Throughout the 1930's, Mabel consulted with many of the art community's most celebrated artists, and continued to be the artist of choice among many of the Hollywood elite. She never married; in 1939 she discovered that her close male friend, a prominent Beverly Hills physician named Robert Kennicott, had a same-sex orientation.
The experience rattled her, and prompted her to return to Hawaii, where she spent the World War II years painting what remained of Hawaii's pure-blooded Hawaiians (intermarriage with foreigners was quickly changing the ethnic face of Hawaii). A painting by Mabel of her cottage in Hawaii is shown on the right of the screen.
The latter part of Mabel's career was heavily influenced by the Mexican muralists and a 1953 trip she took through the Caribbean. Reds and oranges and bright pinks and blues run rampant through scenes of flower sellers, peasants' shacks, and Caribbean family groups.
One of the most memorable of these pictures, The Blue House, a tumble-down little shack with a rusty tin roof and bright blue walls, is now on loan to the American Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua.
A trip through Mexico in 1955 added to Mabel's new passion for color and increasing abstraction. The stereoptic slides that she brought back with her -- pictures of fruit markets, churches, public festivals with streets full of celebrating people and fascinating old buildings -- kept Mabel busy for years afterward. A favorite picture from the Mexico group is El Callejon del Beso (The Street of the Kiss).
Mabel painted her final work, The Man in Red, in 1973. She went into retirement and died in 1985, at age 93. Thus ended the career of one of Los Angeles' most celebrated and famous artists, who managed to share so much of her passionate heart on painted canvas.
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