I bought a 6'x6' canvas. Two of them actually. I'm
about 5'8" (5'10" when I used to have a 'fro)
just to give you an idea how big this canvas is. That's
36 square feet.
I had to take the canvas off of its frame when I moved
into a new studio because I couldn't fit it down the
stairs. I unrolled the canvas and threw it on the concrete
floor. What am I going to do on something of this size?
I first drew a scene of this Chinese restaurant with
an apartment above it. For those interested, it's the
building across the street from the Hemlock Tavern on
Polk St. in San Francisco. The apartment has full-wall
glass windows, and one night at the bar, the apartment
was having a party. I could see a few people inside,
talking and drinking. This one woman was leaning against
the window with a drink in her hand, checking out the
action on the street. She was tall and her silhouette
struck me: a small intimate gathering and she was more
interested in what was going on outside.
So, I drew this scene out but didn't like the way it
came out. Instead, I began throwing paint on the canvas,
on top of the drawing. Over the past six months, I've
stopped using paintbrushes and have been using cardboard
boxes and wood panels to move the paint around. I throw
the paint on the canvas, then put the panels down on
top of the paint and slide them around, moving the paint
on the larger canvas but also moving the paint around
on the panels too.
Over the course of this painting, I used 29 panels
(some 8"x10", some 9"x12"). These
are the 29 panels. I love the fact that by creating
one piece, I incidentally actually created 30. Each
one is unique and contributed to the larger one, but
they are all tied together, united by being part of
a larger whole.
One day, I want to show all 29 panels surrounding the
larger canvas. All the colors represented in these smaller
paintings can be found in the larger one.