Artwork / 2006 / Over Grown Up (Woman)

painted portrait of Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Over Grown Up (Woman)
acrylic on unmounted canvas
24 x 120 inches

These portraits, along with this other strip of portraits, were my contribution to the group show inCLOVER, curated by Scott Wayne Indiana and exhibited at Mount Scott Park in Portland in August 2006. The paintings explored the idea of being “in clover” or “living a carefree life of ease, comfort, or prosperity.” We all want to get to that place of ease, comfort and prosperity. How do we get there? Is living our dreams what it takes? Or do we have to be “adult” and take a proper job? Can we be “adult” and “in clover” at the same time?

Gwenn Seemel’s art in a park
in situ

Each of the pieces were individually wrapped around trees so that the strips of portraits were seen as endlessly repeating cycles. And since there’s a lot of text included in this piece, it’s hard to read in the small image above. I’ve reproduced it below. It is mostly taken from Betty Crocker’s Hints for the Homemaker 1961:


To peel: to strip off outside covering.

PLAN AHEAD. Write menus for a week’s meals at a time. Shop for staples once a week, fresh fruits and vegetables twice a week. When cooking, assemble all ingredients and utensils before beginning to prepare the dish.

ORGANIZE JOBS. Have a weekly plan for scheduling such tasks as washing, ironing, baking, shopping, cleaning the refrigerator or washing the floors. One task done each day provides a sense of accomplishment and keeps work from piling up. Alternate sitting-down tasks and standing-up tasks. Don't be on your feet too long.

COMBINE JOBS. Bake cakes or cookies while washing dishes or cooking dinner. Pare vegetables while meat is browning. Plan leftovers. Cook some foods to be served more than once. Plan and organize daily work while working with hands (peeling potatoes, sweeping floor, etc.).

BE COMFORTABLE. Wear comfortable shoes and easy-fitting clothes while working. Stand erect. Good posture prevents fatigue.


To steep: to extract flavor, colors or other qualities from a substance by allowing it to stand in liquid just below the boiling point.

REFRESH YOUR SPIRITS. Every morning before breakfast, comb hair, apply makeup and a dash of cologne. Does wonders for your morale and your family’s, too! Think pleasant thoughts while working and a chore will become a “labor of love.” Have a hobby. Garden, paint pictures, look through magazines for home planning ideas, read a good book, or attend club meetings. Be interested—and you’ll always be interesting. If you have a spare moment, sit down, close your eyes and just relax.


To mince: to chop into very small pieces.

Do you like butter?


To glaze: to add luster to a food by coating with a syrup, then heating or chilling.


To coddle: to simmer gently in liquid for a short time.

painted portrait of Gwenn Seemel
detail image
painted portrait of Gwenn Seemel
detail image
painted portrait of Gwenn Seemel
detail image
painted portrait of Gwenn Seemel
detail image
painted portrait of Gwenn Seemel
detail image