These new pieces are an extreme departure from the glitter "Glow Paintings" that have been my focus for the last few years.
For the last fifteen years, I've been living up a canyon in Los Angeles but itching to get back down to "town", and I was finally released. Around the time I knew a move was imminent, I began craving something raw, tactile, "hand of the artist", a little wild, and my paintings began to change.
The house I ended up in has a big, overgrown, WILD backyard that has continued to surprise me through the three seasons I have lived here. The fig tree I thought was dead produced so many figs that I couldn't keep up and gave bags to friends every chance I could, and with it came my favorite bug, the fig beetle, that iridescent green flying, buzzing scarab that I can't get enough of. There are orange trees, a lemon tree, twelve foot-high dahlias, a massive plumeria whose scent wafts in my back door with the ocean breeze, and WEEDS! and that's where it all happened. I was pulling weeds and grass, and throwing these weeds and grass into two big piles that needed a hauler to remove, and though the piles were growing higher and wider, I didn't see much of a difference in the yard and I thought back on a book by John McPhee, The Control of Nature, as I pondered the futility of this "control of nature" I was exerting over a garden that has its own ideas. I started thinking about control in general, and where we each need it and when we can let go of it, and why I was able to let go of some control in the studio. It occurred to me that I had always said, while living in that canyon, that the only place I had control was in my studio, on the canvas, control over that glitter that wants to be wild. Once I knew my environment was about to change, whereby regaining the control I felt I'd lost in the canyon, I could let go in the studio. These paintings and the soft sculptures that go with them are a direct response, or manifestation, of where we place our need for control and the influence of our environments, like that wild garden that I can't control.