What I Saw. How It Was. September 1- October 1, 2016 at Butters Gallery in Portland, OR

 What I Saw. How It Was, the work of 2015 and 2016, is evidence of my wanderings and how some of what I saw moved through me. Plants, spaces, places and moments emerge from the deep pleasure of making a gesture with paint and ink, brush and finger, adding and subtracting.

These paintings are what I see with my eyes closed.

They are also what I saw as I meandered. I watch as a magnolia opens before my eyes.  A universe of bees drunk on pollen is revealed in a blossom. Geese stalk toddlers.  Mother duck and ducklings cross the street at a stoplight. I am there when first raindrops fall on a lake and water meets water.  I am looking when red seeds extrude and spill from magnolia fruit to expose a moment of botanical pornography. Two leaves attach and entwine, then float together through Crystal Springs to Johnson Creek. Here is a beaver dam adorned with golf balls at the pond near the golf course while nearby in gnawed tree trunks covered in pitch, I observe the birth of amber as ants and spiders meet untimely deaths. I feel the presence of ancient beings in John Day and in a cold mist at the Rhododendron Garden, I am overtaken with the beauty of a sudden squall.

These experiences, and others, are the stuff of the paintings, embedded in the panels with wax, crayon, ink, paper, and more. Making the work is a process of painting, drawing, scraping, erasing, melting, redrawing, scrubbing and then doing it all over again. There is joy and despair. I ruin decent paintings and destroy others as I pursue some specific bit of ephemera.

With luck, work and magic I reassemble the elusive presence of time and being, the “how it was”, to live in a world of paint. I don’t know what drives me to this activity; nevertheless I continue to try to understand my experience of the world by recreating it.

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