In the Time of Water

Oil on panel/canvas

Works on paper

Series Statement
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I live in LA, a city that is in flux. The whole picture is hard to see and getting harder every year for this is a time of migration, rapid cross cultural pollination, and relentless environmental destruction. The water is muddy and the signposts are rare or obscured. My narratives of disruption and reordering reflect this. Although they are fragmentary, they do have a cast of characters and objects (a combination of personal and public symbols) that flow from painting to painting. This key is to aid but not dictate meaning, for as Bill Callahan sings in From the Rivers to the Oceans, “Have faith in wordless knowledge. I could tell you about the river or we could just get in.” 


Setting: Mirror City, the ruins of “The City” whose destruction by fire & flood was portrayed in my prior series, Driven Into Paradise: The Tale of Pearl.

Tribes: refuges from “The Below” (industrial space below the “City”); color of clothing identifies members; primary colors are worn by 3 main tribes

Rat Girls (personify physical senses) all female tribe: dress in red: guards, scouts, & scavengers; totems are dolls; their bird spirits are herons

Duck Girls (personify spirit): all female tribe, smallest tribe; dress in yellow; box keepers, navigators, & seers; totems are rubber ducks; their bird spirits are finches

Bear Children (personify intellect): male & female tribe; largest tribe; dress in blue; transporters, engineers, & builders; totems are bears; their bird spirits are cormorants

Bridge Children: loose knit tribe of wild children, refuges from “The Beyond” who live on the edge of Mirror City

Main Characters:

Doll: from the Duck Girl Tribe; came to Mirror City from The Beyond; guardian of hope; accoutrements: “Baby”, a doll made from log & stone and a bird’s nest; her companion is “Glider”, a red tailed hawk

Boy in the Box: wounded Bridge Child rescued by 3 tribes of Mirror City

Fish: from the Bear Tribe, brother to Stalker & friend of Doll; fire watcher & trickster; accoutrements: “Mr. Strings”, a Mariachi marionette, can of gasoline & box of kindling; his companion is “Fin”, a grey and white cat

Gazer: leader in the Bear Tribe & ally of Stalker; star gazer, map reader & scientist; accoutrements: diving rod, ink well with quill, black rubber duck; her companion is “Ruby”, a rat terrier with a pink ruff

Stalker: transitioned from Bear Children to Rat Girls; warrior, path reader & pragmatist; accoutrements: croquet mallet, whip, “Shirley”, the one-eyed straw