Velocity is a series of four small (8" x 10") canvasses, acrylic on canvas, done during May and June of 2017. Originally based on photos taken as the descending sun shone through the windows of a fast-moving Amtrak bus on a rural highway in Sonoma County, during the process of working on it I got news of a friend's passing and it took on a deeper meaning. Dedicated to Petie and Martha.
After years of drought, we saw wonderfully wet weather during the winter of 2016-2017, and I took advantage of this to take a lot of photos of the seasonal creeks running high and fast through Ukiah. By the time I got around to painting from the reference photos, the newly done Velocity series had turned my attention to a more personal way of approaching the material.
Time and season are easy to track in a rural area, from the changing path of the sun to the shifting colors of grass and leaves. Sun-drenched oak-studded hills, the repeating triangle structure of the Mayacamas mountains to the east, and intensely bright yellow mosses on the arms of trees limbed like dancers frozen in place are just a few of the things that continue to fascinate me.
During the 30 years I lived in the Sunset district of San Francisco, the ocean was a powerful daily presence. Sky, fog, wind, water...ever shifting, sometimes faster than the eye can catch. How to capture a moment?
Does art have intrinsic value? How is it decided? Museums "deaccession" old work to raise funds for new work. In 2005, in need of space, I decide to start deaccessioning some of my own work, documenting where I left it in public spaces. It felt very freeing to just release them out into the world to stand on their own...
i stopped breathing
A project by and for the caregiver. Hospitalization raises issues of abandonment, disability, lost opportunity, & mortality, so that grief, loss, and existential anxiety are the emotional subtexts for the family of the patient. The suspension of daily life and the distortion of emotional reactions isolates one from the larger community for whom life "goes on." You can see each painting accompanied by a text written for it by Janet Rosen at her flickr album.
I've never figured out how to paint on political or social themes. When I have something to more explicitly make a point about, I turn to these "constructions." It's also often how I memorialize a friend.