The exploration of line, its delicate nature and ambiguous presence in the landscape.
I started working with the idea of using drawn lines in my paintings quite some time ago. It came about when I acquired an iPad and started fooling around with the Procreate app. I found it a useful tool to formulate new thoughts and images to use as completed pieces in and of themselves, as well as studies for my paintings. I had decided to use the line idea for this show and had several paintings in the works and/ or completed by early February when I closed the studio to have my hip replaced. While recovering from that surgery a steam pipe exploded in my studio and went undetected for several hours. During that time the heat and steam built up inside my space and wrecked havoc. Needless to say, all my new work was not stored away and became soaked and stained by the rusty water. The ceiling was so saturated that the paint melted off the ceiling and it was clinging to everything. It was quite a mess.
Before me was this show and the possibility that I wouldn’t have the time to complete new work, save the damaged pieces, clean up and restore the studio and recover. Whew! This is not a sob story. Publicity deadlines were approaching fast and I considered passing on the show or asking someone to share it with me. When the first deadline came along it was too late to do anything but commit to a solo show.
I was still unable to get up to my studio and knew that management had removed everything and the space was cleaned up and repaired. I didn’t know where my things were and what had survived and to what extent the damage was. I was therefore unable to get any publicity photos. I did know that the painting “Interstices” seemed to have weathered the storm and I had a digital image of it and another one I had been working extensively on which was not yet resolved. Those digital images became my publicity shots.
Knowing that line was an important part of the idea for the show I toyed with many titles that incorporated the word line. Sky line, headline, border line, on and on. Life Line kept running around my brain and it was so apt. The art that I had to make was my line back to health and away from brooding about the disaster in my studio. Besides, art is line in many cases.
Dwight Pederson helped me get the studio into basic working order. With encouragement from fellow artists and the expertise of Dwight, I was able to save and rework the damaged pieces. The splotches and drips actually became an integral part of some of the work.
That first day back into the studio was daunting. But somehow the idea for the show had been simmering so long in my brain that I knew just what to do. The work just kept flowing and flowing and I made so much more than I am able to show here.
The painting “LIFE - LINE” was one of the damaged pieces and one I had been struggling with on and off for most of a year. My goal was to make the black passage a smooth, solid mass of color with no irregularities as it looked on my iPad. But the paint wouldn’t behave and it was horribly stained. Or so I thought. After cleaning it and spray painting lightly over the cleaned stains, they showed through with such beauty that the painting was instantly resolved. That happened in one way or another with every damaged piece.
This show is my happy ending to a trying winter. I considered saying how I felt about the existential nature of line in life and art, but instead I’ve chosen to tell how this life and art happened. Oh, and by the way, I’m feeling great.