My relationship with Hildegard jump-started due to a colorful postcard of a woman with smoke coming out of her head. I’d stumbled into a funky, now defunct art gallery in the summer of 2008, a few yards from the four-way stop in Pecos, NM that marked the center of town. The blue of her gown caught me first. Offset by sun-hued yellow, a series of letters framed her body. Japanese, Chinese, petroglyph-type symbols enwrapped this dark-skinned beauty so intent on her work. I was taken.
I read the bio on the back of the card. Hildegard Von Bingen: Artist, writer, physician, mystic who came up with her own language. Hildegard seemed the female DaVinci of the 1100s. A switch in my brain flipped. Hildegard should be my muse, my visual mentor as I finished my book.
I bought the postcard. I wanted the artist to make me a poster-sized image of her Hildegard to hang above my desk. The back of the card had a badly smudged name with no website. Taking to the Internet, I began a game of trial and error to find the artist. I’m not usually an artist-stalker, but the quest for Hildegard...