One of the wonderful aspects of aging is that enough time has passed to reveal both consistency and inconsistency in my work over time. The hints of what was yet to come are often more than subtle in my earlier work, but unrecognizable due to the simple fact that I hadn’t yet lived long enough and painted enough paintings for the inspirations to develop.

Beneath the Folds is a recent painting. The media is watercolor, gouache and pastel. The composition is based on a self-portrait, a photograph I took of myself in 1975 when I spent at least half my time in a darkroom printing black and white photographs on Portriga paper. I snapped the photo one evening after having dressed for slumber. Earlier that week I found a fantastic robe in a second-hand shop. Never having been a huge fan of paisley, I was surprised that I was drawn to the pattern of the robe. Most of all, I loved the style. It zipped up the front, snuggly fitting my upper torso and flaring out below the waist. I couldn’t help but swirl and dance every time I zipped it up. I felt like Ginger Rogers and Greta Garbo rolled into one.

For over thirty years it had been in the back of my mind to explore the possibilities of the image in a painting. Each time I thought to try, I knew I would get too caught up in the details of the patterns and loose the energy I wanted to express. Now that my style of painting and the language of my marks has matured, I could take on my challenge with joy.

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