. She pinched back flower buds
so that the plant would produce more flowers.

Laurel fed and watered her
luscious flowers and plants tenderly
as though they were her precious children.
She tended to many varieties of flowers and
plants from mums to roses, which grew on her quarter acre.

She tended them year after
year never once taking a vacation,
for her plants were her whole life. Even
when she was under the weather, she made
sure they had plenty of water, fertilizer, and most importantly, love.

Everything she touched in the
garden turned green and bloomed,
and when someone's plant was ill, Laurel
nursed it back to health, and before long, the
now healthy plant was having babies plants of its own.


One late fall day, Laurel found a strange
looking plant spout in her garden. A plant
that she had never seen before. She searched
for the species name in many of her plant books, but
couldn't find anything that looked like that particular plant.

She scratched her small head and wondered
awhile. She knew, since she lived in a windy area,
that any seed from anywhere could land in her garden and grow
if it found its way to her home where the temperatures were usually very mild.

So, Laurel watered the small spout,
it grew and grew quickly, and before long,
the plant was as tall as she, 4'8". Unusual red
pods formed on the many stems of the plant, and soon
the unique spiral shaped flowers bloomed by early winter.

In no time, Laurel was giving cuttings of the
plant to her friends in her garden club and to her
family and neighbors. They all seemed to say, the
flowers were so remarkable, that the garden club soon
name the flower "The Laurel Bloom" in honor of Laurel finding a new species.

It wasn't long before, botanists were
interested in the newly found plant. They
studied and studied the plant for a few years
and also wondered about its origin like Laurel had.
Finally, they gave up, and classified the species as
a new discovery and kept the name the garden club
had named the plant with the red pods, "The Laurel Bloom".

Researchers were interested in the new plant, as well.
They determined that the plant was edible after five
years of testing. Before long, people who owned the
plants began making a delicious sweet tea from the plant leaves.

An unusual event occurred after a terminally
ill child drank the red tea over a period of time.
She began to show signs of recovery after drinking
the tea. Later they found, the red tea didn't prevent
older people from dying from old age, but it did keep them from being sick.

Who would have thought, in late 2008, that the miracle plant
would be found on the West Coast? Yes, we had discovered
aspirin and penicillin by that time, but we didn't have a natural cure for cancer.

Surprisingly, it was to soon to be discovered
that a meteorite, probably the size of a small fist,
crashed into many pieces as it hit the earth during a meteor storm.
Scientists report, tiny flecks of the red particles may have blown
into the air and landed on, of all places, Mrs. Laurel Bloom's garden. : )

Drapala copyrighted 2008


Mr. Pinch’s Change of Heart ©

Mr. Pinch’s Change of Heart ©


Short Story
Fantasy
Revised January 28, 2001
Mr. Pinch’s Change of Heart ©
Word Count – 2,210
By Pamela Carvajal Drapala

Mr. Ivan Pinch was one thrifty man to the point of being what we called a tightwad. His idea of a sandwich was two slices of bread stuck together with catsup or mayo. Now, Mr. Pinch was not a poor man by any means. He came from a wealthy family with a whole lot of old money. On a daily basis, Mr. Pinch’s went on his walk around a nearby recreational park located in the center of the city. He just loved to pick up old aluminum cans, cash in the cans at the local recycling center, and count his coins one by one, several times of course. Then he made a deposit everyday to his savings, Sunday through Saturday at the deposit box located in the ATM machine.

Mr. Pinch delighted in the deposits he made and he said to himself “I’ve deposited many coins in my savings account this year. Before long, I’m going to have myself another fortune.”

In the backs of our minds, we all were convinced that Mr. Pinch would never change his ways. He was born stingy. However, Mr. Pinch soon would have a change of heart.

Shivering, Mr. Pinch woke up early one morning in the dead winter, and found he was sleeping in someone else’s bed. The bedroom he was sleeping in was small, dark, dreary, and bitter cold. The room smelled musky, damp, and old. No comforters and no heavy blankets lay upon the thin worn sheet across his body. Mr. Pinch was quite confused, thinking that he must be dreaming or ill.

About the time he woke up, Mr. Pinch heard the faint crying of a baby and then another baby and did not know what to think. He looked down at his chest, because it felt strange, a little achy, to find the shirt he was wearing was damp and that he had two breasts! What is happening to me, he thought? Mr. Pinch saw two beautiful baby boys in the room on the dark wooden floor in a large cardboard box lined in old tattered blankets.

The two red headed babies were under the age of one. They eagerly held their arms out, wanting so to be held by him and nursed. Before long, the crying got louder and louder and Mr. Pinch could not ignore the crying anymore. Carefully, he picked up the two babies. In no time, the babies were pulling at his achy chest with their tiny hands.

He turned around and looked at himself in a small cracked mirror that attached to an old black and soiled bureau drawer. He came to realize that he was a she. He was a pretty, redheaded female, about twenty, normal height, rather thin, and pale.

The babies continued to cry louder and louder, so, he gave in to their uncontrollable crying. He picked them up, and each baby began searching for a nipple with their tiny mouths. He gave in and Mr. Pinch put the babies each to a breast and started nursing them both at the same time.

“My goodness, little ones. You are hungry little guys, aren’t you?” “What are your names?” “Oh, that’s right, you don’t speak yet, do you?”

Oh, to his surprise, the breast pain subsided immediately and the babies . . . they stopped crying.

For one single moment, he felt much better; in fact, he forgot who he was. He enjoyed nursing the babies.

“Ah, that feels much better.”

“That wasn’t bad. How often do you little guys nurse anyway? You sure are cute babies. You have beautiful red hair, my Mama told me I had red hair when I was your age.”

Mr. Pinch had no idea that he was in Loraine Meeks’ body, and he had taken over her entire being. Loraine was a scared, pregnant, run-a-way from the Midwest. She gave birth to twin boys. She was struggling to make ends meet. Presently, Loraine and the babies were living on food stamps, handouts, soup kitchens, and living in various homeless shelters in the city. She could not afford to live in a third-rate apartment.

Life was tough on Loraine for the past two years. She made a few mistakes in her life and was now reaping what she had sown. Loraine was lonely, hungry, frightened, and now had two mouths to feed beside herself. Loraine lived day-by-day trying to find food so that she would have adequate breast milk to feed her babies. She could not afford formula. Loraine was not about to give up her own flesh and blood any time soon or even talk about it. She would do what she need to do, to get up on her own two feet as soon as she could afford to find someone honest, good, and kind hearted person to watch her babies. To survive in the city, Loraine sat on a city corner day in and day out and sold pencils and apples to people passing with her two babies bundled beside her. With her meager earnings, she would buy soup for today.

She prayed repeatedly that she would find a job soon or that mom and dad would some how find her, take her and her babies back to the Midwest. However, she did not want mom and dad to see the conditions she was living in. Loraine was embarrassed with her present life style, and she was in a bind. Loraine believed she had disgraced her family’s name when she became pregnant at such a young age. The only way she felt she could solve her problems was to run away from them.

Mr. Pinch found himself in a very bizarre situation. Mr. Pinch surrendered to this new role of motherhood, and he hoped that soon, he would change back to who he was, Mr. Ivan Pinch. Meanwhile, he would have to make do with the two babies and his situation. He took on the role of a new mother. It didn’t take long before he was cooking from scratch, changing cloth diapers, washing clothes, and nursing the babies every three hours.

“Gee, I never thought I’d be preparing meals or washing clothes. This is hard work. If I get back from this Twilight Zone episode, I’m going to appreciate the cook and cleaning woman a lot more, that’s for sure.”

He was also asking for handouts at the corner soup kitchen, using Government food stamps, panhandling, and ironically, collecting bags of aluminum cans in the park for necessities, such as cereal, bread, and toilet paper.

While living in Loraine’s body, Mr. Pinch’s entire perspective about the poor changed. Mr. Pinch always thought that it was the poor man’s fault that he was poor. He always thought if a poor person wanted to change his conditions; then he could change. He thought to him self that things aren’t always as then seem.

He wanted to know more about the woman whose body he was occupying. He read everything he could get his hands on in the apartment, her identification cards, and journal. As he carried the babies, he also asked around the slum-like neighborhood, very discreetly if they knew anything about the young woman and her babies. No one seemed to know anything.

Mr. Pinch hoped that eventually he would change back to who he was, and if he weren’t having a dream, he would do anything to help this woman and her babies. He felt he was responsible for the small family’s welfare in some strange way, especially after living her life for a few days. He felt a special bond with the sweet family and had a difficult time understanding his feelings to himself, because this feeling was all new to him. Mr. Pinch learned, what many never do, compassion and empathy for other humans in only a few short days. Soon he realized the twins were no longer a burden but a blessing. The babies were pure joy.

Exactly one week after taking care of his new family, Mr. Pinch found himself awake in his own warm, cozy surroundings in his mansion on the better side of the city. As he woke up, he immediately placed his hands on his chest and was relieved, however a bit sad. He checked the date on his wristwatch and only 24 hours had passed by, not an entire week. He wondered perhaps if he was merely dreaming, or by some twist in the universe, everything did happen to him. Mr. Pinch had heard of out of body experiences. However, this was different. If he mentioned his strange journey to anyone, he knew the men in the white coats would carry him away. He kept quiet for a few days and did some deep thinking.

Mr. Pinch contacted a private investigator to find out if Loraine Meeks and her two babies really did existed somewhere in the city.

“Let’s see. If, it were all a dream . . . but it couldn’t have been a dream . . . it was all too real. I held those babies in my arms, and I nursed them, I know it. I have to find her. I just have to.”

It didn’t take long before the investigator had the information he needed.
Yes indeed, Loraine and her two babies lived in this city, and she resided at the same location where he had been living for one week. Mr. Pinch spoke with his chauffeur and told him almost everything. Although Gabe was confused about what his boss was explaining, it went along with his plan.

“The old man seems to know what he is doing. It won’t hurt for that old man to give some of his money to the poor. It’s about time he did something. You can’t take the money with you, that’s for sure. My Mama told me that everything in this life is on loan, except your soul.” Gabe thought.

Mr. Pinch immediately drafted a check and had his chauffeur, Gabe, dropped off the check at her temporary address anonymously.

“Now Gabe, remember, don’t let the young woman see you. We don’t want her to get suspicious or anything. Just put the envelope under her door. She’s in the apartment complex that I showed you yesterday, in apartment 3D. If you have any problems, call me from your cell phone. I’ll be waiting for you to get back. Be careful. The neighborhood is a little scary, but you will be okay, you’ll see.”

Later, with the assistance of his accountant, he set up a checking account for Loraine and her babies. Of course, Loraine was flabbergasted and did not know what to think, but she did not question her blessing, she only gave thanks.

She got on her knees and she began to pray earnestly to God.

“Dear Lord, thank you for listening to my prayers and thank you for protecting my boys . . .”

Loraine’s prayer was heard. Months before, she prayed diligently that an angel would be sent by God after He saw her horrible situation and help her to get back to her small family in the Midwest. After a few weeks of carefully thinking how to approach her family, she went back home to her parents and asked their forgiveness. Her parents asked for her forgiveness, too. Loraine’s family was thrilled when she and the babies arrived home. The entire family mix-up had been one big misunderstanding, words were said, people were not thinking, and feelings were hurt. For months, her parents worried constantly about her whereabouts. Now, they would be a family together again. The family would never speak again about the time that she ran away from home. Her mom and dad were excited with their grandsons, Robert and William.

After Mr. Pinch’s life got back to normal, he saw that his last will and testament outlined that the major of his possession would to be bequeathed to Loraine and the twins. His hired help would receive a nice gift too, before he died of course. They were puzzled.

Rosa, the cook, said, “What’s happened to Mr. Pinch? He’s a new man. Look when he walks now. He has a bounce in his step and a smile upon his face. What could have changed him so drastically?”

“Don’t question the change. I’ve been praying for that man’s soul for years. The Lord does work miracles.” Gabe said.

Mr. Pinch began volunteering at a homeless shelter five days a week when he realized that he was a lonely man and learned that there is much more to life besides money. Mr. Pinch’s specialty at the homeless shelter is taking care of babies the more the better. The children call him Grandpa Pinch.

Shortly, after doing extensive research, Mr. Pinch discovered much more about the young Loraine. His only daughter, Betty, had left home without his blessing and money about nineteen years before to marry her high school sweetheart, Bob. Betty and Bob left the West Coast immediately, married and lived in the Midwest with his family. They had a beautiful redheaded daughter nine months later. Her name was Loraine Meeks.


Summer 2009 Hastings Art Show

Summer 2009 Hastings Art Show


Again, another successful showing of Drapala LLC art. I was one of the several artists displaying my work. SWilken of the Yuma Daily Sun interviewed me, and I was also interviewed by the local television station.

Having a show in the middle of the summer was a good idea. People came to Hastings and purchased goods from the vendors including myself. You may wonder what I learned from all of this; being ready for an art show is a good thing. I recommend that all artist be prepared, just in case there is a show in your area.

Peace and love, Pam

Photograph provided by the Yuma Sun, photo by SWilken


The Fruitful Yuma Valley, the Beginning

The Fruitful Yuma Valley, the Beginning


The Fruitful Yuma Valley, the Beginning
May 3, 2008
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
Independent Study
Dr. Natalie Hess
NAU-Yuma

When I first started driving to work in the Yuma Valley eighteen years ago, approximately a 30-minute commute, I barely noticed what was happening around me. After our two daughters left home to attend Northern Arizona University, it was as though a filter was removed from my eyes. I began to see the entire splendor that surrounded me as I drove through the Yuma Valley. The contrast of the patchwork fields against the indigo sky was wonderment to my eyes. Often, I’d see the valley change its colors as a thick cloud formation slowly shadowed the multitude of different farm crops.

During the late spring, I saw a sea of greens, sunflower yellows, crimsons and creams, and sometimes-luscious plum colors in a few of the valley crops. A field that had been flood irrigated; it seemed as though it was a lake. Birds such as cow egrets, and occasionally a gray pelican, often hovered overhead and drank from the refreshing waters.

Long before my daily work began in the morning, many farm workers were already laboring in the fields. Surprisingly, I would also see the farm workers at the end of their day after I returned home from a night class at the local college/university.

In the past when we shopped for groceries at the local store, my children and I never asked, “How do the fruits and vegetables get here?” “How many processes do they go through before they end up on my family’s dining room table? “ I started to take more of an interest in the valley, the people, crops, landscape, birds, and animals, by first observing them closely and then reading about them. I soon learned that lettuce, citrus, watermelons, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes, artichokes, cotton, cabbages, dates, peaches, pecans, Sudan grass, and others grow right here in our Yuma Valley.

More and more people are finding that Yuma is a real paradise. The Yuma Valley was once a vast land that seemed to go on forever in the 1950s when I was a child, but now I see the valley getting much smaller. Yuma is a growing community of many people with different backgrounds. It is not unusual to see U. S. Marines doing their morning runs, children boarding yellow school buses, and farm workers traveling in a white produce bus all at the same time.

I’ve documented part of Yuma’s majesty by taking photographs and painting all the beauty that I saw. A few of years ago, I shared my poetry and short stories with my creative writing class and then shared my paintings. That is when two of my fellow classmates, Rachel Lancaster and Hanna Coy, suggested that I write a book about all I had captured about Yuma through my poetry, stories, and paintings. What would be a more appropriate title for my book than, The Fruitful Yuma Valley?

Since that time, so much has happened to me in reference to my upcoming book. People began to show interested in my work as soon as I showed the Yuma Farm Workers Painting Series. About a year later, I was asked to present at schools, workshops, and soon I was invited by Dr. Natalie Hess to promote my book at the NAU-Yuma’s 20th Anniversary Celebration (block-party).

I took the day off from work for the event and throughout the day I rushed throughout my home to getting all my materials together neatly into one large suitcase that included postcards, a copy of portrait (Yuma Eve), samples of my writings, a crystal vase with lilies, business cards, table cloths, and so forth. When I arrived at the event about 3 p.m. that day, I saw that there were no tables set up for my display and for a moment, I almost turned around and went home. However; In the back of mind, I knew that was the wrong thing to do, so I asked for help from the NAU-Yuma Staff. All I had to do on my part was to be patient, which has never been one of my virtues. Before long my exhibition table was set-up, and I and others were surprisingly pleased with the outcome of the exhibit table.

People viewed the large family tree poster presentation that I had created for an English class years before, and read samples of my writings. Some found the work to be amazing and interesting. Later, when the crowd started buying the individual packs of Yuma Farm Worker Series postcards, copies of my paintings. I was elated.

The buyers of the postcards confirmed my thoughts again that the Farm Worker Series of paintings were my best work to date and that they had a lot of energy connected to them. I have yet to know why though. Perhaps, someday I will know the real purpose of those paintings. Later, I learned that one Arizona Western College teacher was most interested in the work that I had done with my family tree photographs that went all the way back to 1856. A few weeks later, I would give a presentation to her students. Not only did the class benefit from my presentation, I gained important experience of presenting to the class, as, I am not an extrovert by nature.

After a while, another NAU-Yuma instructor by sheer accident viewed my website on the Internet. She asked me to present “The Fruitful Yuma Valley”, my upcoming book, at the NAU-Yuma Celebration of Achievement and Student Showcase on April 8, 2008. As part of the exhibit, I showed my collection of photographs of my extended family tree again. Many people at that event said that they wished that they had similar pictures of their extended families. I said to them that it is never too late to start a collection of photographs of their present families. That’s how my collection started for me. I began to collect old black and white photographs that my mother had taken of me as a child and later I received others from my late Great Aunt Mary Munoz Higuera.

Also, people wondered why I was interested in the old photographs and history of my ancestors. That’s an easy question for me as I have always known in my head that our past histories reveal who we really are. Also, my family members, especially Vincent A. Carvajal, my father, had always been curious about where his family originated from; therefore, I’ve continued the pattern of recording our history by the methods that work best for me, through photographs, short stories, poetry, and painting.

I still remember when I was a child of six or seven years old; father communicated to me bits and pieces of information about our ancestors and sadly I never really believed all he told me was true. Now when I learn something new, about our family history, I think of him and remember what he stood for as a human being.

At a certain point, I was most surprised to learn historical facts of my ancestors, such as on my father’s side of the family we were related to a conquistador, Luiz de Carvajal and that our family were of Jewish descent. But, when I learned this information as an adult, I was relieved. Now I knew why my father was so interested in learning about Jewish heritage. He had mentioned the customs, the Spanish Inquisition, and other atrocities when I was a small child, but I did not know the reason why he was so interested.
I talked with many people about their earliest memories as a child, and have asked them at what point did they realize that they were fully aware of their existence. To my surprise, some people that I have spoken to have answered with, “I was a teenager. Before that I wasn’t checked into life at all.” Other people are surprised that I remember so many detailed memories before my father died; but, I believe that I remember things because my time with my father was very limited. I, also, believe that my old memories never had a chance to be replaced by my new memories of my father because he died so young.

Being asked to present my work at NAU and AWC was a surprise to me. My self-esteem, in reference to my art work and writings, is not a high one. Only when I hear positive affirmations from other individuals is when I know I have done a good job. I know that sounds hard to believe, but it is a fact. I have found that it is easier for me to praise other people’s work than for me to praise my own because I do not see my work as others do. When I look at one of my paintings, I always see areas that could be improved, and I suppose if I constantly reworked a painting, that I would really never be finished with a painting. So, like seasoned artists, I need to back away from my work and say, “It is finished!” and sign the painting.

As I began to present my works to others, I found it easier for me to do. I always preferred to be a visual artist and not a performing artist. Since I am the creator of the work, I know the subject well; so speaking about my work is easier to talk about.

For a while now, I have wanted to create a platform for my work. Having a purpose of my work is important to me because in the scheme of things, why create anything if there is no meaningful purpose behind the work? We do not have a lot of time on this earth, so let’s make the best with the time we do have.

As I thought more and more about a platform, I kept thinking about how my life has been touched by many peoples of the world, whether they were from China, Viet Nam, Haiti, Israel, England, Germany, Spain, India, Russian or elsewhere. This is probably the reason why I like to paint portraits. And what did I desire for most for all people of the world? My answer soon came to me . . . peace.

Being an advocate for peace for all peoples of the world, would mean that I would need to keep my art focused on real life situations, whether I painted farm workers, children with special needs, bikers, or bakers. Soon, I remembered a poem that I had created years before. I acknowledged that we people of this earth have another thing in common, we are a tapestry, our lives are like threads creating a tapestry, touching other lives. We are not isolated from other humans and if we are going to survive this earth, we need to remember that fact.

Where do I go from here? I’m still most interested in my family tree. Most recently, I went to a reception at my sister’s home after my Great Aunt Ernie’s funeral. At the reception, there was a lady there, Bernice Oliver, who asked around at the reception, if anyone knew who “Pamela Carvajal Drapala” was. Bernice was carrying copies of my family’s old black and white photographs and a short story named “Strong Women” in her hands. It was a story of my strong women relatives (Grandmothers, aunts, and my mother) who had influenced my life greatly. I had written the story, “Strong Women” for Dr. Natalie Hess’ English Class. One of my cousins answered Bernice, “That’s my cousin, Pammie, and she’s here at this reception”.

Mrs. Oliver was stunned and I was taken back, as I did not know that my work was being sent back and forth throughout Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Alaska, Massachusetts, and California and so on.
Last week, I received a letter from a young man from a Yuma High School wanting to know what college or institute that I took to be a painter. Surprisingly, the young man had won an art scholarship that I had established several years ago in my father’s name, Vincent A. Carvajal, and that’s why he contacted me. It appears to me that I now have a larger responsibility as an artist as I am now a role model to new artists in the Yuma Community.

Happily, my work is being acknowledged after seven years of hard work. I never expected it to happen. Therefore, it is most important to me and for others to continue in the direction that I am going. I do not know what tomorrow holds for me with my creative work, but I know this, I will continue to creative as I have done in the past, and I pray that am fortunate enough to see my next book, “Sepia Memories” come to fruition.


Charleston Heston Remembered

Charleston Heston Remembered


I was saddened to read that Charleston Heston, my movie hero had died; ironically, he did so on my 54th birthday.

Vincent, my father, introduced my brother and me to the silver screen when we were small children. I still remember the Silver Spur, Rios, Lyric, Crest, Mesa, and Yuma Theaters. We were fortunate to have so many theaters in Yuma.

The theater’s wonderful smell of the buttery popcorn, the saltiness of a hot dog with mustard, the sweetness of your soft drink or the crispness of your Nestlé’s Crunch on a Saturday night made the movies you watched even better.

I recollect the feeling of excitement and anticipation I felt when a new movie was coming to our town; such as The Ten Commandments staring Charleston Heston. The influence of that particular movie had on my life was incredible. This movie reinforced those things I learned from St. Francis Church, the Ten Commandants and good vs. evil.

I adored Charlton Heston's strength, his acting abilities, his handsomely good looks, and the sound of his deep voice. As I grew up, I watched most of his movies, including "Ben Hur", "The Omega Man", "Soylent Green", and "Planet of the Apes" just to name a few.

I have yet to find an actor that I respect as much as Mr. Heston. I guess it's because he chose strong male roles to play, his family values, and his love of the United States of America.

Even though, I did not personally know Mr. Heston, I will always remember him every April 5.

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"Cloverfield" From My Point of View by Pamela Carvajal Drapala, January 20, 2008

"Cloverfield" From My Point of View by Pamela Carvajal Drapala, January 20, 2008


So, there we were, after two months of a long wait, "Cloverfield"! Before, we entered into the huge 14 or so Movie Theater, I faithfully took my Dramamine. The theater was packed and the movie had made 14 million in one day (the first day showing across the USA). Immediately, I recognized actors as they came upon the scene because I had set up a "Google Alert" for "Cloverfield" and knew most of the movie already by heart, and understood more about the movie than the two people who attended the movie with me. The weeks of anticipation were worth the wait, but my body though not. My eyes, as they say, were glued to the screen until I got so dizzy looking at the movement of the hand-held camera. Eyes closed shut, yet the sound from each movie scene surrounded by being ever so tightly as was as though I was listening to an audio CD, which I do often. This movie was not about a monsters; it was about the relationships between people who love each other such as friends, family, and lovers love each other. I will not spoil the rest of the picture for you, but will tell you, if you get dizzy in elevators, airplanes, or at carnival rides, take heed to my warning, you may get a bad case of motion sickness, so be prepared. I took a two-hour nap after the movie just to rid myself of the nausea. To sum the movie up, it was good, an unexpected thriller that I will not soon forget. Out of five stars, I give it a 4.5 for originality. Oh, by the way before I go, there was a surprise, "Enterprise,” soon to be released this year! It is difficult to recount that I actually watched the original series in our tiny house on Hillside Place in 1960s! Until later, see you in the movies ; ). Bad robot!


Marketing Your Art

Marketing Your Art


I have been marketing my art on the Internet since around 1999, and have found it is possible to get your art out there to the Internet art community. And you are right that nobody wants to buy art from an unknown artist. The more your name is seen on the Internet, the more popular your art becomes, the more credible you become.

Place your work on many Internet sites. The free art sites are available if you look for them. It's a joy when people respond to an article you wrote or ask you to join their art site.

I have had my art printed on postcards and have sold sets of the postcards. I have also sent them as far away as Russia and Bolivia, and that's another way to get your work out there to the world.

Donating copies of your work works also. Soon people begin to notice your style of painting and say, 'That's a Pam Drapala painting.'

Art exhibitions at county fairs work too. On my 50th birthday, I sold seven paintings to a businessman who saw my work displayed at the county fair. Two years later, he bought two more of my paintings.

Keep a positive out look. You never know, when someone will say, "I'd like to buy a portrait from you."


Intersection

Intersection


Intersection
Pam Drapala
September 8, 2007

One Saturday after having lunch with my sister, I was driving back home on one of the hottest days of the year. It must have been at least 119 degrees that day, and the humidity did not help. I saw him again at the intersection with his body pressed against his white van looking thirsty and tired. I had seen him a dozen times before, but why I stopped this time to visit with him, I do not know why. He had parked on one side of the road and must have seem to others, just like another part of the landscape because he was there at that spot everyday, even Sundays from sun up to sun down for a month and one half. I got out of my car, and he helped me out because the car was at an angle that it made it difficult for me to get out of my sedan. When I spoke English to him, I realized that he did not understand me. He thought I was there to buy watermelons. Telling him that I was allergic to melons would not make sense to him because of the language barrier. I gently raised my hand up and place two fives in his shirt pocket, showed him my camera so that he would understand my purpose. Posing with the melons proudly in hands, sweat profusely dripped from his face. That is when I noticed; he was not wearing a hat to protect himself from the hot Yuma sun. Finally, after taking many photographs of him, I shook his hand, handed him my white visor and got back into my car. Later, I realized, the whole time I was taking his photographs, I did not feel the heat on my body or face. Actually, my body was actually cool.


Vincent A. Carvajal, My Father

Vincent A. Carvajal, My Father


Every Memorial Day and Veterans' Day, I reflect on my Father's life. It has been 45 years since my father's death. I didn't get an opportunity to know him well because I was so young at the time of his death, eight years old. Years later, I learned, that Father grew up to be 5’5 1/2” tall and had wavy dark brown hair and weighed 137 pounds when he joined the United States Navy. Vincent A. Carvajal was inducted into the military when he turned 18 years old. He was a Seabee, a member of the Construction Battalion from August 25, 1943 to January 12, 1944. Father was medically discharged from the Navy due to a heart murmur. He came back to Arizona and earned his Bachelors of Art Degree from the University of Arizona. He died suddenly on May 10, 1962 after a short illness. He continues be my hero and role model because he always did the right things; such as, going into the military when his country asked him to do so. He was a responsibility family man who loved his family dearly. As a teacher, he was faithful to his profession, and his students adored him. As a son, he always stayed closed to his mother, Luz. As a brother, he was there when his brothers and sisters needed his guidance. As a person, he was always generous to others. Life without him has been painful. However, even though his time on earth was a short one, he led a life filled with meaning, sacrifices, and a purpose. - Pamela Carvajal Drapala


Hair Days

Hair Days


A Little Bit of Heaven
Chapter – Embarrassing Hairdos and Other Hairy Stories
Drapala
July 20, 2007

My earliest recollection of a bad hair experience was when I was about twelve years old. A Saturday routine for my Mother was to go to Algodones, Mexico to have her hair styled for a couple of dollars in the 1960s. Driving in the town of Algodones was interesting then. The roads were not paved and street vendors were always busy selling their wares such as melons with chili powder and shaved ice with variety of sweet syrups.
I remember that the hot pink-painted hair salon, with many makeshift beautician stations, was crammed very closely together. The female customers arrived from all over the area looking ordinary and always left the tiny shop looking gorgeous. I wanted to look gorgeous just like them, too.
That Saturday, I decided that it would be nice if a hairdresser would style my hair. With my new hairdo, I looked like a younger version of my Mother. All I wanted to do was go home and wash the style out of my hair. My head itched and itched, and my head of hair was as hard as a motorcycle helmet. The hairdresser had sprayed one can of hair lacquer on my head.
Once, I saw a lady who was having her hair done in Algodones in the 1960s beehive style. She was an attractive lady woman, tall and thin. I saw her walking out to her white Cadillac with her a six-inch high beehive. She missed getting her entire head into the front door of the car, and her beehive hairdo toppled partially down to her shoulders. When she realized what had happened, she got into her Cad and was quite angry. I still do not know how her hair fell that day because like I wrote before, it was a requirement back then that all the hairdos be sprayed with one can of lacquer.
Like other women, having nice looking hair has been a concern of mine all my life. When our oldest daughter was about four years old, I recollect a comment she made one day. We were getting ready at home for a family wedding late in the afternoon, and our precocious daughter ran into our bedroom and said, “Daddy’s polishing his shoes, and Mommy’s polishing her head”. Well, I must have made an impression on her because ever since she has become a teenager, she donning a new hair color.
Hairstyles have changed drastically throughout the 1960s to the present, and I have worn quite a few of the popular hairstyles such as Twiggy’s pixie haircut of the 1960s. Cher’s hairstyle was my favorite in the 1970s. All one had to do to maintain the “Cher” hairdo was to keep it washed and trimmed. My husband’s favorite style for me was Farrah Fawcett’s hairdo of the late 1970s. I think he like it only because she was glamorous in her promotional poster. I still remember the poster he had of Farrah hanging in his shop. It was such a shame that the poster was accidentally left behind when we moved to our new home in the 1980s.
Haircuts . . . I remember that some were better than others. It was a few weeks before my high school ten-year reunion in 1982. I had watched everything I ate so I would look trim for the reunion, and I worked out at the gym, too. Having an attractive dress and shoes to wear at the reunion was important, too. However, having a great hairdo was a necessity because I knew that an extraordinary hairstyle could do wonders for an ordinary face.
I opted for the best hairdresser in town. It was rumored that the hairdresser that I selected to do my hair had worked in Hollywood styling movie stars’ hair at one time. She must have been good at her trade if she had previously worked on the stars’ hair, I thought. Nevertheless, on that day there was no rhyme or reason on how she was cutting my hair. She took some off from the top of my head, then from the bottom, then from the top, then from the middle, then from the length, then from the top again, and so on and so forth. She was a real “Edward Scissorhands,” only female and much faster. By the time she was completed with cutting my hair, my hair was uneven in front. When I mentioned to her about the difference in the hair length, she said that I was uneven. I got up and paid her at the counter leaving no tip, went home, and evened out the bottom of the haircut.
I must say that I am quite good at trimming other people’s hair bangs, but not so good trimming my own. One time, I had trimmed my hair bangs to pieces. I had to finally resort to going to a hairdresser in town to correct what I had done. The hairdresser was not pleased with my new styled bangs. She commented coldly that if I ever did it again, she would personally snip each of my fingertips, s l o w l y. She remarked that I had better not practice in her field of work without a valid beautician’s license, too.
I have had my own mishaps with my hair throughout my lifetime. I have had perms that made me look like the Bride of Frankenstein. My hair has been so long and thick at one time that a male high school classmate at my 20th high school reunion pulled at the top of my hair and tried to remove what he thought was a wig, when it was not. I have had blond highlights placed in my hair only to have my husband not say a word to me until I changed my hair color back to its original color. I have worn a blond wig during Halloween parties a couple of times only to discover that blonds do have more fun. (See photo).
I think a little change with one’s appearance is occasionally a good thing. The same thing day in and day out can be mundane. One of my close friends says she changes her hairstyle often because it is a lot easier changing her hairstyle than changing her husband. We both laughed when she said that because we know in her heart she does not mean it.


Frida and Me

Frida and Me


Reflections

Pamela Carvajal Drapala

December 2005

As I read the two novels by the Bronte’ Sisters, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, I knew in my heart and mind that the Brontes believed in the supernatural experience. Why do I say that? As I read their books, their writings seemed too real to not be considered genuine. Even though, I am not an expert in the field of supernatural phenomena, I’ve had personal experiences of supernatural events in my own life that has given some insight about this subject.
Elizabeth, my sister, says that my extra sense was inherited from our Grandmother Sally, my mother’s mother. Grandma Sally’s brothers and sisters may have had it too, but didn’t approve Grandma verbalizing that she had the gift. They would say that she was a silly and alienated their sister somewhat until her death in December 1984. Against the wishes of the church, she would practice fortune telling and on her own terms. She decided whose fortune she would tell. When she told one’s fortune, she would have an unbearable migraine headache.
My experiences have come in many forms and weren’t developed until in my late teens. I never desired the gift/curse, but for some reason or another it was given to me.
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia available on the Internet, there are many types of extra sensory perceptions (ESP). I have listed some types below.
Astral Projection/Travel: This is the controversial out-of-body experience that happens consciously or via a dream or deep meditation.
Clairvoyance: This is the form of ESP that claims that a person can see distant objects, persons, events, or sees through opaque objects.
Lucid Dreaming: This is the act of consciously perceiving and recognizes that one is having a dream, can control the content of the dream and the quality of the experience. Lucid dreamers describe their dreams as exciting, colorful, and fantastic. Interesting enough, artists sometimes fall under this category because of their creativity.
Precognition: This is a form of ESP which allows a person to perceive information about future places or events before they occur.
Retrocognition: This is a form of ESP which allows a person to perceive information about situations after its occurrence through psychic means.
Telepathy: This is communication between two individuals without means of devices or speech or hand movement.
Let me share a personal event that displays examples of ESP that I experienced. One hot summer several years ago, I had severe pain that radiated inside my upper left arm. And even though I was experiencing the pain in my arm, and I was overly concerned with my van’s condition. It had been running perfectly fine. For some unknown reason, I felt that at any moment, my family would need to go on an emergency trip, and that the air conditioner in my van would break down along the highway as we traveled. Strangely, we had no plans to travel anywhere in the near future.
I communicated to my husband how I felt, how uneasy I felt, and after a short discussion, we both came to the conclusion it was time to replace the van for a more reliable vehicle. It had been a while since we purchased a new van, but there really wasn’t any reason to replace it because it was runny perfectly fine. When we were leaving out the door to the dealership, our telephone rang. It was my Mother, phoning to tell me that my brother was gravely ill in a Phoenix hospital.
When I got home from the dealership, I packed our bags and rushed to the Phoenix hospital to see my brother. When we arrived, George’s eyes were tightly closed. He was asleep. I called out his name several times until he finally woke up. I wanted him to know that I had arrived. I started talking to him asking him how he felt. The nurse, with an Eastern accent, came in and said, “George is awake!”
I said, “Yes, he’s awake; he is my brother, George.”
She said, “Didn’t you know that your George has been in a coma for several days now? This is the first time he has been fully conscious for a few days.”
I listened to her not comprehending what she had said and turned back to George, and we continued talking. We talked about his illness and how he said that he must have caught Valley Fever in Tucson at a swap meet several weeks ago. His symptoms were similar to a cold and got worse from there.
While talking to him, I discovered that his doctor had removed a rather large chunk of George’s flesh from his upper left arm. George had grown dark lesions all over his body, and they had biopsied one of the lesions. The doctors had placed him in quarantined in the beginning of his stay until they found that the lesions were caused by a severe case of Valley Fever, one of the worse case of Valley Fever that doctors’ have seen in the state of Arizona.
When our Mother arrived, she began to cry joyfully because she knew then that her son would be okay. Then it hit me that George had been unconscious until I arrived at his room. I placed this with my other moments of unexplained events in the back of my mind and went on with my daily life.
My faith in God is very strong. Since I was a child, I’ve believed in God.
For months I prayed that I would lose my “so-called extra sense” because I feared that God might not be pleased with me. I had talked to Elizabeth, my sister, about having this guilt and she said that I’ve developed a higher level of consciousness.
I stopped my worrying about this extra ability eventually, because there is nothing I really can do about it if it is a part of whom I am. I tried to analyze the reasons why I had this extra sense . . . perhaps it was because I almost died in infancy with a severe case of whooping coughs. Or, perhaps it has because my father died at an early age of a brain tumor, and I became more in tuned with my surroundings in order to survive the ordeal of losing a parent. Or, maybe it’s because I developed both sides of my brain function, the creative side and the analytical side. I don’t know why I have this gift, but I do know this, I do have it.
Ironically, Brother George once said to me, “Pam, many people have had extra sensory perception events; however, some people keep those events to themselves because they are afraid that they will appear different to other people.”
Of course, there had been other events in my life, but the one that I will remember is my most misunderstood event which is about a fellow female painter, Frida Kahlo. She was one of the most talented Hispanic Artists from Mexico. She was born in 1907 and died in 1954, the year that I was born.
Let me explain to you how it all started. One Sunday evening in 1995, I begin a painting, but had no idea what direction the painting would take. I remember the date because it was the day before our oldest would be attending Kofa High School for the first time as a freshman. It had been years since I last picked up a paint brush. It was basically a painting that began with a black somber background and an abstract colorful border of greens, blues, and reds. While I was painting that night, the most fierce storm hit the Yuma’s area. I was so obsessed with the painting that, I continued to paint under a battery operated light and multiple candles. The next day, our electricity was off for about a day and a half. I let the paint dry and for some unknown reason, I set it aside for years in the work room closet in the back of our home.
Sometime in 2002 I first saw my very first Frida article in a woman’s magazine; the article was most intriguing. I hungered for more information on this artist. As I read, I learned about the famous Hispanic Female Artist who was part Hungarian Jew and part Spanish. It was a must to me that I read everything about her I possibly could find because I found her life so fascinating and informative.
In April 2002, I read an article in the Yuma Daily Sun and learned that Aura Mae Savage, a renown artist in the Yuma Community for more than forty years, had won the Yuma Tribute to the Muse Award in 2002. This award is given to a member of the art community who has promoted the arts in the Yuma’s area and who is most respected by fellow artists’ in the Yuma’s community. I said to myself, “Ah, to be an Aura Mae one day . . .” Sadly, later that year, she passed on.
Summer of 2002, we vacationed in Seattle, Washington visited my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. One day, we drove to a Borders Bookstore while sightseeing in the city. From a distant, I saw the front cover of a book with Frida’s portrait. It was as though she was staring at me from across the room. I walked over and picked up the book, Kahlo, by Andrea Kettenman, by Taschen. It wasn’t long before I had finished reading the book. It was so different from most artist books and filled with the most vibrant colors. However; the subject matter on Frida’s paintings were disturbing to me though. However, at that moment, I made a promise to myself that I would learn as much as I could about this celebrated artist and make attempts to see her paintings first hand at Galleries. Since then, I have seen three originals; one in Phoenix, another in San Diego, and most recently, her self-portrait in San Francisco.
Later in the fall of 2002, for some unknown reason, I remember the unfinished canvas that I once painted and left in a close in the work room closet. It was the painting with the black background and abstract border that I had placed away years before. After contemplating a moment, I realized that this canvas would be the perfect background for my version of Frida Kahlo. I had recently enrolled in a painting class at Arizona Western College. The assignment was to recreate a painting of a famous artist, only to paint it in your style. I grabbed the canvas and began enthusiastically painting on it again. That evening, strangely enough, it began storming terribly. Our electricity was out again, this time for only one day. I began wondering, “What’s happening here?”
After painting the image of Frida on the canvas for several days after the storm, my two daughters became very uncomfortable with the portrait when they saw it and voiced their opinions of displeasure. When it was finally completed, they remarked that the painting needed to find another home. They didn’t want it in our home even if it were placed in some closet. Their comments surprised me as they had never said anything like that before about any of my other paintings.
I read that Frida’s life that was filled with agonizing back pain because of her trolley accident early in her life. And, also I read that Frida openly vocalized her feelings about religion, politics, and her government. People thought she was a very controversial and an opinionated woman. But, I felt at home with my painting of Frida.
Penny Sheffield, my intuitive friend at work, wasn’t happy when she found out whom I had painted. She had researched the artist on the Internet and felt that Frida, the person, had very dark energy, and she didn’t want me to be harmed by her energy. In the back of my mind, I wondered if Frida needed to have a Catholic Mass said for her. I don’t know why I started to feel sorry for Frida even though she wasn’t alive, but I did understand that she struggled knowing that people didn’t take her or her art seriously enough.
After applying the finishing touches on Frida's portrait, my style evolved tremendously, and I had become a liberated artist. For the first time, I was painting in bold and rich colors . . . vibrant reds, passionate blues and sensuous violets and that I had found my niche . . . that I would paint only the things in my life that were most familiar and passionate to me . . . all the abundant of life that surrounds me every day in my hometown of Yuma.
When I looked at my version of the painting, I studied it carefully. Frida looked at peace. Strangely enough, I felt that Frida would be satisfied with her painting if she had seen it. When the Yuma Country Fair rolled around in 2003, I entered my painting, Frida at Peace in the Fine Arts Division and won a ribbon in portraits. Strangely enough, the out-of-town Fine Arts Judge left a remark with the painting. It said, “Frida would be proud.”
That year, Val Drysdale, on the Fine Arts Board, asked me if I was interested in donating a painting to the Yuma Fine Arts Scholarship Fund’s Art Auction and Wine Tasting Event that would be held in the month of May. I said “yes” knowing in my heart which painting I would donate. It would be my painting, now titled, "Frida at Peace". The day I delivered the painting to the Fine Arts Committee, the frame of the picture oddly got wedged in my van’s side door. It took me forever to remove the painting from the van’s door. I hesitated for one minute, thinking, perhaps I shouldn’t donate the painting after all. But, then I remember how my daughters felt, I finally removed the painting now with a loose frame and delivered it to Val. She was delighted with my donation.
Two weeks later, the Yuma Fine Arts Scholarship Fund’s Art Auction and Wine Tasting Event was advertised in the Yuma Daily Sun in the Entertainment section of the newspaper on Friday, April 25, 2003. To my surprise and delight, "Frida at Peace" made the front page of the newspaper and the center spot of the Entertainment section page. To the right of the page showed one photo of Aura Mae Savage’s paintings that would be auctioned also.
I was stunned with the article because I had only returned to painting and my work received recognition in Yuma Community. I asked myself, “How can this be?”
However, I had concerns for the painting. I prayed that whoever was the highest bidder of my painting be pleased with their winning that they would take very good care of the painting.
When I arrived at the Art Auction, I met my friend Hong and Roger, her husband. We walked over to the art auction table to find two of Aura Mae Savage’s paintings and Frida at Peace was placed between both of her gorgeous paintings. I was humbled by the experience.
The event of the silent auction was like I had never experienced before. People rushed to make their bids and when they saw they had been outbidded, they rebidded again and this went on for about two hours. The energy of the room was beyond my belief and my understanding. It was fun for me to watch the people interact at the bidding table. The exuberance of all the attendees filled the room.
The highest bidder of "Frida at Peace" was Faith Miller. The woman was overjoyed. She kept saying to everyone, “Frida is so beautiful! Frida’s so beautiful!” At that moment I knew I had made the right decision. Then I remembered . . . Professor Bill Blomquist, an AWC Art Instructor said, “You must sell your works so that you can create and make room for more paintings.” Never has a saying been so true for me.
The night of the auction, there was a terrible thunderstorm in the Yuma’s area. Hong DeCorse, my friend, chuckled to me and remarked, “You haven’t heard the end of Frida yet.” I couldn’t imagine anything else could come from the experience since the painting had left my possession.
When I started to exhibit my Migrant Farm Workers’ series in 2004 and 2005, I heard people say over and over again that my work reminded them of Frida Kahlo’s work, however, not so severe.
“How could that be?” I said to myself I surely don’t paint pain, death, child birth, or unpleasantness. Comments like those came to me in person, over my personal e-mail, even at my art show in Soho New York in July of 2004.
Most recently, I received an e-mail from a woman from Venezuela saying that she thought for sure when she viewed my work on the Internet it was Frida’s.
Well, I just don’t see it. To be honest, I rather have my own painting style. Then I tell myself, well I’m Hispanic, I was influenced with bright and bold colors when I was growing up, too. I also tell myself, “Of course you are going to paint only portraits like Frida, because that’s all you have painted since you were a child.”
One thing did bother me though, I didn’t understand how Frida could paint all her life when she was in so much pain and agony. My question was answered in March 2005. I injured my left shoulder rotor cuff. How? I do not know. The doctors have yet to decide if it was torn or if I have a spur or I’ve pulled a muscle even though I’ve had an MRI. I’m now in physical therapy for my pain. Pills don’t seem to take the pain away though. The only thing that really alleviates my pain is painting portraits. When I paint, endorphins are released in my body, and I’m in the state of euphoria for a few hours. Now I finally understand why Frida painted so much when she was ill. Later, I discovered a rather odd article on Frida on the Internet this year and wrote in my art journal:
Update: 06/13/2005
Again, to my surprise, I have learned something most unusual via the Google search on this night. My maiden name is Carvajal and much as been written about the history of my Spanish Jewish roots, especially about my ancestor, Luis De Carvajal. But what surprises me the most is that not only have I took an interest in Frida's works the past four years or so, but it seems she was also very interested in my family roots as well during her lifetime.
This is almost too bizarre to write, but my life has been filled with many unexplained odd circumstances. My life’s writings can attest to that. Now, I find, that Frida based some of her most frightening painting on the La Familia Carvajal books. They were her favorite books and would not let them out of her sight. According to books that have recorded Frida’s life, she was in severe emotional and physical pain most of her life. She intensely studied the books of the La Familia Carvajal. Their books influenced her as she painted according to "Frida Kahlo, Without Hope 1945." She was most interested in my families’ Jewish history and was interested in how the Carvajal family was tortured during the Spanish Inquisition. I was most surprised to find that Frida looked at the pictures in the books and incorporate some of the torture devices in her works. She wanted to express her torment in her works and how better to do that than show in detail the tools that were used during the Inquisition. Was she really in that much pain that she had to show the world what she was going through by painting it? I will do more research, but until then, I ask my readers, what does this all mean to me? Perhaps, I need to let this all go and just paint.- Pam
Since that journal entry, I have not had any more Frida experiences. Investigating her life helped me understand myself better and accept the fact that I’m also different and sometimes misunderstood like she; however, one can find one’s place and one’s purpose in life in this world if one tries. And, art has always and always will be my passion, and I thank God for all of his gifts even the oddest one.

Reference Books and Internet Sites

1. The Strange World of the Brontes, Marie Campbell, Sigma Leisure, Sigma Press, 1 South Oak Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 6AR, England
2. Kahlo, by Andrea Kettenman, by Taschen
3. wiki/Extrasensory_perception#Types_of_ESP
4. imgres?imgurl Frida self-portrait, 1926
5. cja/ankori/ankori.htm, Hidden Frida,
6. Jewish Art, vol. 19/20 (1993/94), pp. 224-247
7. carvajal.html , Luis de Carvajal


The Fruitful Yuma Valley, excerpt from the upcoming book, The Fruitful Yuma Valley

The Fruitful Yuma Valley, excerpt from the upcoming book, The Fruitful Yuma Valley


Foreword . . .

When I first started driving to work in the Yuma Valley eighteen years ago, approximately a 30-minute commute, I barely noticed what was happening around me. After our two daughters left home to attend Northern Arizona University, it was as though a filter was removed from my eyes. I began to see the entire splendor that surrounded me as I drove through the Yuma Valley. The contrast of the patchwork fields against the indigo sky was wonderment to my eyes. Often, I’d see the valley change its colors as a thick cloud formation slowly shadowed the multitude of different farm crops.

During the late spring, I saw a sea of greens, sunflower yellows, crimsons and creams, and sometimes-luscious plum colors in a few of the valley crops. A field that had been flood irrigated. It seemed as though it was a lake. Birds such as cow egrets, and occasionally a gray pelican, often hovered overhead and drank from the refreshing waters.

Long before my daily work began in the morning, many farm workers were already laboring in the fields by either preparing the fields for new crops by hoeing the land, planting the seeds, or harvesting the abundance of crops depending on the time of the year. Surprisingly, I would also see the farm
workers at the end of their day after I returned home from a night class at the local college/university.

In the past when we shopped for groceries at the local store, my children and I never asked, “How do the fruits and vegetables get here?” “How many processes do they go through before they end up on my family’s dining room table?“ I took an interest in the valley, the people, crops, landscape, birds, and animals by first observing them closely and then reading about them. I soon learned that lettuce, citrus, watermelons, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes, artichokes, cotton, cabbages, dates, peaches, pecans, Sudan grass, and others grow right here in our Yuma Valley.

Whenever I create a new recipe in my kitchen, I am always eager to share my recipe with others. The recipes in this book are only a few of my favorites. They are a collection of authentic Mexican dishes that my family, friends, and co-workers are generously sharing with us.

More and more people are finding that Yuma is a real paradise. The Yuma Valley was once a vast land that seemed to go on forever in the 1950s when I was a child, but now I see the valley getting much smaller. Yuma is a growing community of many people with different backgrounds. It is not unusual to see U. S. Marines doing their morning runs, children boarding yellow school buses, and farm workers traveling in a white produce bus all at the same time.

I’ve documented part of Yuma’s majesty by taking photographs and painting all that I viewed. A few of years ago, I shared my poetry with my creative writing
class and then shared my paintings. That is when two of my fellow classmates, Rachel Lancaster and Hanna Coy, suggested that I write a book about all I had captured about Yuma through my poetry and paintings. What would be a more appropriate title for my book than, The Fruitful Yuma Valley?


Following My Heart's Desire, Excerpt from

Following My Heart's Desire, Excerpt from


Following My Heart’s Desire
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
June 21, 2007

On New Year’s Day, 2001, I wrote a heartfelt essay in my journal, which I entitled “Reflections”. It is difficult for me to believe that almost six years has passed since I wrote that essay. During that time, I was having difficulties trying to figure out my life’s purpose, its importance, and where I belonged in this universe. What should I do with the talents that God had given me?

In the first paragraph of that essay, I wrote . . .

“My life wasn’t supposed to be like this. I have so many hopes and dreams, but people and things get in the way. Day by day, I find that there are chores that need to be completed, bills that need attention, family needs to address, I have come to the point in my life where I need to reflect the last forty-eight years of accomplishments. How sad it is to say that I believe I am living someone else’s dream, not mine, and I ask, “Would the grass have been greener on the other side? "

As I read the essay this week, I was somewhat shocked to read that at that stage of my life I was so unhappy. My husband and I were in the process of raising two daughters, and we were focusing on getting them to and through college the best we could. Financially, things were fine because we both worked full-time. Because of that blessing, we could afford to assist them with their monthly living expenses: car payments, car insurance, food, housing, health insurance, and yearly clothing while they attended universities away from home expenses. In today’s economy, how many parents could do what we did?

I knew that I was living vicariously through my daughters because they were enjoying life that I had not experienced because my options in life had been limited. In any event, for the sake of the family, I continued to forge on as wife, mother, and career employee for the Government, and I did not think I was revealing how much I wanted to express myself through some type of art form whether it was painting, or writing short stories, or poetry. Unexpectedly while sitting at the computer unto the late hours of the night after our eldest daughter left for college, I began to compose my sentiments in my journal.

Finally, I had time to do some soul searching, and I wrote. . .

“Oh, to be free and to pick up a paintbrush with my fingers in the middle of the day instead of a telephone at work. To feel the wet paint between my fingers and inhale the sweet smell of a new canvas . . . that would satisfy my cravings.

To remember how it felt opening up a new tube of paint and gently applying it to my used pallet? It felt as though I was opening a new gift each time I painted. The hours in my day were not hours but glorious moments flowing incredibly quickly.”

I was not as strong as Marie Curie in seeking my own dreams when I was in my early teens. I was born in the 1950s, and lived in the southwestern part of the United States, which is a conservative region, and grew up very differently from younger women of today.

Currently, anyone can be anything he or she wishes to be today as long as he or she is on the right educational track. In the last thirty years, career boundaries have changed in this country for both men and women. Who would have thought then that we could have a female astronaut or a female Speaker of the House? History will acknowledge that three decades ago, it was unheard of in the United States to have women in those types of professions.

The jealously I felt, toward the women in our office, who were in professions such as engineering and management in the late 1990s, was evident. One would have to have been numb not to have observed all the new female employees in those years that had entered our work force with engineering, management, environmental degrees, and I wrote in my journal . . .

“I envy the today’s woman who focuses all her energies on her career and opportunities.

Here I sit, as a secretary promoting others’ career and advancement by taking care of the trivial tasks such as preparing the paperwork so that they may go on training to learn even more about their professions. When is it going to my turn?”

Shamefully, I wondered . . .

“Should I forget about the details of my life and go forth with my own ambitions?”

However, in the back of my mind I knew. . .

“I made a commitment, and I do not break commitments.”

Then I thought . . .

“Hmmm, I wonder if I have indeed created a painting . . . “a living painting” of my own life. My life looks like a nice piece of work to others.

“Just the other day, a co-worker said to me . . .

“Pam, you lead a life of pasta.”

“Does this person not see the hours of sweat that forms on my brow when I have deadlines to meet. She does not even have a clue of all the washing, cooking, and the cleaning I do throughout the week to keep a tidy home. No one ever sees all the hours I put in being a wife, mother, or employee. “A pasta life”, no, I think not.

At that time, I wondered what the road less traveled would have been for me if I had truly listened to my heart. My mother honestly tried to protect me from making the same mistakes she did. She said,

“Pam, you should have a career working behind a desk and not on your feet as I did.”

I have yet to share with my mother my feeling on this subject, and I have no intentions to do so because she would never completely understand how I feel about not following my own dreams.

Conversely, I raised our daughters differently. I suggested that they pursue whatever career made them happy. If they followed the desires of the hearts, money would follow.

Without a doubt, I recognized that I did not have the abilities of an engineer or a doctor. I am a right-brained person; however, I was born with a talent to draw that was evident throughout my younger years. I continued to question my circumstances and wondered what life had in store for me next and wrote . . .

“Why have I wasted my talent? It is true that each human being is unique and is born with talents at birth that God has given them; should not those talents be used to the fullest?”

Amazingly one evening, I attempted to take my life back by writing a story about a Quinceanera that our youngest daughter had been part of and later wrote in my journal. . .

“If one day, God intends for me to be another Grandma Moses, the painter, or a full-time writer later in my life, then so be it. Perhaps, my time is yet to come.”

When I was writing in the journal about my state of being, little did I know that I was really writing a letter to God. I believe, in my heart, that God read every word I wrote because from that moment, I began to live my dream by fulfilling my needs as an artist, writer, and poet.

A new life chapter began for me. My poetry and short stories have now appeared in several books and anthologies; occasionally my articles and photographs appear on CNN online. In addition, I have sold a series nine of my “Farm Worker” paintings to a local businessman in the Yuma Community, and my limited edition paintings are selling well throughout the United States. Several of my paintings have received awards in Yuma and an artist group from England presented me with an award. I have now my own “art” business.

I owe my success to God’s acknowledging my commitment to my family and with His grace; my talents will be for His glory. Prayerfully, I continue to do His will. (end)


The Past Meets The Future* Previously shown on CNN June 18, 2007 - Excerpt -

The Past Meets The Future*  Previously shown on CNN June 18, 2007 - Excerpt -


When I received the photograph, shown above, of my Aunt Ernestina Higuera Vivian (Auntie Ernie) and Aunt Mary Munoz Higuera (Auntie Mary) last year, from cousin Eloise Higuera Wise, I observed the old brown jalopy in the background of the photograph and could not believe my eyes! Aunt Ernie was born on June 4, 1911 in Yuma, Arizona, is the young woman on the left side of the photograph above, and is amazingly 96 years old this year. I could not help but wonder, at that moment when I saw her photograph, what she thought of all the new gadgets and technology that were invented over her lifetime; such as in the 1940s when the kidney dialysis machine was invented. The kidney dialysis machine saves 300,000 lives each year. However, those with kidney disease spend several hours every week on the machine. The dialysis treatment removes toxic waste products and does the job that healthy kidneys would normally do.

In the 1950s, the transistor radio came into production. Teenagers enjoyed listening to their favorite music idols, such as, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and Dion and the Belmonts just to name a few. I must admit my favorite invention of that time was the transistor radio. My first transistor radio was a rectangular black, hand sized, RCA (Radio Corporation of America) version that I received as a gift for Christmas in the middle of the1960s. As I listened to the radio with my earphones that night, I heard what seem like hundreds of different crackling sounds from the radio as I turned the knob to the different frequencies and then finally to a radio station that I loved. It was as though my mind traveled to a distant unknown world because of the strange reverberation that entered my ears on that chilly Christmas night. As I changed the radio station from one station to the next, this odd noise hypnotized me. Before I knew it, this new means of communication became my friend for life, not only because of it unusual power, but because it was my connection to the outside world.

I later received an off-white General Electric Radio, the size of a small breadbox, for Christmas when I was a few years older. As a teenager, I listened to late President Ronald W. Reagan; when he was the Governor of the State of California give his weekly addresses on Sunday nights, on a station similar to the National Public Radio Station (NPR). The then Governor Reagan spoke of improving our nation’s economy and loving of this country. He also spoke of eliminating many Government jobs, which is ironic to me, because in 1972 I became a Government employee. I also listened to the KBLU Radio Station at that time, which played many early 1940’s tunes, the music that played during World War II, such as the Andrew Sister’s music. Other popular singers and musicians of that time were Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, and Billie Holiday. Moreover, who could ever forget Peggy Lee? She was definitely one of my favor female singers of her time.

How about in the 1962 when the Philips Company of the Netherlands invented the audiocassette. In 1967, I could not get enough of my audiocassette player at O. C. Johnson, my elementary school from 1959 – 1969. I made use of the audiocassette player to record our fifth grade-singing group with songs that I wrote at that time, such as; “Look Out Behind the Old Oak Tree.” Yes, we formed our own group, which was comprised of two of my female friends. Young adults across the nation were forming singing groups, and surprisingly, many of the groups still exist today, such as, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

During that time, what you heard live in a concert hall is what you heard on your audiocassettes when these groups sang, because the singers at that time did not use synthesizers and such to improve their recordings.

In the 1970s, the VCR (videocassette recorder) came into play. Today, VCRs as handy as they were when they were first invented; the VCR tapes tend to wear out
quickly if you record over them repeatedly and that can cause a person a lot of frustration when a favorite program of theirs does not record the picture or the sound appropriately.
Later, in 1981, the IBM Computer (International Business Machines), later known as the IBM Desktop Computer, replaced the manual typewriter. It is hard to imagine that I once used a manual typewriter that had no data processing memory. When I made a typing mistake in the early 1970s, I not only had to erase the mistake on the original page but also the mistakes on all the carbon copies. When I worked at the Marine Corps Air Station as a clerk-typist in 1976, I once had to erase nine carbon copies because I made one typing error! In addition, because of the new word processors today, we do not need the office supply named “White Out” anymore. Without the invention of the IBM Desktop computer, some of us would still be banging our fingers on vintage Smith Corona Manual Typewriters.
Sometimes, I wonder how we survived so many years without these luxuries that we consider necessities.

Today, computers have evolved, they are extensions of our lives, and they have improved the quality of our lives instead of hindering us. We use desktop computers and notebook computers (lap top computers) everyday in everything we do from contacting our friends and relatives across the country or in foreign countries, to assisting physicians in finding illnesses in patients, and computers at automobile repair dealerships show repairpersons where a problem can be in found in our vehicles with a touch of their fingertip. Whom do we have to thank? Konrad Zuse – Zi invented the first computer machine in 1936.

When I started school for the first time at Arizona Western College, in the fall of 1972, the word “computer” was not new to me; however, I did not know the real importance of computers yet. At the Business Administration Office Building, there was gigantic computer that was located on the ground floor; it was almost the size of one of the classrooms, and it was extremely noisy. The present day Computer Information Systems Course did not exist. “Data Processing” was the name of our class in the 1970s, and we learned the basics of a computer, and eventually used cumbersome computer punch cards that were the size of a checkbook.

Soon after being married to Rick, my husband, I saw him build an SWTP-6800 from a kit in the mid 1970s from scratch on our kitchen table. The purpose of building the kit was to understand the processes of computers. At that time, I did not know the importance of his hobby. Later, his interests for computers increased, and he eventually gained invaluable knowledge of computers that he uses today and uses that knowledge to teach students the fundamentals of Micro-Controllers at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale as a satellite instructor.

In August of 1989, I remember the first time I used a computer to compose a report at my present day office, and I was terrified, but I finished the report with no help! Since then, office computers and software have improved drastically. Now we have the luxury of e-mail, the Internet, Google Search, and other programs that have made our lives easier. Who would have thought of a person having the luxury of ordering postage stamps online from the United States Post Office or place orders for holiday or birthday present from the Web?

In the beginning, when I first used a computer, I did not have any ideas that computers would become a valuable tool and open doors for me to the outside world. Having a computer has enhanced my skill as an artist, and it gives any artist an edge because one can research and communicate with other museums, art galleries, and people throughout the world. It saves time, and is not that what we all want to do, save our time for more important things like our families, friends, and hobbies? It saves me money because I communicate now via email saving me hundreds of dollars in postage.

Back in January of 2005, as Hong, my co-worker, and I took our daily walk, we eagerly discussed the possibilities of computers of the future, and I do not think that future computers would have occurred without the creative thinkers, science fiction writers, and the dreamers of new technology.
The first inventor that comes to my mind is Leonardo da Vinci, the artist, writer, and inventor, scientist, architect, scientist, architect, mathematician, astronomer, geologist, botanist, animal behaviorist, musician, and philosopher. Born in April 15, 1452 on a Saturday, this true genius’ foresight was inconceivable and unbelievable. His ideas poured onto paper as his brilliant ideas flowed from his masterful mind. Da Vinci’s concepts were hundreds of years into the future, and luckily, his records of his inventions still are viewed today in art museum shows, just like the Da Vinci art museum show that I saw in Victoria, Canadian, in the late 1990s. One could wonder, as I did, “Did da Vinci have his own private time machine?” Has anyone been his equal since his death?

Then, of course, there was the Jules Verne, the writer of genius inventions. Hundreds of years ago, he wrote about a ship that would one-day travel under the sea and the name of that ship today is the submarine. In addition, there were others, such as H. G. Wells, Rod Sterling, and George Lucas, and Gene Roddenberry, whose visions turned into reality.

I never imaged that the gadget that many of us use today first began on Star Trek. Do you remember the “Communicator” that Captain Kirk used? That tool gave inventors the idea to invent our cell phone of today.

As we continued our walk that day, I asked my friend to visualize living in the early 1800s and looking up into the sky and seeing an object (airplane) in the sky flying for the very first time. Of course, an actual person from the 1800s would say it was impossible or magic for any unanimated object to fly. Nevertheless, today, it is an everyday sighting, just as normal as turning on our faucet in the kitchen and seeing water pour from its spout.

I ask you to do the same, think into the distant future, and what possibilities do you see. Do you see computer robots that will be our prime caretakers when we are older? Do you see computer robots that will do all of our manual labor?

Do you see computers allowing us to fly across this city instead of driving on congested streets? I see all of these things coming to fruition one day.
I hope that I will be as privileged as Aunt Ernie was, in regards to seeing new technology unfold in front of my eyes, and God willing, the scientists of the world will find a way to keep our planet Earth clean in the process.

In closing, I would like you to think of the limitless possibilities that await all of us. All we have to do is be patient, because it will not be; long before you too will see the impossible unfold right before your eyes. I invited you to embrace all the new technology that is coming our way, as it is here to stay.

References:

1. Parts of this essay were published at, CNN, Technology, POSTED 1641 GMT (0041 HKT), June 18, 2007, portion of article written by Pam Drapala, URL, 2007/TECH/05/08/justimagine.forum .
2. Pobojewski, Sally, Bioengineering Human Health, A publication of the University of Michigan Medical School, Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 2003, URL, magazine/2003/summer/bioengineering/default.asp ,
June 27, 2007.
3. Various Artists, 1940s: The Singers, June 27, 2007, URL,
musicl?lid=p5DBX4PXvmJ&sa=X&oi=music&ct=result
ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Zuse.html .
4. : Inventors, Famous Inventions Audio Visual & Broadcasting, Audio Wax Records to MP3, History of Sound Recording, June 27, 2007, URL, search?q=cache:DcWXmdvGvwsJ:inventors./od/audiowaxrecordstomp3/History_of_Sound_Recoding.htm+inventor+of+the+audio+cassette&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us .
5. Professor David B Haviland, NobelPrize.Org, The Transistor in a Century of Electronics, June 27, 2007, URL, educational_games/physics/transistor/history/index.html .
6. The National Association for Music Education, MENC 100, 1907 – 2007, June 27, 2007, URL, centennial/bydecade.html .
7. Maxine Annabell, 1998-2000, “The Man – His Machines”
June 27, 2007, URL, leonardo/ .
(end)


Chapter . . . Sepia Memories, In Search of My Father's History excerpt from

Chapter . . . Sepia Memories, In Search of My Father's History excerpt from


Sepia Memories
In Search of My Father’s History
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
June 10, 2007

On April 5, 1954, I was born in the Yuma Country Hospital, once located on Avenue B where the present day Juvenile Hall now resides. I was born in the small town of Yuma, Arizona. Yuma is located at the southwestern corner of State of Arizona, the 48th State of the Union. On the day of my birth, Mother was in the waiting room, eagerly waiting for the doctor’s arrival so that he could deliver me; however, I became extremely impatient and arrived before Mother ever reached the delivery room. A nurse at the hospital, miraculously, caught my slippery five-pound body and missed hitting the linoleum floor by only a few inches. My Father and Mother named me Pamela Marie Carvajal. My first name was chosen after Pam Smith, presently a local freelance writer in Yuma. Marie, my middle name, was selected after a child violinist my parents viewed on the Lawrence Welk Show in the 1950s.

My family root traces back to 1856 in Yuma on my Mother’s side. Carmen Munoz was born on May 30, 1927 in the Higuera House located on First Street. Both my parents are of Mexican descent, even though a few of my great aunts on my Mother’s side would disagree on our lineage. My third generation aunts always dressed in the best of attire that Yuma had to provide, only ate the finest foods, and spoke fluent proper Spanish. While growing up, in Yuma, I often wondered if they were second cousins to a royal family like the Windsor’s of Great Britain.

My Father was born Vincent Antonio Carvajal on February 22, 1925, but he and died suddenly in his thirties, regretfully, I never had the privilege to know my Father as my Mother, or his family did.
In February 2006, I was upset when I read in The Yuma Daily Sun that Uncle Aurelio, my Father’s brother, had died. I have often wondered what his last months were like. A couple of months before he died, I wrote myself a small reminder to contact my Uncle, because in the back of my mind, I knew something was wrong with Uncle Aurelio; however, by the time I finally convinced myself to call him, it was too late.

Uncle Aurelio had become my last link to my Father’s childhood. Sadly, I never learned all the details about their lives as boys growing up in Yuma. I felt cheated when my father passed at the age of thirty-seven. However, I kept hearing for years, in the back of my head the saying . . . “You must pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move on.” No one could do it for me; I could only do it for myself.
My last visit with Uncle Aurelio was in the early ‘90s. It was around Christmas time when he shared bits and pieces of his childhood memories with me. He brought with him his nephew and niece, my cousins, to our new home located in Tierra Mesa. During their visit, I noticed that my chubby niece was wearing a thick solid gold wedding band on her middle finger. It looked very familiar to me.

During Uncle Aurelio’s visit to our home, he had shared details with me.
“In the early 1920s, Tata Vicente, Nana Luz Rodriguez de Carvajal, and their sons moved from Mexico to San Francisco to find gold.”

He stared intensely into my eyes, and then he had asked me, “Did you know that your Nana Luz had been married before to another man and had children before she married Tata Vicente? I suppose you did not know, but indeed, she was married, to a Chinese man, who was a merchant very mean to her, so she divorced him. They had three sons; and they are all half-Chinese.“

He paused for a several seconds as if he thought I would react to what he just said. Then he continued . . . “Anyways, back to my story . . . Their old black jalopy broke down at the Colorado River near Yuma, and that is when Nana Luz asked Tata, “Why don’t we go back to the small town near the river?” Well, they did. Tata was a gold miner and Nana was a housewife who washed, cleaned, and prepared her specialties. She squeezed fresh strawberries into juice, cooked homegrown spinach, created dishes with prickly pear vegetables, and cooked fried rabbit so that it tasted just like chicken . . . delicious. Their six boys and two girls (Carlos, Ralph, Johnny, Vicente, Edward, Carmen, Nellie, and I) grew up so fast in the small town of Yuma, which had a population of approximately 4,500 people at that time. Nana Luz’s first-born son, Luis, stayed in Mexico while she and her new husband made a new life in the United States. Luis still lives there, and I visit him when I can.

We boys labored before and after school to earn money to buy the a few necessities such as clothes and supplies for grammar school, junior high, and high school. We sold newspapers to the folk around our neighborhood, did odd jobs like mowing lawns, and occasionally found old glass soda bottles like Coca-Cola and Barks. Later, we cashed them in at the local vendor located on the corner of 3rd Avenue, the store that was once located across from the La Fonda Restaurant.

Did you know Vicente, your Father, was born on George Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1925 in Yuma, Arizona? He was an entrepreneur before the word became popular in the English language. Young Vicente once had his buddies gather many of canned goods that fell off a Southern Pacific Railroad train after it derailed near First Avenue, and he then turned around and sold the goods back to his buddies who had helped him gather these goods in the first place . . . clever boy, that Vicente.

He also became the Editor of the Yuma High School newspaper, The Thermometer. The students of the Yuma Union High School published The Thermometer every other Wednesday throughout the school year and the publication was associated with of the National Scholastic Press Association.

Oh, and one more thing . . . did you know that your Father watched John Wayne, the famous Hollywood actor, on his movie set while he was making the film, the “Flying Seabees in 1944?” Well, he did.”
Later, we sat down and talked some more. However, before I knew it, Uncle Aurelio was gone just like a humming bird, appearing just long enough so that you took noticed of his presence.

Sometime later, I learned, that my Father grew up to be 5’5 ½” tall, had wavy dark brown hair, and weighed 137 pounds when he joined the United States Navy. The military inducted him when he turned 18, and he became a Seabee, a member of the Construction Battalion from August 25, 1943 to January 12, 1944. Because of a heart murmur, the U. S. Navy honorably discharged my Father from the Navy, and after his discharge, he returned to Arizona and subsequently, met Carmen Munoz, my Mother, while double dating with his older brother, Johnny for the Yuma Union High School prom.

Mother once commented, “Your Father’s date at the prom that evening was my fair-eyed cousin, Ida Lee, and my date was your skinny Uncle Johnny, your Father’s brother. By the end of the evening, I was dancing up a storm with your Father, and Cousin Ida Lee never forgave me for switching dating partners.

However, as it is said, “All’s fair in love and war.”
Carmen, my Mother, was a somewhat quiet country girl who lived on a small cattle ranch on Texas Hill. Her Grandparents, Dolores (Lola), a homemaker, and Ignacio Higuera, a local cattle rancher, raised her. Amazingly, Texas Hill is still under ownership in our family. Mother was nicknamed “Tiny” because she was the smallest baby in our family. Later, I believe during World War I, the family moved to the town of Yuma. She was fond of drawing, wrote poetry in her spare time, and later worked as a carhop at the local A & W Diner.

“The pay at the A & W Diner was okay, but my tips were much better, so whenever it was payday, your Great-Grandma Lola took all my tips and let me keep the weekly check. She was one wise gal, your Grandma Lola.”

As Mother grew to be a young adult, she worked at Daniel’s Jewelry where she, sold merchandise and. for a short while, worked for a photo shop on 4th Avenue for Pam Smith and her husband.

After my Father died, Mother, my brothers, and I did not visit the Carvajal side of the family that often because the Carvajals only spoke Spanish in their household. Mother did not teach us Spanish because she said we were living in America, but she had only known Spanish as a child and did not move up a grade because of her lack of knowledge of English. She communicated to us adamantly that she was not going to allow that to happen to her children. Later, of course, my great-aunts on both sides of the family often scolded us because we did not visit Nana as much as we should have; however, because of the lack of communication, we avoided contact with her as young adults.

Mother continued to tell us about her life after she met our Father. “Your Nana Luz always tagged along with us whenever we went on a vacation. Oh, how I wanted Nana Luz to speak English to me, but she refused to learn. The only two words she knew how to speak in English were “Star Dust”, the title of her favorite song; however, she did not even know how to pronounce those words correctly! Nevertheless, she did proudly obtained her U. S. citizenship.

Once, when I implored my Mother to tell me something more about my Father, she replied, “One evening, your Father invited me to his home to have dinner with his large family. There were many brothers and sisters at his home that evening. Your Nana Luz prepared a duck for supper. Sadly, I had often hand-fed that darling duckling outside the Carvajal’s residence, a large home at that time which was located on the small hill at 11th Street and 1st Avenue. When it was dinnertime, we all moved to the large formal dining room and sat down to eat, but I refused to eat the duck when it was served.
Mom then asked me, “How could anyone possibility eat a pet?”
Your Father’s brothers and sisters did not respond well to my reaction and began to whisper for quite a while amongst themselves at the long table.

When your Nana Luz saw that I was not going to eat the cooked duck, she immediately returned to her kitchen, and reheated a separate dish that tasted somewhat like chicken. When I started eating my dinner, your Father’s family continued consuming the duck saying how delicious it was. We continued to converse as people do at dinner time, and his family giggled and continued to giggle the rest of the evening, but I do not know what was so funny.

Your Father was such a handsome man. He had olive skin, large dark brown eyes, thick black hair, and perfect teeth, no cavities! They say that of all your brothers, Pam, your younger brother, Kent, resembled him the most.

Your Father and I were married on October 5, 1951, at the original Immaculate Conception Church located on Main Street before it burnt to the ground. Someone had lit a holy candle and that candle started a fire.

My half-sister, Anita Cortez, was my maid of honor, and Viejo (meaning old man in Spanish) Lopez, my cousin, was your Father’s best man. It was a windy day on our wedding day, and at one point, while photographs were being taken of the wedding party, my fragile white veil started to blow off my head, but your Father caught it before it blew away”

“Did you know that your Father was a romantic man? Yes, he was. Once he sent me a love letter from his work. It read . . .

“Yuma Test Station Thursday Afternoon

Tiny, Baby . . .
I love you.
Your husband,
Vincent.”

“On May 10, 1952, we had your brother, George, and you were born in 1954. Your Father returned to Tucson with his new family in the mid 1950s to earn his Bachelors of Art Degree in Education.

Your Father treated me as if I were a queen. He would take me to the finest dress shops like McDonald’s Department Store, which now is Dillards. He bought me lovely silver jewelry, and then took me to dinner and dancing. He loved to dance and could dance all night long. He liked my hair short, short, you know, the way Doris Day, the famous Hollywood Actress, wore her hair in the early sixties. It was so short, that I had to shave the back of my lower neck . . . as they did then. I would never wear my hair that short now, though. Later, we returned to Yuma, and he taught fifth grade at Carver School. His students absolutely loved him.”

I remember that my parents were married for about ten years when Father became extremely ill. He stayed home from work one day because he thought he had the flu. I had been climbing in our evergreen tree after school, and Mother called me into the house from the front porch. When I went indoors, she held what had once been a clean baby diaper, now soaked in blood. Father was hemorrhaging from his ears. Mother and I got into our car and drove swiftly to the family doctor. The doctor would not make a house call that day. Why, we do not know. When we arrived at the doctor’s home, Mother pounded and pounded with her pink fists on the doctor’s huge wooden door until the solemn doctor opened the door.

He had no answers for us and just said, “Call an ambulance.”
The drive to our home took less than five minutes, and Mother called the ambulance. Father arrived at the hospital later and died around 8:45 p.m. on May 10, 1962, my brother, George’s, tenth birthday. Later that night, we learned that our Father had a brain tumor at the base of his head.

Telling us that our Father had died, was one of the hardest things Mother ever had to do, I had just turned eight years old, and how do you tell your eight-year-old daughter that her Father is gone? She sat me down on my double sized bed in my white bedroom and then sat besides me. She tried to explain to me what had happened at the hospital. However, it did not make sense. How could he be gone when he was just here earlier this morning? Later, I remembered, at the beginning of summer, Father had been mowing the grass in the back of our yard located on Hillside Place, and just as he finished mowing under the swamp cooler, the heavy swamp cooler dropped hard to the ground. It barely missed his head. He was startled, but continued to mow the lawn until it he was finished.

My Mother mentioned a thought here and there about my Father after his death, but I never felt like I knew everything there was to know. Nevertheless, when she did speak, I noticed that she would choke up a bit. However, that did not keep me from asking questions for the most of my adult life. She was the keeper of his adult past, and the only way to find out about that time of his life was through her.

Mother once told me, “It was a perfect marriage, the ten years that we were together. The week that he died, I remembered spilling a large container of salt on the table and haphazardly cleaning it up.”
“You know, “the good”, they do die young.” my Mother said. “However, you know, your Father and I had good times, and he had a sense of humor. Once, I asked him if we were going celebrate Thanksgiving Dinner.”

He responded, “Why should we? My family did not across the Atlantic Ocean to come to America. They weren’t pilgrims.” He was right about that, his family did not take that route, but he loved to eat. Moreover, that became his excuse for having turkey with all the trimmings on a Thanksgiving Day Holiday.

I remembered running into one of his former students who said, “Mr. Carvajal was a very well liked teacher. It saddens me that he’s not here to teach anymore.”
If she only knew, how much I envied them.

One of my earliest memories of my Father before he died was when I was about five years old. I saw him autographing his individual school pictures for his fifth grade students at Carver Elementary School. He was sitting at the tan colored dining table. I stepped up to his chair and asked, “Daddy, may I please have a picture of you?”

“No, you are too young to have a picture of me. It will be lost or ruined.”
“Please, please, Daddy, I promise to keep your picture safe with me. I promise not to ruin it.”
“No, princess, you may not have one; you are much too young.”

The pleading went on for a few minutes; I whimpered and eventually cried myself to sleep beneath his socked feet.

A few months before my Father’s death, Mother told me he started to forget things “Your Father did not remember to renew his driver’s license. It was not like him to do so. I think that was an indication that something was wrong with him. I also think he actually knew that he was sick because he made sure that I would have my hands full with you kids so that I would not dwell on his death. It is possible that his doctor also knew that he was ill and had decided to say nothing about it to us.”

During the funeral viewing, all the Carvajals were there to show their respect. I particularly remember Uncle Aurelio being there for us. He tried to change the subject so that we would not feel any worse. Oddly, George, my brother did not show up at the viewing. I do not know why. As I walked up to the silver tone casket, I could see the image of a person who barely resembled Father. I whispered to everyone there, “Where are Daddy’s glasses? He will not be able to see in Heaven without his glasses.”

Someone gave me an explanation that did not make much sense to an eight year old. All I wanted was for him to look like my Father, and I did not want to hear any excuses from adults. I also noticed the funeral parlor employees did not do a very good job covering up the bruises on his face. You could see the dark purple stitches on the side of his head.

Later Uncle Aurelio told me that the Yuma medical community had talked about his death. “They said that the tumor was located in an area that could not be removed successfully at that time; but, if it had been today, Father would have been okay.”

During the first year after his death, Mother walked around our house like a zombie. She did not speak to anyone, her eyes were weepy and matted, and she was thin. Nevertheless, the next year, she woke to reality, and found that her bad dream was real. When she gained her strength, she put herself back into the work force and began working selling goods at department stores. She was never able to find a better job because she lacked a college education.

When Father’s brothers and sisters went through his personal things on the night of his death, they found that Father’s insurance policy had lapsed. It was not too much later that Mother lost our 1956 green and white Dodge Coronet to the credit union, but she managed to keep our home while raising three children, a ten year old, an eight year old, and a two year old on her own. That is when she started depending on her side of her family to help with us kids. Relatives watched over us over the summer months and took Mother to the grocery store to buy food. It was a few years before Mother learned that we had Social Security and Veteran Benefits. She received $255 death benefits, which went to Father’s burial at Johnson’s Mortuary. She received $382 a month for herself and us three kids from the Social Security Administration, and $85.00 a month for each child through the Veteran’s Administration.

When I asked my Mother why the school he had taught did not provide any financial assistant to her after he passed on, she said, “He did not have tenure. He was a only a few years shy of having it.”

Within the first week of his death, Mother soon gathered his most precious belongings together and placed them in a copper lock box the size of an extra large binder. She gave her thick gold wedding ring to Nana Luz Carvajal, and that is why I recognized the ring on my cousin’s hand.

Later she remarked, “What was I thinking?” Disappointingly, Mother never got her gold wedding band back.

A friend of Father’s asked Mother if she could have all his clothes and shoes for her son, so Mother obliged. All the pictures in the household that had his image on them disappeared into the copper lock box with all the mementos from his childhood to adulthood. Great-Aunt Mary Higuera, on my Mother’s side, received the copper lock box for her safekeeping until Mother was ready to look at them once more.

There were moments when out-of-the-blue, Mother would make a statement about Father like, “Some days I say to myself . . . I will have to share this moment with Vicente when he gets home tonight. Then I realized that he is gone.

Your Father loved to tease me. He used to pretend that he was dead on his bed just to trick me. When he would play this game, I would shake him, and shake him until I got a response, then he would laugh and laugh. He thought he was being funny. Nevertheless, I did not. When he died, and I saw him on the white hospital gurney that night, I wanted to shake him and shake him until he woke up, but this time, it was for real. I would give up every possession I own and live under a mesquite tree for the rest of my life if I could bring him back.”

Forty-two years later in 2003 when our Great-Aunt Mary died, at the age of 94 years old, her sons and daughters found the copper lock box while going through her belongings. They broke the lock to find the old black and white photos of Father’s entire lifetime, there were photos of his First Holy Communion, a 5” x 7” photo of his father and mother, his graduation photos from Fourth Avenue Junior High, Yuma High School, and Navy Boot Camp. Included in the box were his diplomas from Yuma High School and the University of Arizona. In addition, I found his honorable discharged papers from the United States Navy dated January 12, 1944, my parent’s wedding a honeymoon photos, and many other personal snapshots of vacations spots where he had traveled with his family like the first time he took his children to Disneyland around 1956.

When the box arrived back to her, Mother called me at work. She could not bring herself to hold onto the lock box. I had my reservations about opening the box, but knew that eventually I would open it. When I opened the box, I carefully pulled out the photos one by one and then the mementos. I also found a certificate awarded to my Father when he passed on. It read . . .

The United States of America
Honors the memory of
Vicente Antonio Carvajal Jr.
This certificate is awarded by a grateful
Nation in recognition of devoted and
Selfless consecration to the service
Of mankind in the Armed Forces of
The United States
May 22, 1962
signed . . .
John F. Kennedy
President of the United States

After pulling out all the papers, photos, and certificates from the box, I reached into the very bottom of the copper box. I found the photograph of my Father that I wanted so dearly when I was five years old. As I held his picture and gazed at the sepia image, there were so many things I wanted to share with him. Like the day that I married my husband, when we bought our first home, the time our baby girls were born, and the day that our daughters, Laura and Ashley, both graduated from Northern Arizona University with degrees in Education.

In addition, I found very personal items such as his baptismal papers, his military ID card, a certificate of perfect attendance, his elementary teaching certificate, and, finally, the paperwork requesting the details of his interment at Johnson’s Mortuary.

Since, I have placed all that is left of my Father’s pictures and personal mementos in a large white photo binder. Occasionally, I pull them out to remind me that my life really did not begin with me, that there were thousands of my people who came before me and that I am a link in the Carvajal and Munoz ancestry chain.

A dear friend to me, once said, “Do not question God’s Plan. It will get you in trouble.” I became extremely agitated when she said that to me. All my life, I have questioned God about bad things that happen to good people like my Mother and her family.

I know that God has a master plan, but I always wanted to know where I fit into His plan. Now that I am in my fifties I finally have my answer, but that answer is personal, and between God and me. (end)


Benacquista Galleries Welcomes New Artists

Benacquista Galleries Welcomes New Artists


SAN DIEGO, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Benacquista Galleries, Inc. announced today that during the month of November, the company signed agreements to publish and showcase the art work of 12 new artists on their on-line gallery .

Benacquista President Jim Price stated, "We are pleased to announce that during the month of November we have signed agreements with fifteen outstanding artists to showcase their work on our Benacquista Fine Art web site. Pamela Carvajal Drapala, Cathal O' Malley, Marius Hociung, Fumihiro Kato, Maria Miteva, Ivan Mitev, Tanya Andriyevska, Thomas Clyde, Cyril Goury-Laffont, Emile Teilaud, Sara Diciero, and Andrew Wielawski are all exceptional talents and we are proud to showcase their works.

About Benacquista Galleries

Benacquista Galleries, Inc. was founded in 2002 and went public in 2005. Through acquisition and partnership development, Benacquista specializes in advancing the value of start-up and revenue stage companies. We provide capital as well as a full range of strategic, operational and management resources for our clientele and partner companies. For additional information, visit: , and .

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that certain statements in this release are "forward-looking statements" and involve both known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such uncertainties include, among others, certain risks associated with the operation of the company described above. The company's actual results could differ materially from expected results.

Benacquista Galleries, Inc.

Web site:





Copyright © 2006, PRNewswire
Copyright © 2006, InterestAlert

Cleaning House

Cleaning House


Cleaning House
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
October 28, 2004
Revised August 19, 2010

For weeks, I’d planned for Rick and me to purge the house of any unnecessary items especially after I saw our daughter’s home. Her cute little apartment looked as though it came right out of “Home and Gardens” magazine. And I wanted that too.

As far back as I can remember Columbus Day weekend was set aside for having the carpets shampooed or intensive house cleaning. It was our only opportunity before the holidays to prepare even if it meant we would do nothing else the rest of the weekend. I told myself for weeks that I was going to minimize, minimize, minimize.

We arose early on Saturday morning and began our quest sorting items in the “backroom”. Each box held treasures that I simply forgot about, like my first pair of black patent leather shoes, my favorite Valentine’s Day photo of us when we were younger, and our daughters’ baby clothes.

I couldn’t believe how much a person can accumulate in a period of fifty years. The last thing I wanted to do was to have our daughters go through boxes and boxes of stuff after we died. The Salvation Army received items we no longer could use that still were in good condition such as clothes and shoes, and we tossed out items that were of no importance to anyone. To my amazement, I found my Wizard of Oz collection that I started in 1986. I can’t imagine that I had so much OZ memorabilia. I seriously considered selling some of the items that were no longer of use to me on E-Bay, but that would have to wait another weekend.

Of course, cleaning didn’t keep me from opening my Juno E-mail. President Bush e-mailed me about the fantastic support he received after his second debate on Friday night, October 8, 2004. I wrote him back, as I always do, saying that I supported his stand on saving the unborn and expressed my feelings on embryonic stem-cell research.

Saturday night we were exhausted after working hard all day. I had barely made a dent in purging stuff from our home. There were things that I couldn’t part with, such as my Mother-In-Law’s last Christmas card she sent to us before she died. She used to call us every Sunday to say “hello” from New York. My brain played tricks on me for a while after she died. I still expected to receive a call from her until my brain finally understood that she wasn’t going to call us anymore.

Sunday, I attended church and then came home to continue our cleaning marathon. After lunch, we took a trip to Lowe’s. I ran into Major Dan Dorn who worked at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma as the Public Affairs Officer in 1978. He asked me how long it had been since we last spoke. I told him, “It’s been 26 years.” He said, “You know Pam, I’m 71 years old now.” I asked him how his wife, Dorie, was doing. With a surprised look on his face he said, “How did you remember my wife’s name?” “I don’t know; those times seem like yesterday to me” I said. We said our good byes, and we parted.

Tiny primary colored Christmas decorations lined the area in front of the cashiers’ checkout stands at Lowe’s. I saw a group of Super Hero decorations and almost grabbed a small plastic Superman for our Christmas tree collection, but I painfully hesitated knowing in my mind that we were minimizing this weekend not buying new stuff.

But that didn’t keep me from buying two lush green plants for our home. That was one thing I could not live without. As far back as I can remember I’ve had plants. It all began on my ninth birthday. I invited all the girls from my second grade class to attend my party after school. The girls arrived with presents in hand. Mary Coleman gave me a blooming white onion planted in a small cup of soil. The plant was the first living thing that I was responsible for taking care of when I was a child.

My Mom looked at me and giggled as I accepted Mary’s gift. It took me years to understand why Mom reacted the way she did. Strangely enough, when I painted my most acknowledged painting, African Sunset, all the time I was painting the young girl’s face, I was thinking of Mary Coleman.
On Sunday night, I was almost asleep when Rick woke me up to tell me that Christopher Reeves, Superman, had died from complications from an illness. We had been married ten years before we saw Christopher in the movie that would bring him to fame. He was so handsome on the silver screen with his black curly hair and sculptured body. At first I thought, no one could be that good looking. But, I was wrong. When he injured himself horseback riding in 1995 during an equestrian competition, I was devastated as most people were. Later, Christopher would become an advocate for embryonic stem-cell research.

On Monday, we continued to clean. I began in the kitchen and was embarrassed to see the accumulation of dust and grime on the kitchen cabinets and stove. I had heard that the older one gets, the faster time passes by, but this was ridiculous. How does time pass by so quickly? Has it really been seventeen years since we moved in? Will the next seventeen years pass by this quickly too?

Later I checked my e-mail to see that our daughter, Laura, soon to be 24 years old, wrote:
My stomach dropped last night when I heard that Christopher Reeve, THE Superman passed away. As a kid I would watch them over and over again. I LOVED those movies.

With that, I went to the bedroom closet and pulled out a tape that we had recorded in 1986 off of ABC, Superman I. As I began to watch the tape while I cleaned the wooden cabinets, an advertisement played. “You too can own your own Mazda Truck for $4,999, no down payment required!”

After the movie introduction, I viewed Marlon Brando, young and thin, playing Superman’s father on the television screen. That was way too much for my brain to digest for the weekend. I stopped cleaning and decided the rest of the weekend I’d continue to write chapters for my first book.

(end)


The Yuma Theaters That I Remember

The Yuma Theaters That I Remember


The Yuma Theaters That I Remember
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
October 10, 2006
Revised August 19, 2010

Several white spotlights danced across the dark sky at night whenever a premiere movie was being shown at the Yuma Downtown Theater back in the 1960’s. My eyes seemed to increase in size when I learned that To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Ten Commandments, or Journey to the Center of the Earth was actually being shown in our hometown.

George, my oldest brother, and I always arrived at the theater right before the doors opened so that we would get the best seats in the house. Many of the children, back then, sat in the first roll of seats nearest to the movie screen. Occasionally, those children would find a quarter or two that had rolled down the incline of the movie house, just enough money to buy popcorn or a root beer.

It seems like yesterday to me, and I still remember the saltiness of the buttery popcorn, the sweetness of the soft drinks, and the crispness of a Nestlé’s Crunch if we had enough money to afford one of those tasty treats. Often though, I’d carry a large purse that was half my size into the movie house. Of course my enormous purse was stuffed with Thirfty’s discounted candy, such as Mars Bars, bubble gum cigarettes, or chewy Big Hunk candy bars that would seem to stick to my back teeth forever. Once, I bit into a Mars Bar, only to find it infested with half a worm. I haven’t had a Mars Bar since. And, how could I forget the many Saturdays that the gray-haired lead usherette ordered me to open my purse so that she could see what I had inside my purse; but not once did I allow her to do so.

My brother George and I started watching movies in Yuma since we were babes in our Daddy’s arms. My heroes on the silver screen were Charlton Heston, Judy Garland, Kirk Douglas, Carol Baker, and Gregory Peck, to name a few. Occasionally, Dad took us to watch a few Alfred Hitchcock movies, such as the “The Birds” and “Vertigo”. Mom was never too happy about that though, because I’d have some terrible nightmares the rest of the week. Later as an adult, I became addicted to mystery movies and most science fiction.

The Rios and the Lyric Theaters were much smaller movie houses that were also located at the downtown mall some forty years ago. On Saturday mornings, George and I would spend our whole day at the movies, sometimes watching the same movie twice.

When you bought popcorn from one of those theaters, you would sometimes find a surprise like money wrapped in waxed paper in your bag. If you were real lucky, the money would exceed the price of your ticket. The owners also had a cool ticket drawing during the movie intermission. One Saturday, surprisingly my brother George won the big prize. I think it was $5 or so back then. It wasn’t until I was an adult that my brother confessed; “Pam, remember when I won the money at the movies when we were kids? Huh, it was really your ticket that won that day.”

Since, I do not have a crystal ball and do not have the power to see into the future as Jules Verne did, I do have a feeling that theaters of the future will provide us with movies that emit smells; such as the perfume of the flowers, movement in your seats and three-dimensional movies will be a everyday thing. Whatever startling changes occur in Yuma, there is bound to be a theater.

So, as my friends Siskel and Ebert would say, “I’ll see you at the movies and save me an aisle seat.”


Hillside Place Remembered ©

Hillside Place Remembered ©


Hillside Place Remembered ©
January 6, 2001
Edited August 16, 2010
Word Count 1693
By Pam Drapala

Today I received a telephone call from Mr. John Holman, a friend from our old neighborhood, saying that one of our beloved friends passed away this morning in Phoenix, Arizona. I was introduced to Mr. George Biltz when I lived at Hillside Place in Yuma, Arizona over forty some years ago. The last time I saw him was at his and Mrs. Biltz’s (Rita Marie) fiftieth wedding anniversary. Seeing the Hillside neighbors at their anniversary party brought back priceless memories.

Living in the fifties, was an innocent time, very different from the days we live today. In fact, when I think about how it was, I have a hard time believing times were that good. President Eisenhower led our country. Americans recently fought in the Korean War, and America was prosperous. New homes were being built all over Yuma County. I remember Yuma extending from the Colorado River to 16th Street. Desert or farmlands covered the rest of the county.

Several middle income families in the mid-1950s enjoyed living in the homes for many years on Hillside. Today some of the original owners still reside in the neighborhood. My mother says when we moved away from Hillside in 1969, nothing was the same in our lives. She speaks the truth. I feel the same way. It was as if we left a special place.

Each cozy home was a less than 1500 square feet, three bedrooms, with one-bath, a nice sized kitchen, a living room and lots of windows to bring bright light into the homes. Homes were tiled throughout. The homes stood on little less than a quarter of an acre each. Spacious front and back yards were the norm. Sidewalks were constructed on both sides of the street where skating, hop scotching, jump roping, and riding bikes provided a healthy outlet for the children. Our home, paved with a long concrete driveway, provided a large play area for neighbor games such as basketball and once our family held a block party in front of our home. Dad purchased our home at a very reasonable price because our home was the model home on the block.

Mom’s favorite room was the bright yellow kitchen with sunshine beaming in from the back kitchen window. Here she would teach us to color Easter eggs with blue, red, and yellow food coloring and vinegar, wash our hair in the sink, and make her famous salsa from scratch. Many loving meals were made in her kitchen for her family.

In the corner of the kitchen, many loads of wash were washed and from there, the clothes would be hung one by one on the clothesline outside in our huge backyard. Once, we had a real piglet living in the back of our yard. I don’t know where we got him, however, he was fond of rubbing his nose in mud and putting little pug nose stamps on my mother’s lower legs as she hung clothes on the clothesline. We fed the pig regularly and that pig grew to be huge, I mean huge. We’re talking about a few hundred pounds. Our friend Shorty, a vegetable and fruit vendor, invited Mr. Pig to dinner one night, and we haven’t heard from Mr. Pig since.

Most of the backyard was covered with shade from our trees. I loved to climb high into the trees often. Once time, my clothes stuck to the tree and I couldn’t get loose. That’s when I learned I had a voice. I hollered for help, and my knight, my Dad, saved me again. However, he would only be around to take care of me until I was eight years old. From then on, I was pretty much on my own when I got in a mess.

I won’t forget my first telephone number at Hillside. It was SU 21284. Soda pop came bottled in real glass bottles and the milk did too. All our meals were prepared from scratch. Spaghetti sauce didn’t come in a glass container. TV dinners didn’t exist. Mom and I wore plastic rollers in our hair all day when we wanted curls in our hair. We listened to Elvis on 45s on our record player. The adults listened to Dean Martin on 33s. Hosiery came in two pieces and panty hose didn’t exist yet. We still listened to Mass at the Church in Latin, and I watched my first Walt Disney and Twilight Zone programs while living there.

Whenever I drive by the old neighborhood, which isn’t very often these days, I get chills down my spine because there is something enchanting about the place.
It could be because Hillside was my first real home in Yuma. We celebrated my first birthday in our backyard. My Mom and Dad brought home our baby brother, Kent, from the hospital to this home. This was the place where I learned to make mud pies with my brother, George, learned ride a bike with the help of Cynthia Martinez, and received my first pair of roller skates at Christmas from my Mom.

Hillside was a safe place. Hillside was a place where children could roam the neighborhood without fear. During Halloween at night, my brother, George, and I could walk six blocks in any direction and feel safe. Families knew each other by first names and watched out for each other. We were one big family.
I don’t think that Mrs. Biltz or her daughter will remember this one though. I never forgot the day when my friend Linda and I found red ants in the neighborhood and decided we would exterminate the ants like professionals. I think were about seven or eight years old. We found a can of poison spray and sprayed them good. Mrs. Biltz found out what we had done and promptly sent us in to wash our hands. I don’t know what happened to Linda, but I was sent home for getting into the spray.

My brother George and I would often take field trips to the desert. Our favorite place was Mount Baldy near one of the canals. We would leave early in the day and scout for lizards, rocks, broken glass, stuff like that. Having a brother who allowed me go with him on his outings around the neighborhood, made me into a fierce little girl. I wasn’t afraid of bugs, spiders, lizards, or boys. I learned which bugs and boys were dangerous in the neighborhood. I learned which bugs were friendly, like the small black water or potato bugs that popped in for visit anytime we watered the lawn. We had our share of scrapes and bruises; we never turned into any sissies. Biking, skating, hiking with George made my life fuller, ‘cause he was my buddy, and he still is.

I made my first lifetime friends at Hillside. When we were in our early teens, Linda Biltz and I would sometimes walk about a mile and a half and back so that Linda could eat her French fries at the drug store at the Yuma Mesa Shopping Center. Her mom insisted that Linda take an umbrella so that her delicate skin wouldn’t burn. Mrs. Biltz sure did know a lot of information in those days and that was in the sixties. Linda took the umbrella, and we walked to the shopping center. Linda ate her French fries, her cravings were gone until the next time, and I got a nice tan out of the walk. During the mid-70’s we carpooled to and from Arizona Western College for awhile, and I enjoyed her company.

Mr. Biltz taught high school Spanish when my Mother was in high school in 1948. Mr. Biltz was my Yuma High School Registrar from 1969 to 1972. The problem with being a neighbor with the school registrar is that he could check and see if you were ill or just playing hooky. Yep, I had days when I didn’t want to go to school because of a test in Geometry or English. I wasn’t the brightest child in school, and I knew it. However, I did excel in art and music. As long as I could convince my Mom, I was ill, I could stay at home on a school day. I was a good actress, I’m told. I learned early how to fake an illness like influenza even if it wasn’t the flu season. Mr. Biltz would check up on me each time that I didn’t go to school even when I was sick.

Would you believe Mr. Biltz cornered my husband, Rick, a few years ago at a party and told him that I used to miss a lot of school back in the day? Mr. Biltz eventually was a member of Yuma School Board. He was probably responsible for the new rule on class attendance at the high school because it all happened around the time that he took office. If you miss five days of school during the semester, you have to make the time up on weekends. Gee, just think, I may have been the main cause of all that.

As the years went by, none of us escaped the crazy times of the sixties or the seventies. People died, including my Dad at 36 years old, a baby girl of about three, and a boy down the street. President Kennedy was shot. Vietnam came and went. I will never forget the good times I had when I lived on Hillside; the friendships and love woven in that neighborhood will last us all a lifetime. I thank God for these precious blessings.

(end)


5/5/2009, Growing Pains©

5/5/2009, Growing Pains©


Dedicated to my loving parents, Vincent and Carmen

My Momma was a very hard working woman raising three young children, two, eight, and ten years old, all alone after my Daddy passed away in the early sixties. The times of our childhood were difficult for all of us. Nevertheless, we survived life’s trying moments. I must admit now that I am an adult, some sweet memories formed out of some very embarrassing moments during my enrollment at O. C. Johnson Elementary School located in Yuma, AZ.

When I look back at grammar school, I cannot believe how clear my memories are. Yet, when I’m supposed to remember a simple thing, like picking up bread at the store after work, I forget. The brain sure does work in mysterious ways.

Before I entered first grade with Mrs. McIntire, I tested for remedial classes. The school said I showed tendencies of a slow learner. During the testing, a school evaluator showed me pictures of several items for me to identify, but I couldn’t identify the garden spade. I’d never seen a garden spade before in my life. In fact, I had never seen anyone work in a garden before.

My first few years of my life were spent in a housing development for married couples with children at the University of Arizona in the late fifties. My Daddy was earning his Masters Degree in elementary teaching. So, my parents didn’t have time to do much gardening while at the university.

I failed the test. It must have looked and sounded strange when I, a mere six-year-old, started to argue with the evaluator that I did indeed know what a spade was. I told her that a spade was a suit of playing cards marked with a black figure shaped symbol. See, my Daddy played a lot of poker with his school friends while enrolled at the University when he wasn’t studying his books or being a father to my brother, George and I.

The school scolded my Daddy because a child has no business knowing how to play poker. That’s when I discovered an important lesson. Everyone has their own point of view and some words in the English language do have multiple meanings.

I don’t remember second grade too well with Mrs. Sirrine my second grade teacher. That was the year that my Daddy died. For some reason or another, this year is unclear to me. I guess that’s what happens when you lose a precious part of your childhood. I do know that although my Daddy died, Momma kept living on the best she could for us kids.

I think my third grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Nick. I remember vaguely that my Momma saved her pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters in her small beige jewelry box so that we could have at least have one hot nutritious meal a-day at the school cafeteria. Money was tight, and there were no extras, in fact, what we had in our home had been meager after Daddy died.

I just have one question, though. How many times can a mother darn a pair of socks with a sewing needle? The answer . . . ten to fifteen times or perhaps more. Wearing darned socks to school can be an embarrassment for a small child and is very painful especially when one’s has out grown their shoes. I guess that’s where the saying comes from . . . grin and bear it! To this day, I make sure that I my daughters have plenty of good socks, and the first time they show any kind of wear, it’s time to toss the socks in the trash.

Because, I was having difficulty reading in third grade, Momma placed me in a summer reading program at Mary Elizabeth Post School so that I could improve my reading skills. The plan was to go reading in the morning, then go to swimming lesson at Abe Marcus Pool afterwards. The school and the pool were walking distance from each other.

How Momma ever balanced her private life and working life, is beyond me. All I know, she was one smart mother who always had a plan. Momma knew that swimming lessons would prove valuable for her children, especially with all the swimming pools, canals, lakes, ponds, and the Colorado River in the Yuma area.

One day in fourth grade, school pictures were to be taken at school. I wanted my dark hair to look very nice since I didn’t have a new outfit to wear as the other children in my class would. So, I curled my shoulder length hair in about thirty or forty curlers the night before. Talk about a painful night.

The next day, my hairdo was so big that my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Steiert, said “Pammie, what did you do to your hair? It looks like you stuck your finger in a light socket!” Little did he know, I was to the first person to coin the expression, BIG HAIR. To this day, the bigger my hair is, the better it looks.

Kids simply love to make fun of each other in school and being petite and all, I was made fun of quite a bit. However, when my peers were selecting sides for team sports, I was always chosen first. I could kick a football and throw softball as well or better than any other boy in fifth grade at O. C. Johnson School.

One day, while I was playing softball, I made the mistake of trying to catch a fast ball without a softball mitt. My middle hand finger bent all the way back, but my finger didn’t break. Boy, it swelled up big immediately. Innocently, I didn’t know I was giving the birdie to everyone as I showed my sprain finger to them. Of course, I needed to show it to the teacher that was monitoring the playground that day. He just so happened to be Mr. Steiert, my fourth grade teacher.

I soon was to be in sixth grade. My Uncle Johnny, my deceased Daddy’s older brother, sold shoes at McDonald Department Store at the Yuma Downtown Mall. Uncle Johnny knew that Momma could only afford only one pair of shoes for me for the entire school year. Uncle Johnny convinced my mother to buy me new shoes in a size and a half-bigger than I needed. He really thought I would grow into the shoes eventually.

Wrong, so, I coped with the situation the best I could. I stuffed my flat, black leather strapless shoes with toilet paper everyday so they would at least fit a little tighter. It didn’t matter though. My shoes still made the sound, clip clop, clip clop everywhere I walked. To this day, I have more shoes in my closet than, Imelda Marcos, The Former First Lady of the Philippines, does. It is strange how certain childhood events affect us later in life.

Finally, when I reached sixth grade, I was the first girl in my class to bloom on top. My girl, friends, gave me such a hard time. They said I stuffed my bra with toilet paper. (Boy, that stuff sure does have many uses, doesn’t it?) Of course, I didn’t stuff my bra. I was an early bloomer. The girls immediately stopped talking about me when they all started budding at once on top themselves in just a short time. I was just the leader of the pack.

We weren’t children anymore, and that was a sad moment for me. We graduated from grammar school and entered a new time in our lives. We were now teenagers with teenage woes and teenage enjoys. We left our sweet Barbie dolls, used jump ropes, and jacks behind in our bedroom closets at home, never to be sweet children again. We would only relive that part of our lives if we had the opportunity to be around children when we grew up.

When Ashley, my daughter, came home from High School the other day, she showed me where she skinned up her knees while practicing volleyball. She was in tears because she didn’t want to have any scars on her knees. We sat down together on our thirty-year-old sofa and talked a bit. I showed her all my scars on my knees from playing sports at school. Soon, Ashley didn’t feel so bad after all. I never realized that the skinned knees would bond us closer together as mother and daughter.

You know, now that I think of it, growing up wasn’t so bad after all. Good times and sad times did happen, but you know, Momma loved us kids and school taught me how to poke fun at myself, and that was a good thing, don’t you think? (end)


Laurel Bloom, Fantasy Poetry In Celebration of Earth Day 2008

Laurel Bloom, Fantasy Poetry In Celebration of Earth Day 2008


Laurel Bloom
Fantasy Poetry
Pamela Carvajal Drapala
April 22, 2008


The little old Irish lady, 71 years old,
with silver hair and pink cheeks wore
a permanent smile on her face as she
gardened. She pinched back flower buds
so that the plant would produce more flowers.

Laurel fed and watered her
luscious flowers and plants tenderly
as though they were her precious children.
She tended to many varieties of flowers and
plants from mums to roses, which grew on her quarter acre.

She tended them year after
year never once taking a vacation,
for her plants were her whole life. Even
when she was under the weather, she made
sure they had plenty of water, fertilizer, and most importantly, love.

Everything she touched in the
garden turned green and bloomed,
and when someone's plant was ill, Laurel
nursed it back to health, and before long, the
now healthy plant was having babies plants of its own.


One late fall day, Laurel found a strange
looking plant spout in her garden. A plant
that she had never seen before. She searched
for the species name in many of her plant books, but
couldn't find anything that looked like that particular plant.

She scratched her small head and wondered
awhile. She knew, since she lived in a windy area,
that any seed from anywhere could land in her garden and grow
if it found its way to her home where the temperatures were usually very mild.

So, Laurel watered the small spout,
it grew and grew quickly, and before long,
the plant was as tall as she, 4'8". Unusual red
pods formed on the many stems of the plant, and soon
the unique spiral shaped flowers bloomed by early winter.

In no time, Laurel was giving cuttings of the
plant to her friends in her garden club and to her
family and neighbors. They all seemed to say, the
flowers were so remarkable, that the garden club soon
name the flower "The Laurel Bloom" in honor of Laurel finding a new species.

It wasn't long before, botanists were
interested in the newly found plant. They
studied and studied the plant for a few years
and also wondered about its origin like Laurel had.
Finally, they gave up, and classified the species as
a new discovery and kept the name the garden club
had named the plant with the red pods, "The Laurel Bloom".

Researchers were interested in the new plant, as well.
They determined that the plant was edible after five
years of testing. Before long, people who owned the
plants began making a delicious sweet tea from the plant leaves.

An unusual event occurred after a terminally
ill child drank the red tea over a period of time.
She began to show signs of recovery after drinking
the tea. Later they found, the red tea didn't prevent
older people from dying from old age, but it did keep them from being sick.

Who would have thought, in late 2008, that the miracle plant
would be found on the West Coast? Yes, we had discovered
aspirin and penicillin by that time, but we didn't have a natural cure for cancer.

Surprisingly, it was to soon to be discovered
that a meteorite, probably the size of a small fist,
crashed into many pieces as it hit the earth during a meteor storm.
Scientists report, tiny flecks of the red particles may have blown
into the air and landed on, of all places, Mrs. Laurel Bloom's garden. : )

Drapala copyrighted 2008


My Journey as an Artist, Poet, Writer, and Poet

My Journey as an Artist, Poet, Writer, and Poet


Allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. I am an artist, poet, writer, and photographer.
My family has resided in Yuma, Arizona since 1856.

1. When Laura, our first daughter, left for college in 1999, I found that I had a lot of time on my hands.

2. One afternoon, I sat down and started writing a story about my youngest daughter (Ashley’s) friend’s 15th birthday celebration.

3. From there, I began to write short stories, poems, and started to paint.

4. I understood that I was not a natural writer, poet, or painter.

5. One thing that I did have, and that was passion about what I did.

6. Within a short period, I enrolled in creative writing classes, beginner and immediate, studied painting at NAU and AWC, and later took a few speech classes.

7. Honestly, in the beginning of my poems as well as some of my paintings were crude, yet, I continued because inside my soul, I was passionate about all these things.

8. I found that time escaped me when I wrote or painted. Sometimes, I would wake up during the night to write down an idea or write a poem that was yearning to be written.

9. Yes, there were times when I struggled with a work. Yet, those works were my best creations.

10. Later on I would read, a Michelangelo’s quotes, “If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all.”

11. I knew exactly how he felt especially when I was trying to write down an idea onto paper or paint an image I had inside my head that needed to be painted onto canvas.

12. Sometimes, my “muse” would not let me let go of an idea. It just had to be.

13. Eventually, I wanted to share my works with others.

14. I wanted to find out if my thoughts connected with others in the world.

15. I wanted to know what the world thought of my works.

16. As a result, I began to place my works on the Internet and before long, I had people asking me if they could publish my work on their websites, in poetry books, and art works across the world in Canada, France, Great Britain, India, the USA, and Korea.

17. Then one day, I started writing and painting about my family. I was always interested in my family’s history, where we were from, where it all begun, and were there any famous people in our family tree?

18. I had heard years before that one should really write about what they know best.

19. Many years later, I would hear, from David Coy, a recently retired AWC Professor, that my best stories and poetry were about my family.

20. My Father, who died in his 30’s, had once told me a fabulous story about how one of our ancestors had actually traveled with Christopher Columbus around 1492.

21. I began researching my roots, asking my relatives for photographs, and before I knew it, I was incorporating the information and materials that I had into my class work at the college and university.

22. What I did not have were certain dates and details, and that information was dying off with my elder relatives. Time was the utmost importance to me.

23. Therefore, where I learned something new, I jotted that information down quickly.

24. What began as a few dates and facts grew into a plethora of information.

25. After I started gathering my works together, writings, poetry, paintings, and now photography, I discovered that there were people out there who understood what I was creating.

26. This information confirmed my thoughts that we are all connected with people from all over the world.

27. Even though we may live thousands of miles apart, we may dress differently, speak differently, have different customs, and eat different foods . . . we have something in common . . . and that is our stories may be told with illustrations, poetry, photographs, and paintings.

28. Thus, I continued to take more classes in writing and painting. Ironically, after having my classes evaluated by NAU-Yuma this year, I learned that I am three classes shy of my degree in English with a focus in art. It was never my intention for it to happen that way, it just did.

29. Rachel and Hanna, fellow students, remarked a few years ago to me, “Pam, you really should write a book, a book that includes your short stories, poetry, and painting.”

30. As time went on, I continued to write about my family’s history and began to paint series of paintings. I had enough material to write a book as well as illustrate it. “The Fruitful Yuma Valley” is one book that is almost ready to go to a publisher.

31. “A Little Bit of Heaven” a book about my family, is another book that I will be working on in the future.

32. An excellent source for searching your heritage can be located on the Internet at ; also, if you are from Yuma, you might want to talk to Carol Brooks, who keeps the history of Yuma up-to-date.

33. In addition, interviews with your relatives are so important. If you find old pictures, diaries, journals, scrapbooks, or other documents, those are helpful, too.

34. It is important to keep the records of your family in a dry, safe place. For old documents, I would suggest making photocopies of them, putting them away and using the copies for your research and works. Originals are old and sometimes brittle and tend to age quicker if not handled properly. I’ve seen Carol Brooks use cotton gloves when handling photographs and papers.

35. Perhaps, one of your relatives has already started collecting information about your family tree. Ask, ask, ask. It is amazing what you might find that has already been gathered on your family.

36. If you do not have family history or materials to work with, there is always your history, which is ever so important that includes your pictures, hobbies, and collections. Starting your own family tree can be a great venture.

37. Have fun when researching.

38. Perhaps you have older relatives who love to talk about themselves.

39. Invest in an inexpensive tape recorder, batteries, and get the information down now.

40. Interviewing your relatives can bring you closer.

41. You might learn a little about yourself, too.

42. I always thought that I had an eye for style, and that it was my idea. Well, I was wrong. My Great-Aunt had an eye for style and an eye for design. Therefore, even those traits can be inherited!

43. In reference to my art and writing future . . . where, do I go from here? I do not know what the future will bring; I just know that I am enjoying this journey.

44. It gives me great joy to see that people enjoy my work.

45. In addition, if I had to do it all over again, as the clique says, I would do it the same way.
End


NAU Poetry Class Summer 2003

NAU Poetry Class Summer 2003


It's been four years since I took the Northern Arizona University (NAU) Poetry Class. Our instructor, Professor Robert Walker, the tall man in the center of the photo. I have Professor Walker again this year for my summer class at NAU, the name of the class is "Writing for Communities" a NAU English 305, which is now mandatory for all English majors.

(In the photo, center, is myself about five pounds lighter than I am now. I'm working really hard to lose those pounds this summer.)

Anyway, the real reason I write is because, I'm thankful that NAU has been here for me.

Writing and poetry are also considered art forms.

Here's what I wrote Professor Walker:

Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 22?? -0700

Good evening Professor Walker,

I hope this weekend is going well for you.

I truly believe, that NAU/AWC has influenced me greatly as an adult, and I do not know what I would have done without the faculty or the schools.

You probably have heard this many times before, if so, here it goes again . . . before I went back to school as a junior at NAU, I thought I knew everything there was to know about life, but soon I learned differently. Knowledge is one of the keys to becoming a better person.

And, thank you for being there for me as a Professor of English.

Peace,

Pam


Workshops - Yuma Fine Arts Center, Arizona, USA

Workshops - Yuma Fine Arts Center, Arizona, USA


August 5, 2005

Opening Remarks - Georgia O’Keeffe
Pam Drapala, Art Instructor
August 4, 2005

The first time I saw a Georgia O’Keeffe painting was a few years ago, in San Diego, CA at the San Diego Art Museum. I was truly amazed at the size of the painting and the size of the flower. The flower was large, as though I were an insect homing in on the flower and ready to get a taste of it’s sweet nectar. The white flower was the White Trumpet Flower, 1932, sized 29 3/4" X 39 3/4", oil painted on canvas. Little did I know, the painter of the flower, would become one of my favorite artist.

Perhaps, it is because Georgia viewed flowers as no other artist had before. Even though I like to paint portraits, I never knew that one could paint a flower with such passion, color, and depth. And yet the flower was so simple in shape, nothing fancy, just a representation of a flower in its simplest form, yet so striking.

As I recently researched Georgia’s work, I was surprised to learn that she was a mysterious woman who did not like the spot light nor attention as some artists do. Ironically, today her paintings are considered masterpieces and are know worldwide.

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August 4, 2005
Pam’s Helpful Painting Tips*

1. Always use clean brushes when painting (Dawn dish soap works wonders).

2. When cleaning your brushes, use a cloth to wipe off paint before you wash your brush.

3. Use good quality materials with good pigment. The less expensive paint doesn’t look as nice as a good quality paint.

4. Use a nice size canvas instead of small. One of my previous instructors once said, the larger the canvas, the more attention your painting will receive. I paint 24" X 30", which isn’t too big or small.

5. Clip the Michael’s coupon in your Sunday newspaper. They usually have 40 - 50% off one item, sales items excluded.

6. If you don’t want to clean your painting pallette, use plastic coated paper plates. Use once and toss away.

7. Always have a model, either a photo or even better, paint from life.

8. Always paint in good lighting.

9. When you are ready, start painting in series, in similar themes.

10. Get feedback from your fellow artists on your work. Monet, Van Gogh,
Kahlo, Manet, etc. all got feedback from fellow artists.

11. Experiment with different brush strokes.

12. Use all different size brushes on your canvas.

13. Don’t get frustrated if you make a mistake. Some of my best works have been because I made a mistake and worked on the painting until I was happy with it. One of my best painting took me three months to paint.

14. Don’t paint on a flat table, use an easel.

15. Paint at least a ½ hour a day.

16. Have a special place in your home, studio, patio, etc. to paint that makes you feel most comfortable with good lighting of course.

17. Read artist’s magazines and see what other artists are painting and what they have to say.

18. Enjoy!

*Tips were learned over the years by attending classes and painting often
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August 3, 2005

Facts about Georgia’s Painting Style
August 2005
Pamela Carvajal Drapala, Art Instructor
August 12, 2005

1. Geogia painted on a large canvas

White Trumpet Flower, 1932
29 3/4" X 39 3/4"
Oil on Canvas
Location, San Diego Art Museum

2. The brush stroke on her paintings were visible.

3. Georgia always loved nature and color.

4. She painted in bright colors when painting flowers.

5. She painted in oils.

6. Her painting style was called precisionism (a form of cubism and realistic painting) .

7. Her paintings of flowers are precise and stripped of all ornamental details.

8. In 1924, Georgia began to paint large flowers which took up most of the space on the canvas.

9. Georgia devised a method to paint with white underpainting to create a fresh appearance on the canvas.


10. Georgia was an artist who seldom explained her life or her work never explaining the influence of her work . . . she was a mystery.

11. “So I said to myself, I’ll paint what I see - what the flower is to me - but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into looking at it.” Georgia O

12. It belongs to me God told me. If I painted it enough, I could have it. Another Georgia quote.

Resource material: Image1/Index.html
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August, 2005

My television interview at KYMA will be August 8, 2005 in the morning . . . the Georgia O'Keeffe class that I am teaching at the Yuma Fine Art's Center. I'm looking forward to the interview and the showing my latest painting, "In My Garden". I hope that the painting becomes one of my best to date.

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August 12, 2005

Art Appreciation/Art Workshop - Georgia O'Keeffe

Inspired by the paintings of the modern American artist, create your own art work, in the Style of Georgia O'Keeffe. Please bring your favorite media, pastel, watercolor, oil or acrylic, and discover an intensity of expression. Instructor: Pamela Carvajal Drapala. The workshop is sponsored by the Cultural Council of Yuma and will be held at the Yuma Art Center from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information call (928) 783-2423.
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Lesson Plan - Georgia O’Keeffe

Title: Introduction to Georgia O’Keeffe

Objective: To introduce students to Georgia O’Keeffe and her painting.

Suggested
Materials: Watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, crayons, canvases, large butcher paper, brushes,

Time required: 2 ½ - 3 hours

Procedure: a. Instructor will give a brief overview of the artist. - 10 - 15 minutes

b. Instructor will show brush stroke techniques with acrylic paint. - ½ hour

c. Students will individually create a draft painting of flowers - 1 ½

Closure: Students will share what they have learned during class time ½ hr.

Survey: Short questionaire stating what types of classes students would be interested in learning in the future - 5 minutes
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Questions on Georgia O'Keeffe.

1) What was the name of the type of painting that Georgia painted? - Precisionism - cubist realism, art movement in the 1920s.

2) How and where was she discovered? - Alfred Stieglitz, her future husband, discovered at his gallery, 299.

3) What types of paintings is she best known for today? - large scaled flowers, bones, landscapes, and the city.

4) When, where, was she born? - O’Keeffe was born November 15, 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

5) What are some of the quotes is she best know for today? - “Filling a space in a beautiful way. That is what art means to me.” “Nobody sees a flower - really it is so small it takes time - we haven’t time and to see takes time, like having a friend takes time.”
6) What type of materials/tools did she paint? Georgia created her works in watercolor, oils, pastels, and charcoals. During her lifetime she painted over 900 paintings.

7) Where can her paintings be found today, museums - Museum of Fine Art - Boston, Metropolitan Museum Art, Butler Institute of American Art, Illinois Art Institute in Chicago, National Gallery of Art, just to name a few.

8) How did she become interested in painting? She learned to draw in grammar school and knew at an early age she wanted to be an artist. She received an art scholarship from the NY Art Student League in 1907.

9) In reference to her paintings - what is the average price they are selling for today? -
They are in the six figure range, $100, 000 and above. In 1998, and undated watercolor, Red and Blue #2 went for $266,000, move than double its high estimate.

10) What other known facts do we know about her? - She was Irish, middle named Totto, came from an educated family.

Answers to questions found on various Internet sites on the web.

Awards

Awards


Outstanding Purple Ribbon; Fine Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Pay Day, Farm Worker Series

Blue Ribbons; Fine Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Geronimo and Adam, Farm Worker Series

Cash Award Gold Rosette and Purple Rosette, Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Luz, Farm Worker Series

Purple Ribbon; Art Competition, Yuma, AZ 2005, Jorge, Farm Worker Series

Receiving a cash award, three purples, and two blues made my life rather exciting last night! Because of this, I think I'm ready to even go further by entering in out of town competitions and artist magazines. I'm writing my process of writing an article on painting and will submit it in the summer months.

Outstanding Ribbon: Fine Art Competition Yuma, AZ 2004, Yuma Eve, Farm Worker Series

Grand Champion (Cash Award) and Outstanding 2003: The Weaver, Outstanding, The Green Eyed Girl.

Outstanding: My Daughters and Angel, 1990s.

Three Cash Awards for Costume Design - Yuma County Fair.

First Place: Frida at Peace 2003 - sold at the Yuma Fine Arts Auction for college scholarships.

First Place: Frustration, 1990s.

First Place: Blue Moon, 1990s.

Second Place: My Friend Hong - 2003

Second Place: Laura and Ashley, 1980s.

Sunflower, 1,000 Seeds, In My Garden Series - Presentation Yuma Desert Rose

Sunflower, 1,000 Seeds, In My Garden Series - Presentation Yuma Desert Rose


Greetings everyone!

My name is Pamela Carvajal Drapala, and I am an artist and a poet.

I am a native Yuman. My family has resided in Yuma since 1856. I recently retired a year and ½ ago as a Budget Analyst after 33 years of service with the Federal Government.

Today, I will talk about my painting series, “In My Garden”. You may wonder why I painted this series, “In My Garden”. Nurturing is what mothers’ do. They are caretakers of the home and the earth since the beginning of mankind. When our oldest daughter went to NAU Flagstaff in the fall of 1999, I planted many flowers in my garden and took many pictures of them. Four years later, when my second daughter left for college, I did the same. I didn’t realize that some day, I would paint a few of the flowers from the photographs that I had taken years before. I don’t remember having the “empty nest” syndrome at that time; I was too busy taking art classes in poetry and painting at the local college and university, and often worked in my garden.

My college instructors have been instrumental in helping me to be successful in creating my poetry and paintings. They are wise women and men who’s teaching abilities have guided me through my journey of being an artist, and little did I know, because of them, I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a minor in Art this year from Northern Arizona University-Yuma.

My first loves have always been God, then painting. Painting has always been something that I enjoyed and look forward to almost every day. I started drawing when I was about 4 years old. Painting is relaxing, and it is something that I can call my own. My art works have been influenced by Frida Kahlo, George O’Keefe, Vincent Van Gogh, Diego Rivera, and Gustav Klint. My paintings are usually 24” x 30” inch in size. Painting one picture usually takes me two months because of the tiny brushes that I use just as Frida Kahlo did years ago. I just learned of this while attending Judy Chicagos presentation last week on her latest book, "Face to Face". I express myself by using images that surround me in my life, especially “The Fruitful Yuma Valley”. Each painting is a challenge and when I finish one, I feel good because I’ve created a piece of art that expresses what I feel inside of my mind and my soul.

Why did I decide to paint a sunflower? Since I was in high school, forty years ago, I have been drawn to their beauty and grandeur. When I painted this one, which is still a work in progress, I wanted to depict the organic nature of the flower into my work. Please note the center of the flower. There are hundred of seeds that have been formed with paint; please note the center of the sunflower.

In reference to the many sunflowers that I grew in my garden, I have planted them twice in the past two years. The first time, I planted them immediately after I retired. Approximately 80 seeds were planted in our backyard that year. The staggered crop produced many sunflowers from tiny ones with heads as small as my hands, to large mammoth ones with heads the size of a large dinner platter. Amazingly, I found hundreds of tiny insects that loved the fact that I had planted those flowers at the bottom of each green stalk.

In my painting, I desired to depict the 1,000’s of seeds in the center of each sunflower. Once I removed the pollen from the center of the flower, I could see this miracle of the life giving seeds. The sunflowers are hardy and thrive even in the poorest conditions and drop their seeds to feed many insects, birds, animals, and humans. “In China the sunflower is linked with immortality, and eating its seeds was said to promote longevity.” “Healthy unsaturated fats, protein and fiber, plus important nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, copper, zinc, folate, iron and phytochemicals come wrapped up in this small and perhaps unsuspected package – a sunflower seed.”

Many photographs were taken at that time of all the sunflowers and after reviewing the photographs, I noted that none of the sunflowers looked the same. Each was unique just as each of us is unique.
In the book “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Symbols . . .” the sunflower, the book says that the first sunflowers arrived in Europe from the Americas.”

Amazingly, sunflowers have graced this earth for 50 Million years ago and were found in Patagonia which is difficult for some to digest, since modern man has only been on earth for 300,000 years. As I researched other painter’s sunflowers, I found that other artists have painted sunflowers as far back as 1638 when the old masters painted them, such as Vincent Van Gogh.

Sunflowers grows all around the world, in open fields, in the wild, vacant lots, and occasionally you will see them growing on the side of the roads even here in Yuma. You may plant sunflowers from seeds or from small plants; however, whichever you do, they will surprise you as their faces follow the sun as the sun travels across the sky each day until they fade away. They come in many colors from almost white to bright yellow to a brilliant red color.

They are territorial flowers as they produce a chemical in the soil around them to ensure that other types of flowers do not encroach on them. When the large flowers faded and died in my garden, we removed the stalked from the ground and found that the root balls were heavy, soil encrusted roots weighing at least ten pounds for those sunflowers that came from the Mammoth variety seeds. They were so difficult to remove, that my husband had to assist me from removing them from the garden.

The Painting Process . . .

When selecting a sunflower photograph to paint, I selected the one image I felt that was the happiest looking one to me. When I first saw the thousands of other sunflower paintings on the internet, I realized that even though these were painting of the same flower, they all looked different. Artists all over the world use various canvas sizes, place different colors and textures onto their canvas. The beauty of it is that every artist expresses what is within their beings onto the canvas.

The process of painting one canvas is to take a photograph of what I wish to paint, sketch the image onto the canvas, and apply the paint onto the canvas layer by layer until I am satisfied with the image I have painted. By applying paint, I add volume onto the canvas. When I take a photograph of the final painting for the Internet, postcards, and prints, the camera captures the colors as thought the image was a solid mass. Otherwise, the image would appear thin.

When viewing people’s art work in books, such as Frida Kahlo’s, the famous Spanish painter or Georgia O’Keefe’s works, the art books do not do justice to their paintings. When I viewed Frida’s original painting with her butterflies in person, the butterflies looked like glistening jewels upon the canvas in the light. Later, I learned that many artists have actually used grounded jewels such as amethyst to paint with on their canvases. I do not have that option; therefore, I need to capture the light with my paint.
As you can see, several of my “In My Garden” series are here today. The Protea, The Poppy, Floating Flower, and “One Day in August” are just to name a few.

I hope that you have learned more about sunflowers and their history. I look forward to presenting again in the future when I finish other series such as the Yuma Biker's Series.

References: .../50-million-year-old-sunflower-fossil.html
health/
Presentation, Judy Chicago, "Face to Face" December 7, 2010, San Diego Art Museum
"The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Symbols . . .”

(end)


Day of the Dead 2009

Day of the Dead 2009


Day of the Dead is for the living
Comments 0 | Recommend 0
October 31, 2009 3:50 PM
BY CHRIS McDANIEL, SUN STAFF WRITER
People gathered at the Yuma Civic Center Saturday to pay homage to their loved ones and ancestors who have passed away in preparation for the Day of the Dead - El Día de los Muertos - on Monday.

Several artisans were selling handmade masks, sugar skulls, paper flowers and other trinkets associated with the traditional celebration.

Juan Antonio Contreras came from San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., to share his handmade figurines with Yuma citizens.

"This is a celebration of my ancestors in Mexico," Contreras said. "It is essential for us to remember the dead, and to honor them is very important. The masks are part of the celebration. The day of the dead is not supposed to be scary but fun."

The Day of the Dead is an ancient celebration created about 2,500 years ago by the Aztec, Maya and other indigenous cultures living in what is now Mexico.

Some believe it is easier for the souls of the departed to visit the living on the Day of the Dead. Several families gather at cemeteries to speak with the dead. Some even build ornate altars, complete with the favorite foods and photos of the deceased, and hope the souls will hear their prayers.

Pamela Carvajal-Drapala, a local artist, poet and writer, said the celebration allows memories of her deceased father to come out.

"My dad (Vincent Carvajal) died when I was 8 years old and I remember him even more so on this day, and I think about what could have been but is not. I also think of all of my dead relatives. It is to honor the dead and to pray for their souls."

Carvajal-Drapala said there is always more to learn about the celebration.

"I’m still being educated about the Day of the Dead. Here I am a sixth-generation Hispanic and it is only in the last 10 years I have heard about this."

Yesenia Meadows, 14, of Yuma, was at the festival to help her mother sell traditional celebratory flowers.

"My mom crafts papier-mache flowers so people can decorate graves, and some people use them to decorate their houses. This is a day to pray for the dead, wish them well in the afterlife, and remember who they were."

Event organizer Stephanie McMillin, who works for the city of Yuma, said the celebration is meant as a happy occasion.

"Some people think the Day of the Dead is something where you remember and mourn the dead, but it is something to celebrate a person’s life. This is a chance for the living to get together and remember the good times and the funny things we loved about those who have died."


Keep our Farm Crop Fields Clean

Keep our Farm Crop Fields Clean


May 8, 2008

On CNN now . . .

Keep our Farm Crops Safe

Yuma, Arizona is an agricultural community that grows farm many crops. Our NAU-Yuma, AZ Professor, Gordon McLean, encouraged us to create a speech that would be useful for the general public. We used several different ways to communicate our presentation: video, PowerPoint presentation, story boards, visual picture boards, and wrote an essay on keeping our field crops safe.

Here's a sampling of our presentation that we gave on 5/7/2008 . . .

Story Board #1

Public Announcement: Do Your Part

Did you know that farm crops in the Yuma area need to be protected? Yes, they do.
One way to keep our crops cleans is by staying out of the fields, and that means:

1. No walking your dogs through farm crops.
2. No jogging or walking through farm crops.
3. No littering of farm crops.
4. No sampling of farm crops.

By all of us doing our part, we will all have safe produce to serve to our families.

Remember, we can only do this by having your conscientious support!

Reference: Protect Agricultural Lands (PAL) (Pam Drapala, Andrea Robles, Lauren Gonzales)

Story Board #2

Public Announcement: Remember To Keep It Clean

Did you know that there is a bad dude out there that wants to harm us? Yes, there is, and this villain is called Mr. E. Coli. He is from the bacteria family that likes to get into our food like our fruits and vegetables. He normally lives outside our intestines; that is where he helps your body break down and digest the food you eat. However, he can move from the intestines and get into our blood. This can cause a very serious infection. So, it’s important that your fruits and vegetables are kept safe.

You can do your part by:
1. Staying out of farm crop fields.
2. Remember to spread the word to your friends, “Stay out of the fields”.
3. When you walk your dog Spot or Fido, keep him inside your neighborhood.

Thanks for your help to keep our farm crops clean!

This announcement reference: kid/stay_healthy/food/ecoli.html , and

Story Board #3

Public Announcement: Do Not Be a Statistic

In 2006, 199 people became sick in 26 States, 102 hospitalizations occurred, and 5 people died. However, this could have prevented. E coli is the number one threat to all farm crops. How can we prevent this from happening again?

1. We can educate the public about E coli.
2. We can stop taking samples of fruits and vegetables from the field crops.
3. We can keep our horses and dogs out of the field crops.

By doing your part, we can save lives . . . that includes you!


Reference: 2007/03/california_sena_4.html


NAU-Yuma 20th Anniversary Celebration - Friday February 22, 2008

NAU-Yuma 20th Anniversary Celebration - Friday February 22, 2008


Northern Arizona University is 20 years old this year, and I have been asked to promote my upcoming book, "The Fruitful Yuma Valley" at the celebration at the Historic Downtown Yuma. I will do this by displaying the paintings (postcards) at the event, raffling off a set of the cards with a basket of fruit, and discuss my work with the public. If you live in my hometown, please stop by and visit. Best wishes, Pamela Carvajal Drapala


Benaquista Galleries, Inc. Announces signed agreement and showcase of art work of Pam Drapala

Benaquista Galleries, Inc. Announces signed agreement and showcase of art work of Pam Drapala


SAN DIEGO, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Benacquista Galleries, Inc. announced today that during the month of November, the company signed agreements to publish and showcase the art work of 12 new artists on their on-line gallery .

Benacquista President Jim Price stated, "We are pleased to announce that during the month of November we have signed agreements with fifteen outstanding artists to showcase their work on our Benacquista Fine Art web site. Pamela Carvajal Drapala, Cathal O' Malley, Marius Hociung, Fumihiro Kato, Maria Miteva, Ivan Mitev, Tanya Andriyevska, Thomas Clyde, Cyril Goury-Laffont, Emile Teilaud, Sara Diciero, and Andrew Wielawski are all exceptional talents and we are proud to showcase their works.

About Benacquista Galleries

Benacquista Galleries, Inc. was founded in 2002 and went public in 2005. Through acquisition and partnership development, Benacquista specializes in advancing the value of start-up and revenue stage companies. We provide capital as well as a full range of strategic, operational and management resources for our clientele and partner companies. For additional information, visit: , and .

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that certain statements in this release are "forward-looking statements" and involve both known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such uncertainties include, among others, certain risks associated with the operation of the company described above. The company's actual results could differ materially from expected results.

Benacquista Galleries, Inc.

Web site:





Copyright © 2006, PRNewswire
Copyright © 2006, InterestAlert

Expos Collective (Listing)

Expos Collective (Listing)


Arizona Western College - Farm Worker Series 2005

Arizona Western College - Frida at Peace 2003

Hospice Ocean to Ocean Art Show - October 2003

Soho New York - Agora Gallery June - July 2004 - ReceptionInfo.asp?Current=1

Upcoming Exhibits:

Arizona Western College - On the Border - Migrant Field Worker Series - September 2004

Hospice Ocean to Ocean Art Show - A juried art show & festival to benefit
Hospice of Yuma, October 22, 23, & 24, 2004 - calendar.htm


Expos Solo (Listing)

Expos Solo (Listing)


The Farm Workers series is dedicated to all the farmer workers who work in all fields around the world. If it weren't for their hard and difficult work, we would not have food available to us at our dinner tables. In my town, they provide us with vegetables, fruits, and grains.


Yuma Fine Artists Annual Exhibition 2005

Yuma Fine Artists Annual Exhibition 2005


Yuma Artists Annual Exhibition 2005
58 Artists, 154 Works of Art on Display
Exhibition period: December 2, 2005 to February 1, 2006
Yuma Art Center Museum
254 S. Main Street
Historic Downtown Yuma
Presented by the Yuma Fine Arts
Assisted by the City of Yuma
Arizona Commission on the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts
Open Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun 1 - 5 p.m.


Paintings on Display:

The Weaver
Rachel's Sunflowers
Moonlight Whispers Beneath the Cherry Blossom Tree


In My Garden - Sample of my work

In My Garden - Sample of my work


This is the painting I will bring to my Georgia O'Keeffe workshop . . . to show my fellow artists how the first Frida workshop motivated me to paint.

A fellow artist today said that "In My Garden" was a Masterpiece! Wow, that was a nice comment, especially from a Master painter. I assisted her with marketing her work and gave her suggestion on how to put a marketing package together.

The painting, "In My Garden" now hangs in my office at home . . . it is there to remind me, that investing time in painting is a good thing, and if you do, you get a good piece of art work that would have costs at least $2,000 if I would have had an artist paint it for me.

Pam

Tips for Writing a Poem or Story ©

Tips for Writing a Poem or Story ©


March 15, 2007
Tips for Writing a Poem or Story ©
By Pamela Carvajal Drapala
March 15, 2007


Although I started writing poetry and short stories in September 1999, I have written many poems and short stories to date. Many of my poems and writings are on the Internet. National magazines have paid me for my poetry and my short stories.

If I can write poetry and short stories, so can you. It takes practice, a love for life, dedication, and time. A person can write poems and short stories anywhere, at a bus stop, while waiting for an appointment, or as a passenger in a car. One only needs paper, a pen or pencil, and a thought.

Below I have outlined the tools I use when I write. I hope that these tools will help you when you write. I have listed them alphabetically.

Balance your work: Make sure that the beginning, the middle, and the end of your work is interesting. Even the best writers have written beautiful stories, only to “hurry up” the ending of their stories. I have seen this done on made-for- television mini-series many times.

Characters: Writing about fictional characters can be quite fun. Believe me; the characters I have made up in my mind seem real now that I have given them life to them on paper. You can do the same thing by putting your heart and soul into your characters whether they play good or bad roles in your writing.

Description: When describing a person, place or thing, the more information you supply the reader the better your work will be. If the reader of the story or poem is not familiar with the subject matter, they will need more information.

Document and copyrighting: Be sure to place the copyright symbol on all your works and date your work. Keep your writings in a safe place, so you can get to your works when you are ready to show your work to your teacher, agent, or publisher.

Have fun writing: Writing should be fun. So be sure to write about things you like, whether it be children’s stories, fiction, real life, science fiction, or tributes. Enjoy what you are writing, and you will be happy with your work.

In a rut?: If you get in a rut when writing, don’t worry. It’s possible to get out of that rut by going for a walk or talking to old and young people about their life’s experiences. Watch life as it happens and then record it. Even that little ant on the dirt has a story to tell. Listen to what he has to say.

Keep “Seed” journals: Whenever an idea comes to mind, write it down immediately; in a journal is best. Your idea may never come again. Then you can plant your “Seeds” later when you have time.

Let your work age a little: Do not be in a hurry to submit your work. Let it sit for a while, and do other writings. When you return to it, you will see your work from a new perspective and may want to add, delete, or make changes.

Places: If you don’t have books on different places of the world, go to your local library or the Internet and read about interesting places you have never been. Surf the Internet for vacation spots. These places will give you plenty of material to write about if you are looking for materials to make your writings more interesting.

Proofing: If possible, have someone else proof your work. If you have someone available to read your first draft of your story, you may find will beneficial to you. Your proofreader can point out any words you left out or point out if you were too vague in any part of your work. Remember that they are helping you with your work, so accept their comments gracefully. My best critics have always been the toughest because they are honest, and I know the truth will improve my work.

Subject: A subject to write on . . . hmmm, yes, ninety percent of the time, I use my life events to get me started on a poem or a short story and go from there. I have read that the best material you write about is true-life events. If you need to add or take away from a piece of writing that is okay. It is your writing. You can create whatever you like on the page and there are no boundaries in writing.

Note: When writing a poem, keep to one subject if you can. I have found that I often switch from subject to subject, and that might confuse your reader.

Take notice to life: Everything out there is waiting for you to write about it, whether it is about folding the clothes, cooking a meal, putting a child to bed, working on a car’s engine, or playing basketball. Savor the process of doing a task and document it in your poetry. You will be amazed at the beautiful writings you can write about on everyday life.

Tools: When writing a poem, I would highly recommend that a writer always have an up-to-date dictionary, a rhyming dictionary, and thesaurus available for reference. Remember: grammar check, spell check and the thesaurus are available on computers, usually under “tools”.

Use your senses when writing: The most wonderful writings make the readers think they are there. Color, taste, sights, sounds, touch, and feeling are important.

Example . . .

Good: The orange sits on the desk.

Better: The juicy orange sits on the brown desk.

Best: The juicy orange sits on the long brown desk located in my bedroom.

Write, write, write and read, read, read: That‘s how you will improve your work. In the process, you will grow and learn more about yourself and others. Moreover, isn’t this what life is all about?

If you have any comments or more hints on writing, please contact me at . I would love to hear your comments. In closing, have fun writing. I look forward to one day reading your work.

With warm regards to all, Pam Drapala : )


Facts about Georgia’s Painting Style

Facts about Georgia’s Painting Style


Facts about Georgia’s Painting Style
August 12, 2005
Pamela Carvajal Drapala, Artist

1. Georgia painted on a large canvas

White Trumpet Flower, 1932
29 3/4 X 39 3/4
Oil on Canvas
Location, San Diego Art Museum

2. The brush strokes on her paintings were visible.

3. Georgia always loved nature and color.

4. She painted in bright colors when painting flowers.

5. She painted in oils.

6. Her painting style was called precisionism (a form of cubism and realistic painting) .

7. Her paintings of flowers are precise and stripped of all ornamental details.

8. In 1924, Georgia began to paint large flowers which took up most of the space on the canvas.

9. Georgia devised a method to paint with white underpainting to create a fresh appearance on the canvas.

10. Georgia was an artist who seldom explained her life or her work never explaining the influence of her work . . . she was a mystery.

11. “So I said to myself, I’ll paint what I see - what the flower is to me - but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into looking at it.” Georgia O

12. It belongs to me God told me. If I painted it enough, I could have it. Another Georgia quote.

Resource material: Image1/Index.html

For more information on Georgia O’Keeffe, you may do a Google search on the Internet. Key words, Georgia O’Keeffe. Or, you may purchase additional reading materials at your local bookstore or .


Update on Article - Computer Upgrade Exercises - May 4, 2008

Update on Article - Computer Upgrade Exercises - May 4, 2008


May 4, 2008 Since this assignment I have purchased several camera only to find that each one that I purchased has been better than the last one. This is an expensive lesson for me; however, technology is changing very quickly. If I did it again, "I'd get the biggest bang for my buck."

Pamela Carvajal Drapala

CIS-100-008

February 3, 2005

Computer Upgrades Exercises

As an artist and photographer, I need a significant amount of memory for my computer. In the future, I will upgrade my computer with a faster processor and add a hard drive. As you can see below, I need this upgrade for my artwork.

The process beings with the first photo I take of my subject with my Samsung 3.2 mega pixels 350 Digital Camera, then I transfer the image from the memory stick on to my computer via my HP 2410 Photosmart, then print the photograph onto paper by transferring the image with gray colored paint onto the canvas via Prism Image Projector. From there I begin to paint the actual portrait with acrylic paint.

Throughout the painting process, I continue to take digital photos and add them to my photograph files as they show my painting progress of my portrait.
Also, by taking photographs of the process, the images bring things to my eyes’ attention that I would have not noticed otherwise, such as seeing that I need to add additional color onto the canvas so that the image appears brighter on the computer screen without increasing color saturation via the HP Photosmart.

One day, I wish to publish a “How to” art book showing the steps I used to portraits. Yuma Eve (The lettuce picker) is the results of my work. It was exhibited at the Yuma County Fair 2004 and is part of the series of paintings I am doing titled, “The Migrant Workers Series”.

In closing, computer technology makes my job so much easier and the Internet has brought me closer to other painters, critics, galleries, around the world. I look forward to seeing how computer technology will assist me in the future.