We Are Enveloped and Drenched In The Marvelous..., 12 x 12 inches, oil on linen
...But We Do Not See, 12 x 12 inches, oil on linen
"We are enveloped and drenched in the marvelous, but we do not see" is a quote by Baudelaire. It's also the opening line of a review of my first West Coast solo show, an exhibition of cityscapes and architectural themes, which took place some thirteen years ago at the Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco.
It was written by Mr. William Whitney, an art historian and former executive director at the California Historical Society. He said some very nice things about my work, and for a young upstart like me, his words were a tremendous confidence booster.
But as the years passed and I became older and more experienced (and hopefully, a little wiser) I began to feel that his generous praise of my work was... well, too generous. Try as I might, it became increasingly apparent that I couldn't live up to it. Eventually, I gave up painting cityscapes and turned to landscape painting, hoping to learn new things in a completely different context.
Well I learned a lot, and still am learning every day. In the past few years, I have been attempting to return to the cityscape by applying what I learned from landscape painting to my cityscapes. The quality of light, color, edges, and abstraction are high on the list of things which make my new city paintings different –and much, much closer to my own identity.
The two small paintings I'm posting today are my latest efforts, and I really like them. I'm encouraged that this time around, I have a fighting chance of living up to Mr. Whitney's original review.
If you would like to see these in person, they are at Sekula's in Sacramento. Please go check 'em out if you're in the area!