This is part of an exhibition I had out in St. Louis many years ago. There were twelve of these 3′ x 3′ canvases that I pasted bits of papers, cloth and found objects onto. Then I went into my journals – especially those writings from my times at the artist retreats that I wrote about earlier – and selected bits of them to hand write onto the work. Fragments of thought that related to imagery that also related to the month of the year. I called the series Recollections, because that was what they really were, remembrances. Here is a detail of one of them about a favorite student I had at Arrowmont. He was my eldest male student ever so far. He played harmonica, painted and made me smile, a lot. He cared deeply about things and left a me better for knowing him.
I liked this series. It was autobiographical in a way of showing things that mattered to me at the time. Then I changed it all. Painted over almost all the imagery and some of the text. Coated it with more shellac and drew birds on each one. They were part of another exhibition I was asked to have here where I live – maybe ten years ago. Several of these birds sold. Some I gave away later, and at least two are stacked in the storage room waiting for a proper disposal.
The full text (which is still a fragment of the writing) was placed underneath each bird.
The one in the middle has an interesting story. It was purchased by a couple (the wife being a good friend at the time) and hung in their home. The text referenced home, marriage, love. When a divorce ended their relationship and she wanted to take it with her, he refused. I am quite sure he never read it – just wanted to make a point. Likely now it is in a landfill. These were interesting to do because they were done over other recollections and even now are capable of telling an interesting story. Here is a detail of one.