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But That Was Then

November 1, 2016 to November 26, 2016


"I think part of when you're doing something new is that you can't entirely know that you’re doing it. You almost don't pay attention. You are paying more attention to the rhythm of the thing.” - Eileen Myles

Several years ago my friend Rico Solinas invited me to go Plein Air painting with him. Rico is a consummate gouache painter and has made a painting a day for the 20 some years I have known him. We went to the Presidio in San Francisco and sat at a picnic table. I began my first experience with gouache.

I found myself entirely engaged with this new medium, I would get completely lost and out of my ego self, an just sort of experiment with the gouache, which is so much more immediate than the process of oil painting I have been involved in for so many years. I could make a small gouache painting is several days where the oil paintings take up to five months to build the color layers.

Last winter I made my first series of gouache paintings that I called The Ghost Trees. I was thinking about climate change and the disappearance of trees. This series, But That Was Then, is about water and the lack of it. This issue became apparent after spending several winters in the New Mexico desert. I think my main interest in making these paintings consist several things, firstly exploring the fine line between figuration and total abstraction and secondly, working with the idea of what was and what that thing has left behind.