"I’m not a good multitasker," she said. "Garcia used to take his paints on the road, but I’m singularly oriented: one man, one car, one child, one career at a time. Even my paintings are usually of just one thing, though I’ve been trying to push myself beyond that lately. But I have to be creative. I get goofy when I don’t have an outlet."
Slick’s art is both surprising and expected. Her psychedelic "Alice in Wonderland" series is a colorful continuation of the LSD-soaked story line from the Airplane’s ’60s hit "White Rabbit." What’s with the 40-year fascination?
"It’s a striking story," Slick said. "Lewis Carroll was making a political statement when he wrote it, which I liked, but it also goes against the grain of the standard girl-gets-saved-by-a-prince fairy tale.
"Alice’s journey is about satisfying curiosity and making your own way. She goes down a rabbit hole, which is a daring move to begin with. Meanwhile the rabbit is always running ahead of her, and she’s chasing after it with no clue as to what lies ahead. To me it says that nobody’s going to save your ass. Your destiny is up to you."
A softer, gentler side of Slick also comes through her art, which challenges her reputation as a sarcastic, politically outspoken leader of the Woodstock generation.
"I may’ve come across that way then," Slick said, "but life is much more hideous now, so I feel a responsibility to portray pleasantries. Currently I’m working on a montage of images from the Monterey Pop Festival. It was truly a beautiful event. I feel like people need to be reminded of what we can be when we’re not letting fear govern our behavior. What better way to show that, to recall something positive that actually happened."
Slick, who stopped her hard-partying ways years ago, says that aside from some minor physical ailments, she’s holding up well.
"I’m OK for 67. Being old is a pain in the ass, but I’m glad I’m not drunk all the time. Old people are pathetic enough. It would behoove us not to be sappy and sloppy.
"In the end it’s not what I did that I regret so much as what I didn’t do. For instance, I didn’t (have sex with) Jimi Hendrix or Peter O’Toole while I had the chance. And I never learned to ride a horse."