Sculptures 2004-2007

          For the first time in thirty years of being a visual artist, I am  interested in taking painting outside the privacy of the studio so that the process of making it as well as the finished work is accessible to anyone without the intermediary of galleries or museums.
          I did preliminary drawings and studies for this mural but did not refer to any of them.  I wanted the painting to arise from the experience of  working in the street in the sun and the rain for a week and a half, with traffic and people and dogs going by.   It is also, of course, a response to the fact that the wall it is painted on,  which I have driven by almost every day for the past ten years, is going to be torn down any day now, along with the several buildings which are called the Broverman Block.  There is a  paradoxical almost oxymoronic twist to making a temporary mural.  It seems analagous to the way we feel ourselves to be real  and virtually permanent and our lives something terribly important, while at the same time we are certainly much smaller and more transitory than we might like to think.

     The image is in three parts. The brown expanse on the right is like the prima materia  in alchemy: the ordinary stuff  of ourselves that we begin with and try to work on.  The alchemists usually began with rock or dirt; I began with the color brown.  The blue oval in that brown field is a kind of mandalic image of the Self or soul , or perhaps an egg or orb that materializes out of the void.  It is wholeness reasserting itself, life beginning over.  The left side has  to do with the spaciousness of that void, how chaos ultimately rearranges itself into order and life begins over and over and how we are made of the same stuff as everything else in the universe, knots in the huge net, particles with space inbetween, and as it turns out, more space than particles.  The center section is about flow: the moving aspect of time and water and life that can carry us if we give ourselves over to it.

          Seventeenth century Indian Tantric watercolors were an important influence, as well as Navajo and Tibetan sand paintings, and the work of contemporary African-American artists spontaneously displayed on fences and the sides of houses in the deep South. 
The ovals and circular shape in the mural are related to the flower paintings as well as the wall sculptures which preceded them. These small wall pieces  are made from ordinary hardware store materials-- nails,  felt weather stripping, rope, chain, etc. to which I added color. In some of them, handmade paper pulp was added as well.