After the Storm

No work of art is ever produced in the midst of a storm, we only have a recollection after the fact. But the experience is profound, the sheer force of nature obliterates the very instruments designed to understand and measure that force.

This series, entitled “After the Storm,” explores the resulting frailty and vulnerability in the aftermath of such an event.  Its recurring image is the shape of a damaged vessel in need of repair. It is a small boat, stranded, rudderless. The work is executed on five large panels of Formica, the surface of which I scar and damage by means of the lithographic levigator.  Just as the depiction of mist and fog will erase parts of the artist’s image, the effect of a storm leaves its mark on the artist’s work.

After the Storm. Stage 1

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After the Storm. Stage 2

After the Storm. Stage 3

After the Storm. Stage 4

After the Storm. Stage 5

The Hemlock Suite and this series of After the Storm are part of the larger planned series of Soot and Soul which will consist of four movements, 16 panels, all executed in the same technique and on the same scale.

Each panel consists of a layer of Formica backed with two layers of doorskin. They measure 57” x 27”. Lampblack oilpaint, lithographic pencil on Formica. Scars made by levigator. Techniques borrowed from printmaking, monotype.

“ Three times I went to the Berkeley marina to look at the riggings of the sailboats, how the spreader spars deflect the shrouds, how the mainsail is attached to the mast. I look up the hardware online: the cam cleats, the swivel shackles, the vangs and turn buckles.

I close my studio door and shed all my knowledge: my sail must capture the force of the spirit, not just the strength of the wind.” From the Notebooks. (7-23-2017)