"beach", enamel, charcoal, gels, acrylic on wood, 70" x 91" © 2013
"the pain body", 89" x 74", enamel, acrylic, gels on wood,©2013
'The Pain Body' is one of my most recent pieces, and was commissioned by someone who suffers from Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia's a little known autoimmune disorder that's hereditary, whereby the person inflicted w/ it has intense pain throughout their body at any given time - pain like menstrual cramps, itching, clawing, throbbing, etc. - with no particular trigger. Astonishingly, most of these people seem completely normal to you or me, to the point where you would never suspect the person with the disorder was ill. The normal reaction of the uninformed - me included - is that the person is a serious hypochondriac. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Many of these people live w/ what's like a throbbing toothache throughout their bodies, a toothache without end. Can you imagine? Anyway, there's medications, and there's good and bad phases.Morgan Freeman suffers from this.
Anyway, a friend who lives with this daily wanted to make an expression of this and sort of project it out of her system, and announce it as a thing to be acknowledged and understood. Once, in a marital spat, she took a sharpie and scribbled all over her naked body where she was in really bad pain and showed her husband. Expressive. We recreated the sharpie incident as an entry point to the painting. This painting is a portrait of that pain body (thank you eckart tolle for the name, et al), and then I was allowed carte blanche to do whatever I wanted with the rest of it.
An amazing part of this experience for me was that since I was 3 years old I always wanted to be an artist. Artists are so trained through osmosis in this culture to do things for themselves - their voice, their career, their style, etc. - with little concern for others. This painting felt for me that for whatever reason I have these skills it felt great to use them for someone else's benefit, to help them in some sense by getting the pain out of them (metaphorically speaking) onto something else, at least so they can examine it with some kind of distance.
"daydream v" ©2013, 17" x 13 1/4", acrylic and enamel on wood.
"daydream IV - beach comber" ©2013, 13.5" x 15.5", acrylic and enamel on wood.
"daydream III", 12 5/8" x 9 5/8", enamel and acrylic on wood, ©2013
"daydream VI" ©2013
"daydream I", 69.5" x 23.5", enamel and acrylic on wood, ©2013
These pieces are daydreams. i wanted to create a mood like when you gaze out from waking from a nap in the mediterranean, or something that might be nice for someone really ill to be looking at. I want them to bring peace of mind to the viewer. a visit to the beach does that for a lot of people. sun umbrellas seem cheerful. They can stand for someone being there or not being there. that brings a sense of isolation, or loneliness to the reading of the piece. so there's that enigmatic tension. They also spice up the change of scale and add an anecdotal element - like a hook in music - that allows people access to the piece. With the umbrellas they're a type of scene that goes down easy, that anyone can get into in different ways.
And then the minimalist format, and the 3 divisions. I always loved minimalism - the complexity w/ the purity and simplicity. I was always amazed that people would enjoy the beach when it's the most minimal landscape imaginable - a horizon line and sky. of course there's so much more (wind scent mystery sun vastness etc) but i thought compositionally it would be amazing to do something as compelling - something both minimal and maximal in a sensory sense (minimal in terms of the 'stuff' in the painting, but rich in realization). a minimalist purity, but not boring.
The pieces feel intimate yet immense, beautiful dreamy moments.