While running in the woods in the High Country of Northern California this picture came to me complete, a vision intact.
I had run 3 miles pretty much straight uphill with a friend to Alpine Lake near Bear Mountain. The thin air and subsequent oxygen debt undoubtedly contributed to the scene burgeoning in my minds eye; a woman being borne, coming into being, as if a vapor ,slowly assuming a shape.…. something like ‘Eve’.
She would rise upward from a pedestal, opening like pedals of a flower or a formative gas …coming forth simultaneously outward from inside of the painting, toward the viewer. I thought her appearance at first glance should be both abstract and a life-like. This duality intended to suspend the viewers understanding momentarily of what exactly was taking place; fantasy, reality or both.
I wanted fundamental elements from that day to be present too. The White birch trees were essential and would became a useful color design element. Seeing the light through the trees limbs, a cloudscape behind of luminous and dark clouds were observable that day and a distant horizon.
Later that summer day ,while descending from Alpine Lake, I collected bark, from the forest floor, not entirely sure what I would do with it.
Weeks later in New York, I found myself sketching then painting the scene. As the picture evolved I determine to sculpt the figure, giving it preeminence in front of the landscape. I needed her it emerge from the background.I used the collected bark for the surface a sculpted tree stump. The logistics would be daunting; to keep the picture both light in weight and manageable in scale as it was developing into a 3-D reality of its own.
I spent exactly 3 months; sketching the overall, painting the landscape, sculpting the figure, finally crafting the bronze hair and assembling the whole, to resemble my vision while ascending to Alpine Lake.