Polaroid of Painting, in progress '85, I made from the photos above.

Polaroid of Painting, in progress '85, I made from the photos above.

I just came across this old Polaroid, on the top, from ’85 or so, which was an image that sparked a body of work, and is quite related to the RiverWalk Mural just installed. A very strange aspect of this photo is that I took it standing on a ladder, and the ladder exists in the bottom of the photo, but as a strangely ghostly, almost transparent, image. Go figure. Maybe THAT was the idea I should have grabbed……….

I had laid out a group of photos on a studio bench, thinking of possibilities for a new painting….always difficult back then, when I committed weeks to a canvas, when I was struck by the visual fact of the grid of images. The chance connections and disconnections, the animation of the arrangement as I browsed from part to part, and the play between surface pattern and the space of the images, all lit a big lightbulb for me. The simplicity against the complexity, the play between color as sky and color as flat swatch, all rang bells for me.

I’ve used the notion for years, in a wide variety of works. Here are a couple….

BaywSnapshots-88-48" X 60" oi/linen

“Bay with Snapshots” Oil, 48″ X 60″ 1988


“Tryptch with Scattered Snapshots” Digital image, A proposal for an unrealized public project. 2003.

So; interesting how an errant notion, floating in through the window as it were, can be the catalyst for a quantity of work. It has happened occasionally, before and after this example, but it may only be an example of my limited imagination.