I’d like to feature a blast from the past tonight, a painting called Ephemerata, from 2001. I don’t have the size in front of me but I remember this to be about 3′ wide. A lot is lost in the photograph, in particular certain textural elements and some of the surface quality as well.
I painted this one in the late fall of 2001, in my so-called Secret Lab behind our place on Blackthorn Ave. I had just converted this over-sized garden shed into a very functional little studio. Tuffy P and I were recently married and bought this tiny house, and I had a head full of ideas and painting energy to spare.
Fall/winter 2001 into 2002 were one of my most prolific periods as a painter. I recall that I started this particular painting by gluing on some cut-up bits of an older acrylic painting. I decided early on that I wanted to keep traces of this older picture in the final painting and you can see it in two areas. Maybe you can pick them out.
At the time I was working on several paintings at once (not unusual for me) and I was working quickly in sessions. I’d lay a few paintings on the floor, hang some on the wall and I’d work furiously on as many of them as I could handle. A day or two later I’d go back in the studio, perhaps replace one or two with others, hide a couple away, maybe scrape some paint off one or two. Sometimes I would obscure parts of some of the paintings by taping paper temporarily over selected areas.
These paintings were in constant flux. I recall painting them very clearly. It was all very fluid, and it felt like every session was an adventure. How do you get to that second in space and time when all those ideas, blobs of paint, accidents, blunders and inspiration come together to become a painting?
Several of the paintings from this period still hold up very well (at least in my little brain). Some others were more or less disastrous efforts. I still have a few from this series in storage here at 27th Street.