30+ years of paintings, talked about one painting at a time: what went into the paintings, what I was trying to say, what was happening at the time of my life that I made the paintings. The paintings themselves are narrative, and this adds a little more to the story that they tell.
As four year olds, we were boyfriend and girlfriend, but then his parents moved to a city 60 miles away, ending the torrid love affair. 17 years later we met again, him tracking me down after seeing one of my lithographs in a student exhibition. Events unfolded and we ended up living together for some 14 years before we had our first daughter. We decided to get married when I became pregnant with our second, much to my mother's relief. When he became seriously ill recently, I suddenly had a picture of my life without him in it, and it was terrible. This painting was made to celebrate the fact that he still is very much in my life.
At a certain point in the last few days, I realized that I had no more room. My shelves were completely full, my storage units packed and popping, and my table tops full of all the stuff(plus much much more) I need to work with. I knew I had to cull the herd. Like Sophie, I knew that the choices I had to make were almost arbitrary: Who was more likely to sell? Who had the stronger personality? Who made my stomach churn the least when I thought about him or her out on the table ready to be gassed(aka gessoed over)? After almost a year of abstinence I began ripping at my fingernails. I would select a piece, then put it back, then re-select it. At last I was ready for my husband, Bob, to help me decide who lived and who died.
We went back and forth, allowing some pieces back on the shelf, others doomed to the big Kilz brush waiting outside. I gathered the rejects up, then lay them outside on the long wooden tables in the 90+ degree heat. I began going over the surfaces. Gone, gone and gone, Sophie the dog witnessing.