31 December 2020

The Search for 2020

Photos from a year I had mistaken to be lost, but eventually found in the simple, unconfounded tones of everyday life.

Sending infinite love and light to all . . . 


22 December 2020

The Fifth Piece

An Unfamiliar Autumn
2020, oil on canvas
40" x 60"

In 2013, I decided to close my series, Autumn Soliloquies, after the fourth painting.  Having labored greatly over the existing body of work, there grew a unique desire to protect it and its integrity.  Somewhere between the start and finish points of October's End, I became convinced it was necessary to divert my focus elsewhere in order to avoid a stalemate. 

Seven years later, in July 2020, I began working on the second coming of Autumn Soliloquies.

. . .
An Unfamiliar Autumn, in its current state, is the culmination of many months' work.
It is a portrait of days marked by uncertainty and masked in anxiety.  A portrait of fears and the attempts to assuage and overcome them.  An expressive study of humanity's regression in values and the excision of meaningful purpose.  It is a look at the overflow of thoughts, as well as the delicate threads by which individuals are desperately hanging.  A look at the dichotomy between External and Internal.  
It is a poem for abandoned truths and virtues, for forgotten places and people.  A poem for the natural world, for the scintillating celestial bodies that grace the deep ebony skies and the comfort they provide for those of us who are searching.  

And there are so many of us who are searching.
Multiple layers comprise the foundation to this piece and I consider each layer to hold individual value and significance.  Though I spent the last few years experimenting with different visual elements, I gladly returned to my trademark palette of earth tones for this painting.  Unsurprisingly, I also reemployed an amorphous composition, which is joined by floating, indiscernible parts and scattered lines.  These physical details were brought together in an effort to create a sense of harmonious union between the frenetic and fluid sensations occurring throughout the work.
. . .
The objective of An Unfamiliar Autumn is to convey the unfamiliarity of a period that feels both short and long, graceful yet embattled.  An unfamiliarity that extends far beyond one season and into an entire year that has been held captive by endless unknowns. 

May we work together to move past the unknowns.


15 October 2020

An Exchange

Sutro (San Francisco, CA - October 13, 2020)


I made my way through the ruinous baths on an unusually warm October morning.  As my feet fell in line with the familiarities of the dirt trail, my eyes fell upon a man and a woman perched on the remains of a west-facing wall.  The sight stirred me and I gave pause.

In a year that has uncovered deep-seated contentions and the divisive, obliterating nature of humankind, the scene of two individuals engaged in a doting exchange while sitting among century-old ruins marked a stark contrast.  A composition of opposing elements.  A lifeline found amid physical devastation.  
As the mist of the grand Pacific gently kissed the pair's rosy faces and waves crashed against jutted rock formations a short distance from their feet, I found myself bearing witness to a candid embrace of human affection.  And I thought, How wonderful it must be to find safety in another being, to know its presence in a collapsing world.


07 October 2020


 A Morning Named October 7th (San Francisco, CA)

One last morning as 35
One part hollow mixed with two parts regret
One deep yearning for a year unspent.

22 September 2020

Forever, Autumn.

(Double-exposure edit; background photograph taken in Catskills, October 2018)

An unassuming note. 🍁

The client an elderly gentleman who penned this sentiment on the back of an envelope three autumns ago could not have known his simple mention of fall would leave him forever stamped in this painter’s history (and his note tucked away in a little treasure trove).  Surely I have a strange, unconventional relationship with Autumn, but I suppose he may have one, too.  And perhaps this is evidence of how deciduous trees; hot apple cider; shorter days imbued with warm, aromatic spices; crisp air; crackling fires and toasty socks have a way of connecting humans knowingly and unknowingly.

Autumn, I say this to you each September, but for good reason: it is so wonderful to have you back again.


07 July 2020

The Colors of Silence

Markings, No. IV
oil on canvas, 2020
22" x 28"

Swim in an ocean of internal dialogue.
Speak only when spoken words are of true necessity.  
Write candidly. 
Make meaningful marks.
Yield to purpose.  Refuse to supplant purpose with practicality.
Allow lessons to become teachers of light, 
the colors of silence.


18 June 2020


Markings, No. III
oil on canvas, 2020
40" x 50"

Every man has his secret sorrows, which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.  -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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15 May 2020


Markings, No. II (Week 6-8)
oil on canvas, 2020
22" x 28"

The words flowed right out of me in the form of paint.


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The Making of Marks

Markings, No. I (Week 2-6, Reworked)
oil on canvas, 2020
22" x 28"

There is nothing I cannot paint over.
-Richard Diebenkorn


The unsettling feeling of dissatisfaction coupled with a curiosity surrounding a life unknown to the present one, I set to the task of risking what was for what could be.  In so doing, I am able to give the painting its full meaning, and myself the courage to trust in what I do not see, but know to exist.  

Each mark I make develops a memory within the work and my process, regardless of whether or not I layer over it.  The mark is forever a part of the whole--merging with the new and engaging with it, holding both permanence and impermanence.


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28 April 2020


Markings, Week No. 2-6
oil on canvas, 2020
22" x 28"

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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22 April 2020

The High Sierra (Happy Earth Day)

 The High Sierra, October/November 2019 (35mm film)

In honor of Earth Day and its 50th Anniversary, I thought to share some photographs I took while camping in and through the High Sierra last year . . .

An autumn ago.
Solitude and stillness. 


Allow us to be better stewards of our planet--for each other, for our children, for our children's children, and for their children's children.  For our magnificent wildlife, our vast marine life, our invaluable plant life.  For the whole of nature.

We have one Earth.  Be kind to her.

In no lesser degree, may we also remember to show kindness to our fellow humans during this time of global crisis.

Our Earth and world are hurting collectively.
Be the antidote, not the poison.

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15 March 2020

North Star

December 15, 2018 - A Brief, Quiet Respite  
(art installation: Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013)


To be uninhibited by language, by the obstacle of stringing together words and phrases in order to achieve a satisfying degree of expression . . .

Painting had erased the tension I too often felt marred my flow of expression--the tension between the initial moment of feeling and the goal of articulating it.  There seemed to be these unidentifiable words murmuring just below the surface, waiting to be delivered in writing.  As a result, my external attempts to translate the internal in its most unadulterated form met a great deal of challenges and seemed overreaching on most days.

However, painting was the process that allowed for unobstructed first strokes and fluidity.  It allowed for immediate expression without the immediate need for words.  Painting transformed the poems of my soul into raw, honest, physical entities that could be shared with an audience.  They were my wildlands.   

Painting provided more than just a means to organic expression; it gave me purpose, made me resolute.  It set a path that I believed I could follow until dust to dust.

But somewhere in the recesses of 2018 and 2019, my compass stopped working.  Eventually, I let it slip between my fingers.  Maybe I abandoned it.  Regardless of what exactly, everything came to a grinding halt last spring.

You see, trauma holds the power to change everything, including the parts of us we work to sustain and keep engaged through all the years that matter.  When the trauma is deep enough within the psyche and pierces the spirit we once believed to be indomitable, it is only a matter of time before the small crack becomes a loud shatter.

I do not know a lot at the moment other than I have lost my strongest sense of self, truth, trust, and purpose.  I do not recognize the person who now greets me at each reflection: withdrawn, uninspired, burdened with experiences and trauma she wishes she could erase.  To be left meaningless and questioning God is a heaviness I have had to carry quietly. 

Yet, even as I am feeling the brunt of a fractured existence, I cannot deny there is a speck of brilliance present--a still, small voice that continues to encourage me to defy the odds.  Like the very stars that dot the night sky, the very bodies that bring respite in chaos, it tells me a story of profound beauty in the seemingly endless darkness. 

“In spite of everything, I shall rise again; I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.” - Vincent van Gogh



02 January 2020

See Cy, Part II

Museum Brandhorst - München, Germany (October 2019)

At every corner, at every turn, there he lived in all his glorious mark-making.

And at every corner, at every turn, there I had the pleasure of experiencing the pure magic of those very marks.

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01 January 2020

When in München . . . See Cy.

Museum Brandhorst - München, Germany (October 2019)

By far, one of the most serendipitous events in my life.  

Traveling across the globe, München was probably my least anticipated spot.  Simply put, I was more excited to visit the Abbey Library in St. Gallen, Hallstatt in Austria, the Dolomites in Northern Italy, and the whole of Switzerland.  

During my first night in Europe, on a whim, I decided to Google contemporary museums in München.  I was not expecting to come across anything of significant personal interest, but I was every bit wrong.  I nearly toppled over when Museum Brandhorst appeared in the search results--boasting an inventory of over 170 Cy Twombly pieces.  I could not believe my good fortune.  I had struck gold.

The night before we were to make the trek to the art district, Kunstareal, my very real allergy to tobacco smoke (so many smokers in Europe) peaked.  Sickness slapped me like a slab of impasto paint.

Yet, for the few hours the following morning, when we were among his work, life felt extraordinarily surreal.  A dream state.  The fact I was there seemed eons ahead of my humble existence.  Maybe it was delirium settling into my feverish head, but I was convinced (and still am) that this was the reason our itinerary included München.

It seems serendipity has a way of bringing Cy and me together time and time again.

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31 December 2019

Ten Years

Interlaken, Switzerland - Double Exposure

This year — this decade — will soon pack up its experiences and many lessons, and set sail for the place where the present converges with the past, where younger memories lace fingers with older ones.  Unseen, but it exists somewhere in between the sky and land, the land and sea.

2019 held me in ways I never knew possible.  Its linear form was more undulating than straight, with high peaks and low valleys.  It was a year of simulation — of characters and situations seemingly drawn from the innumerable books I have read through the ages, the stories I have heard.

I witnessed and felt an overwhelming amount — in places that spanned two continents, five countries, seven states, one province, countless towns, and a long string of national parks.

I grew, I dealt, I shattered; I managed through all of it.  This year, as well as the last ten.

I discovered time has a strange way of revealing ungodly truths.  The truths that end up breaking us wide open — sometimes wounding and changing us in ways that go on forever.  Truths about others, about ourselves, about humanity.  It can be a difficult obstacle to find our footing when the dust settles, but how we choose to move forward is part and parcel to our rebirth.

As the new decade approaches, I see the experiences and lessons from the last ten years as a form of magnetic energy.  A push and pull to new heights — encouragement to grow into the person I am. 

2010-2019, you were memorable.

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(more photos from Europe to follow)