On a hunch I decided to pull out a couple of paintings from 30 years ago... I know, right? I've been thinking about light, darkness and space. These old paintings record a time of great stress in my family. I'd just come back home to Bermuda from eight years in Canada to find my parents in turmoil, my father severely depressed. After my mother left, my father would go on to kill himself in England, three years later. It's all there, in these paintings.
Markmaking is a universal pre language. You can make a happy mark and an angry mark and show them to anyone, anywhere and they'll know exactly what you felt, what you expressed.
I had a mentor who recommended withholding every ninth painting for my own reserve, my artist collection, to be my retirement. It has the added bonus of being a literal recording of my developing mind as an artist. It's all there, written in the work.
So it was a bit of a shock to recognize that Dan from thirty years ago and how he was feeling when he made those paintings. Still, the lessons from the techniques I was experimenting with will be useful to this project, I think.
I like playing with strong light and shadow - chiaroscuro - so I began thinking about the Pope's garments and how they drape, and the idea of falling light and shadow glimmering off the rill in Pope's Grotto, and theme of the light at the end of the tunnel.