I taught at Deep Springs College in 1995. This is a great entry into California. The Sierras loom up like nothing else right from the Owens Valley Floor to the 14,000 foot Mt Whitney.
Deep Springs is a great place reading Melville and Nietzsche in the Desert, they also cowboy through their stay herding cows into the mountains and delivering calves on freezing cold starlit evenings. To say the least a romantic place! In the literary sense.
It's really hard to paint here. No where to get off the road. Everyone has a certain behavior in motion and if they see me painting they all stop like they saw a bear -- I knew a spot that no onecould see me, I painted there before. It's really hot and I found a spot of shade with the view.
The moon was just setting behind the mountains at around noon.
I feel a bit unsettled as I arrive in New Mexico and see the paintings from my trip.
First, I never really painted back east, as the easy character and familiarity to where I was born in Pennsylvania has not interested me.
The western landscape implies more of an adventure.
Second, these places, and their shapes and colors found-- start to order themselves in my mind, and that process has not begun as of yet in the eastern subject.
The studio work of blowing these paintings up and sending them through the processes of my work give these places their reality to me.
As of now they seem raw, old fashioned somewhat and not all to my liking. It is this uneasiness though I need to sit with to allow a real authenticity and as I believe a final meaning to me is to result.
Third, I'm not sure why do this in public. One thing that bothers me is how people see me as out there-- having a good time. It implies there is nothing much beneath this activity. Being in public keeps me moving. I'd wish for a more insightful comment though to meet my own level of work and commitment.
Finally I think my process of going out and using the results could be enjoyed by more artists. The bystander, the critic, too-- and finally create a different culture or at least my own personal culture of how things could be a yes rather than a no.
That the Earth, and this relates to the dangerous moment our planet suffers, can influence a choice to make art about how things could be rather than the ironies we all know too well by now.
Well this is my constant idealization, ordered it makes a poetry and my painting practice back in the studio.