Late 1970s Domestic Life Photos

I purchased the Pentax K-1000 with money I earned waitressing while living in San Francisco during the first years after completing college in 1974. I enjoyed walking around The Mission photographing the neighborhood, but my personal environment became more of a subject.

Linda Street apartment kitchen...I was ironing this cloth to set the design I had painted using masking tape to create simple geometric patterns that reflected the new wave sensibility blossoming at that time (think TALKING HEADS 77). I sewed these fabrics into pull-over blouses and kimono-style robes for my friends.

I moved to NYC summer of 1979 and found this apartment on East 6th Street, where I spent many hours sitting at the window (facing southeast) watching the action on the street below...frequently drinking beer and smoking....watching for friends who would call up my name to throw down the front door key.

The hankies and buttons belonged to my grandmother, Doris. She and my grandfather sold their home when she moved into a nursing home soon after I moved to New York. I inherited a nice collection of vintage domesic items that turn up in my home and art.

1982 Public Image Gallery

This tiny gallery on the lower east side held theme shows every month or so. I submitted pieces to a few of them. This show's theme was DEATH.

10 x 8 inches, gouache on paper

1983 Early Paintings - Sign & Symbol

Charlie Mendoza gave me a large roll of rag paper that he found in the trash. I got a lot of mileage out of that paper, as I created about twenty oil pastel drawings and acrylic paintings.

Words (40 x 42 inches)

Mortal (50 x 44 inches)

Future (40 x 442 inches)

Future (40 x 42 inches)

1983 All Fools Show

All Fools Show was a large group event that took place on several floors of a warehouse in Brooklyn. My rooftop installation was painted with housepaint...each side of the structure was about 10 x 8 feet.


1984 New Directions

I attempted to work in a larger scale by combining two canvases. Revelation was shown at the January 1984 exhibition, Revelations, at Middle Collegiate Church on East 7th Street. It was a large group show with a big, loud opening. I ran into my college painting teacher there. Ten years out of college, that moment felt like some kind of milestone.

Revelation (canvas, 84 x 48 inches)

By the end of the year, I began experimenting with assemblage and collage.

Mendoza's Music (paper, 62 x 37 includes)

1985 New Dimensions

More depth, texture, assemblage.

Less sign and symbol...more story.

Chiefs and Indians (canvas, 48 x 56 inches)

Age of Leisure (canvas, 60 x 40 inches)

World Is Moving (40 x 40 inches)

1985 East Sixth Street Studio

Top left three windows were mine...August 1979 until August 1992.

By 1985, I was using larger canvases and incorporating fabric and image collage into the painting.

Left: Generations (canvas, 68 x 24 inches) The hankies collaged onto this one are from the same collection of hankies shown in the earlier photo.

Center: Mendoza's Music (paper on wood frame, 62 x 37 inches) This was done prior to other two...experimenting further with texture...collaged cardboard and modeling paste are used here.

Right: Population (canvas, 50 x 50 inches) I picked up this piece of bark cloth at a fea market and I have sought out this vintage fabric ever since.

1985 Experimentation

Presentation is an ongoing concern. Stretched canvas is traditional. Paper is nice, but needs framing (expensive). So I made a few paintings on that heavy rag paper that I stapled to these primitive crossed wood frames, tied together with string, and extended the painting onto the frame.

I was quite pleased until I went to an opening of a Jean Michel Basquiat show and saw that he had several paintings presented in much the same way. Good ideas tend to arise like weather. I was flattered that my thoughts were in line with his, but I had to stop doing that immediately.

Certain forms that become a kind of language repeat over time...ladder, cone, pitcher, stripe, egg, tangled lines.

Pilot Smelling Grass (48 x 48 inches)

Falling In Time (40 x 48 inches)

1986 More Experimentation

Instead of crossed wood frame, I tried assembling a more conventional wood frame with canvas stapled to the back. I made several paintings using this approach. This one hung in the office of Morris Slotin's father in Savannah, Georgia.

Spring (36 x 36 inches)

Big Art

For about a year in 1986 I rented a 300 square foot studio downtown on Broadway near Franklin Street. I felt that I had arrived in some way. In this space, I tried to make art that was bigger and looked like something that might be shown in a spacious gallery space. Eventually, I discovered that I really preferred working at home on a more intimate scale. At the time, I was entirely influenced by the mirage of 80s...our big expensive world was on the rise.

Toy Future, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 126 inches

1986 Playing Cards

As a kid, I played Go Fish, Crazy Eights, and Rummy with these cards.

Mood (canvas, 53 x 13 inches)

Soul (canvas, 48 x 36 inches)

1986 Painting As Poem

Continuing to play with modeling paste, assemblage/collage and image in a nonrepresentational way. I found this vintage patterned piece of linoleum on the street.

Island (canvas, 28 x 36 inches)

1989 Book Art

I was getting into writing at the time, so working inside this 9 x 12 inch book made sense as a developed the collage painting technique I have used since.

1991 Emily Dickinson Series

I was given a wood craving set...began drawing with the marks on these 24 x 24 inch plywood panels and coloring with oil pastel...matched each with an Emily Dickinson poem.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

I found the phrase to every thought
I ever had, but one;
And that defies me---as a hand
Did try to chalk the sun
To races nurtured in the dark;
How would your own begin?
Can blaze be done in cochineal,
Or noon in mazarin?

I taste a liquor never brewed;
From tankards scooped in pearl,
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!
Inebriate of air am I
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue
When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door.
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!

The nearest dream recedes, unrealized.
The heaven we chase
Like the June bee
Before the school-boy
Invites the race; Stops to an easy clover---
Then to the royal clouds
lifts his light pinnacle
Heedless of the boy
Staring, bewildered, at the mocking sky.

Homesick for steadfast honey,
Ah! the bee flies not
That brews that rare variety.

1992 - 1995 Boulder

Redhead Mask, papier mache, paint, yarn

Self-Box, mixed media on cigar box

Still Life, Polaroid transfer process

Ballerina, Polaroid transfer process

Brushes, Polaroid Transfer Process

Who Are You? Self-portrait in mirror installation at Boulder Artists Gallery