Copyright © 2005 Abraham Studios

Send mail to with questions or comments about this site.

Home      About       Contact      News      Paintings      Music      Galleries      Video Trailer

Genus Tulipa Sub Rosa


24 x 30"

acrylic on canvas

Habitat Gallery, Denver, CO


A public facade is lifted today. The repugnant infliction is no longer concealed. Belief that all is okay is shattered by a slash in stained canvas. Tormenting motions of a loathing mind prompt the trembling of limbs. Crimson lips turn gray as a breathless mouth pleads. Sorrow is not seen among swollen eyes. Reveal. What does the pristine tulip veil with its fleeting life? Suffocate the foreboding. Emerge from the earth. Release poisons from exposed roots. Chew the pigment back into lips. Show no sign of pain. It is now the hour to be okay.

At Grand Staircase-Escalante, we visit Big Water Visitor Center. Here, we meet a man named Merle Graffam, who is a commercial artist, turned amateur paleontologist. He tells us about a dinosaur that he recently helped uncover, and explains a thirty-foot mural of the Late Cretaceous period. As we are about to leave, our new friend walks over to his desk, picks up a stamp, and imprints a business card with an image of his face. 

Driving through Unita National Forest, we discover an unrepaired leak from the car crash that we had in Tucson and drop our vehicle off at a dealership in Salt Lake City. A young Mormon man at the shop drives us back to our hotel, and explains that the Mormon temple is the exact center of the city. Every road name is numbered based on its distance, north, south, east, or west of the Temple. I notice that the entire city is blanketed in tulips and the Temple garden is flawless. The streets are pruned to perfection, which a downtown gallery owner calls an eerie perfection. She never sees anyone maintaining the gardens and jokes that gnomes push the flowers up from under ground. This insight, while playful and humorous, causes me to wonder what secrets are hidden beneath these perfect rows of flowers. Could it be that we are walking upon more than just dinosaur bones?

I address this question while painting the Utah-inspired piece, but phone calls and emails interrupt my progress and overwhelm me with emotion. I can no longer ignore the issues from home that have tormented me since our time in California. I feel only pressure guiding my aching wrist and it becomes unbearable. There is no escaping the invasion of my own blood. I slice through the painted fabric with the end of my brush, and cry.

We have been on the road for almost six months. I am living my dream, and wouldn’t replace it for anything. However, I can only cover my pain with dirt and tulips for so long.  Hiding behind these steady eyes is a desperate and confused child. One who never learned how to communicate, and buried her voice in drawings. It is time to exit this masquerade. There is no more glass to look through, and the masks have lost their glisten. I finally pick up the phone.