The Queens of Rain is comprised of 6 works created just before the pandemic and made in opposite corners of this country, when travel was easier. The three ‘m series’ paintings were made at my sister’s place in Twisp, Washington, and the three ‘Captiva Drawings’ were made during a Rauschenberg residency in his former studio on Captiva Island, Florida.
When PDX offered the opportunity to present this group of drawings and paintings from 2 bodies of work, I began to think of this grouping as a new, third thing that required its own title as container. Considering this new visual arrangement, I was struck by the grouping’s association with clouds (also crowns) in both form and atmosphere. And where there are clouds there is Joni Mitchell. I couldn’t bring myself to title the show Both Sides, Now - though that song describes everything I’m interested in regarding drawing and painting: multiple perspectives, transformation, the unknown. After some rabbit-hole research revealed that Joni came up with her song while reading a passage from Saul Bellow’s Henderson The Rain King, I landed on the title: The Queens of Rain. Queening the King felt like the right move, relating to the hall-of-mirrors distortion and reverberation of these specific works in a way that makes sense to me.