Edward Said called it Late Style. Beethoven had it, as did Thomas Mann; Matisse with his renowned paper cuts. Monet, while nearly blind, created the water lily paintings as his final legacy to the history of art.
I’d originally thought my late style began when the paintings in Proust anchored my 2012-2015 series From Paintings in Proust. I believed it continued when Vermeer’s Woman with a Pearl Necklace took my breath away at first sight at Gemaldegalerie, Berlin in 2014. I vowed to create the next series as Circling Vermeer. What I hadn’t understood about these series, and all that had come before, is that color had always taken prime importance in the ways I intertwined it to support the narrative.
Narrative is no longer centering my work. Instead, my skill with color has taken full hold. Initially honed by John Ferren, the abstract expression painter who taught the year of color study during my time at Queen College, my sensitivity to color went on to develop during from 1956 to 1965 while working solely as a painter. It reappeared on returning to painting from 30 years as a metal sculptor, mask maker and mask performance artist, while being a resident artist at the Weir Farm, Wilton CT in 1998. Arriving that autumn, I captured its blaze in 4’x6’ and 6’x4’ pastel and acrylic works on paper. My landscape-based works continued at the Byrdcliffe Artist Residency in Woodstock NY in 2001.
While four lengthy visits including a Fulbright to India had already brought the palette of South Asia into my work, the pandemic turned my focus to the cosmic realm. The excitement of this new direction has fostered my intention to follow the footsteps of Monet and continue on with a series of large work. I’ve become driven to surpass all that I’d done before. Legacy is the root, and my enduring love of art is the cause.