Cindy Loehr was one of my classmates in the UIC graduate program.
A year or two after completing the program, Cindy invited me to make some paintings for a show she was putting together centered around her grandfather's massive archive of slides he'd made over the course of his lifetime.
I spent some time perusing what I could of the many 3" binders stuffed full of slides. I tried to use the opportunity to find my own paintings in someone else's images. This has since proved a key part of the painting process for me: finding my paintings out in the world, recognizing them as mine, and bringing them back into the studio to work on making them into themselves.
I made 3 paintings for the show.
This painting, 'Façade', was the first one I did where I thinned the paint to the point that I could take an approach similar to watercolor. In subsequent years watercolor has become more and more important to me and has informed my approach to oil painting.
The title refers to an idea I had about the image, with the tree performing a decorative function in relation to the architecture of the garage door - taken together they are structure and ornament, geometry and filigree. At least those were the sorts of thoughts I was having when working on it.
'Exterior' was a wierd, uncertain painting at the time. I was trying some things, leaving details from the source image out, implying spaces rather than describing them. Compositionally it's off-kilter, with the diagonal pitch sort of threatenting to fall over to one side. I was pretty unsure of it then, now it plays better with some things that I've done recently- though it still looks pretty tentative.
'Thrush', I feel is one of the best I've made. I tried to emphasize the geometry of the composition, the way there is a central division created by the tree, with the branches creating 3 spaces and the 4 windows cropped to make them into these hovering enigmatic squares. The painting is pretty directly referential to photography - a photographic depth of field rather than a painterly one. Not sure I'd approach it the same way now.
This painting is lost somewhere in Germany. I wonder if I'll ever see it again.
Cindy took her own life in September of 2014. I hadn't seen or spoken to her in many years, and was informed of her tragic passing by a friend from school. These paintings owe their existence to Cindy, and if my thoughts are my own, the ideas in these paintings were brought on by her generous invitation to make work for this show. So she bears some credit for this work. I was happy to be asked to participate then and I am happy to think of that time now.
Whether or not it is of any value I can't say, but in retrospect I dedicate this work to her memory.