Monday, February 13, 2012

Bones 2009

Usually when I send a painting out into the world and it sells, I'm not able to know what happens to that painting:  who owns it, where it hangs, how it looks, how the people who own it feel about it.  In this case I had the great fortune of being invited to the home of the owners of Bones when I was in San Diego this past weekend for an opening of my work at the Museum of Photographic Arts, .  Bones had been donated to a fund raiser for MOPA, and the owners had bought it from the auction.

Bones resides in a small bungalow not far from the ocean, and just a stone's throw from a lovely inland marsh.  The home had been remodeled by the owners so that the tiny rooms were opened up and extended.  In addition to the renovations to the main house, a small two room house(we would call it a "casita" here in New Mexico)had been built in the back yard.  The third building on the small lot was an office that had been made by lifting the roof of the garage, and turning it into a modern, open space with clean lines and a loft along one side.  What had once been a scruffy dirt yard had been turned into a lush garden of succulents and cactus.  The house felt completely Southern Californian to me, and from the the loft in the office we could see the ocean. The home, the yard, the little house and the office all seemed like works of art in and of themselves.

The painting hung in the living room.  I hadn't seen it in several years, since it had been with my gallery in San Francisco  since 2009.  I took great pleasure in looking at the image again--that of an alligator/crocodile whose body was made from deer bones and gnarled roots, and the paint was richer and denser then I remembered. I had done the painting while I lived in Virginia, and  it reminded me of the feeling I had of being swallowed by the dense vegetation, the abundant and fecund life that exists when you have lots of water available.   The three of us stood in front of the small painting and looked at it and discussed it's parts and pieces, like proud parents discussing the merits of their odd child. I realized that they loved Bones as much as I did, and it felt tremendously good to know that.

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