The cow actually came before I took a recent trip to Indiana to bury my father. I was so struck by the preponderance of massive box stores and strip malls there, but once I got off the main drags, I found myself back in the rolling prairie. Though that landscape is mostly populated now by subdivisions of over-sized houses, I spotted an old barn one day, derelict, but still standing. That barn really moved me, somehow. I supposed that’s about missing beauty and a sense of spaciousness. And, no doubt, my own past.
Back Home Again in Indiana, 30″ x 40″ acrylic on board
Help Somebody, 32″ x 24″ acrylic on board
I often use animals as stand-ins for humans, when the emotional content is too much for me. I don’t do this consciously, but when I stand back and look at what I’ve painting spontaneously, it really seems true to me.
So much imagery that’s come to me this past year has been related to my father. He moved to Seattle so I could take care of him during his last almost 2 years of life. Though it was challenging at times, as he suffered from dementia, it was probably one of the most meaningful phases of my (and maybe his) life. We connected deeply and were able to express our unconditional love for each other.
The Lost Ones, acrylic on board, mixed media, 16″ x 20″
When We Got Off the Plane In Seattle, We Felt as though We’d Landed in the Future (True Story), Acrylic on board, mixed media, 30″x 40″
This painting has undergone many changes over the year or so I’ve been working on it. It started out with all sorts of figures in it. Those figures turned into apartment buildings for awhile. Then, it occurred to me that the background should be simpler and match the spirit of these major figures. … When we got back from our trip to Indiana and my father’s funeral, we really felt how progressive our home city feels, even in the airport. When I next looked at this painting, I realized that this is what it meant to me.