After moving my work space out of the Institute into my apartment, I managed to complete two 10-foot long paintings by tacking them onto the available wall space in my home studio. These canvases completed the body of work I created during my first 5 years in Chicago. These years were the foundation upon which I built my convictions about how to keep learning what I needed to learn—what I needed to keep, what I needed to change or reject, what I needed to seek out. Besides learning from visual artists, both the living and the dead, it was the poets who gave words to my feelings back then --and now.
“ and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate—but there is no competition—
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business
Excerpt From: T. S. Eliot. “Collected Poems, 1909-1962.”
As my new work environment changed from an urban & more public space to my more private living space, my vocabulary of images grew to incorporate recognizable objects— wax bird statues on my worktable, rooftops from my studio windows, trees at the end of my street. I became more aware of particular interior spaces, and specific places & objects in my more local surroundings. These images became my sources of inspiration for my next body of work. For practical reasons, my paintings became more moderately sized ( 4-5 ft as longest dimension). Here are Anchored Spirits, Portal, Birds of a Feather, and Nests of Waves.