The sketch of this pose evolved whimsically, became a challenge, ultimately an obsession. The idea; two people entwined could stand on two feet, the other feet inwardly poised to one another-soul to soul. At first glance balance doubtful yet when struck the pose had surprising stability. The embrace was assumed by two women and I substituted the male anatomy. Particular details lend underlying meaning. Her gaze is downward somewhat concerned about the crisis at hand; pointing at smoking rocks which form a concentric circle enclosing them. His gaze is upward unconcerned with heat smoke and fire rising from the rocks. He is looking for acknowledgment, watching for transcendent sign that the ritual enactment is acceptable and self sacrifice averted. Another reversal; his features are Caucasian but skin pallor dark. Her features are African but skin tone light. The conditions described in the picture are voluntary yet threatening, often the parameters of love. I had just returned from working in Tuscany for six weeks and was deeply inspired by the land where neo-classicism thrived and the poetic truth of Dante’ hangs in the air. In this picture and the one that follows” Transients “reflect a short return to a neoclassic aesthetic which always lies just below the surface in my tableau. The figures are sculpted relief. Their surfaces rise an inch above the canvas and are formed from sanded modeling paste made from marble dust mixed with polymer Re-sanded and recoated numerous times and then painted in oil later.