Mixed media coillage

8” x 11” matted frame to 12” x 15.5”


inspired by the poem




I started a painting

of two girls and their mother. 

The girls sit at a piano,

their faces turned 

away. Why, I don’t know. 

Are they looking 

for some forgotten light or bored

by my endless


Should they wear pink?

Are they any less innocent

if I smear them in gray wash?


One girl picks at a rhythm on the keys.

A lazy plop,

plop, like milk dripping on doilies.

Weird,  I

know, but I hear it, 

and I swear the girls

do, too. 


A gleam of black and steely something

slips down one girl’s sleeve.

How on earth did that get in?


Quick, erase the arm, the steely whatsit —


Too late. I’ve brought in a note

of savagery. I’m watching, I can’t intervene.

Everything’s on a grim course

of inevitability.

There and there and there 

the girls pounce on the knife in a rush

and mother falls —

A charcoal saint in bloodied crinoline.


How did it happen?

I wanted two girls, a mother,

a music chamber, a sweetly tender scene.


Then came the stray thought —



— © Josepha Gutelius




My narrative mixed media sculptures and collages incorporate found objects and depict provocative themes. I address environmental and societal toxicity through 3D "cautionary tales" about contemporary issues. The incorporation of discarded, manufactured litter "litter"-ally illustrates these tales. I work in various media, including collage, painting, and sculpture. The characters and settings are iconic and range from prehistoric to futuristic - strange and fabulous creatures and animals, fossilized dinosaurs, mythical unicorns, aliens and humans or just body parts. Most of my sculptures feature my handmade clay and plaster figures built upon bits of metal or rock, along with salvaged materials that may be left as is or manipulated through carving and painting. They are then integrated into conceptual diorama settings with trompe l'oeil or surrealistic backgrounds which become powerful assemblages imbued with spirituality and raw emotion.

"O Mother! My Mother!" Debra Friedkin


    Emerge Gallery & Art Space

    228A Main Street, Saugerties, NY  (845) 247-7515

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