Barbara Dee Baumgarten
On an early Sunday
morning, a number of years ago, I looked out our
dining room window to discover two albino
peacocks sitting on my studio roof. I blinked in
disbelief, but there they stood, perusing the
lemon orchard from their high vantage point.
Since my husband is an Episcopal priest, he was
not home to witness the sight. After church, I
told him about the birds but he did not believe
me. His unbelief fortified my own doubt. Maybe I
was imagining things. I told no one else and let
the sighting go.
But the peacocks came back, again on a Sunday
morning. Again, my husband doubted my story.
Finally, the peacocks appeared on a morning when
my husband was home, he realized my story was
true, and so did I.
This episode happened during an extremely
difficult time in my life, a time when I
seriously doubted my call as an artist, and as a
person. I was in the midst of creating a mixed
media piece entitled, Descent II, which
incarnated years of internal suffering and fear.
Each day I survived was marked as a day of
quilted silk, 2004
83” x 48”