La Cathedral

 2017  80 x 45 x 9 Inches  Oil on canvas on panel over sculpted foam, three dimensional sculpted female, bronze hair

2017

80 x 45 x 9 Inches

Oil on canvas on panel over sculpted foam, three dimensional sculpted female, bronze hair

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.