“States of Modern Life: Anxiety, Exhilaration, Serenity
The following three paintings are a tryptic which I created at the request of Michael Bartlett, Piedmont, California. It was an interesting commission, and one which I will always remember as a turning point. As I carried the three blank, stretched canvases up three flights of stairs to my studio, I said to one, “You are going to stay with me for a while, and when you leave here, we will both be different.” It was true. During the process, I met and discarded many of my gremlins, my self-talk, my thinking about the critics, and some other things too private to disclose.
To create these pieces, which felt more like writing a novel than a short story, I deliberately created the states reflected in myself and painted out of them within the palette we had chosen. “Anxiety” was very nearly my Waterloo. Like Pollack, I was reaching for the synapses, the mystery of the energy inside us.
When the collector saw the three together in my hallway, which was the only place large enough to see the three together, other than where they will live in Mexico above the Sea of Cortez, he looked for a few minutes, and then said simply, “Now THOSE are Harwoods!” He couldn’t have chosen words that would have made me happier.