sanctuary (rorschach)

39" x 48"
oil paint, wax, polyurethane
canvas, wood

sanctuary (rorschach) began as a sculpture, created of extra “ends” of 1′ x 2′ pieces of wood left over from making stretchers. i basically laid a piece of masonite over the stretchers as if making a panel. i used all of the remnants to create a kind of relief map – somewhat related to creating a landscape out of squares – like a bit-mapped image. when i finished the form, it didn’t seem to work very well as a sculpture so i covered the sculpture with canvas. once stretched over the sculpture, i had a kind of contour surface that was quite awkward and definitely not flat. i originally started to paint squares and rectangles that i could determine by pressing my fingers onto the canvas to feel the wooden bits beneath the skin. this too was a bad idea, yielding a group of very generic feeling forms. i don’t really remember how i made the next giant leap with this work, but on top of the previous steps i decided to draw an architectural plan that connected the three major spaces i inhabited as a child – my mother’s house, my father’s house and my grandparent’s house, which was why i titled the painting sanctuary. all of the scale relationships and floorplans were re-created from my memory and once i finished the blue and white image, i replicated it backwards, in red, to suggest a rorschach blot. at this time in my practice my ideas were far from resolved and my explanations were quite muddled… the saving grace was that i was totally willing to grab on to a whim and to follow it… which is still a big part of my process. i’m not afraid of making a painting that is a bit confused, and i am not afraid of making something i don’t understand… for it is far more interesting to create a situation where ‘understanding’ is something that evolves out of a conversation than simply stating it clearly from the get go. i think it’s important to learn as you make.