Abscapes

I grew up in the central valley of California, a rich land criss-crossed with crops, vines, fruit trees, row-upon-row-upon-row, and hedged in by rolling foothills.  Live oaks stood sentinel in the sun, or hid themselves, wrapped in a cold shroud of tulle fog.  The images settled in a became my mental screensaver, the background for my life.  At eighteen I got out of small town fast and fell in love with big cities.  All that culture, all that cement and concrete, won me over with its hard edges, abstract and creative.  Urban images crowded in on my mental fields, just as central valley towns pushed up and out into larger and larger cities, throwing concrete over the best soil in the country.  Only recently did I become conscious of the inner relationship these images have had in my soul - longstanding, beautiful, conflicted, and erupting now like dreams, spilling out into paintings I call Abscapes.  The name keeps in close proximity what we tend to separate, and what we separate tends towards becoming enemies.  Consciousness abstracts, abstraction often leads to destruction of nature, but nature herself blossomed into consciousness.  Squint, and nature is abstract; remember and urban architecture is the fruit of nature's most intricate life-form yet: humans.  "Landscapes are dead every six months," said a wizened gallery own.  We are her - Nature - if we just look long enough.  These Abscapes visually keep the paradox from becoming dichotomy and invite an intelligent, soulful conversation with nature, and ourselves; a conversation with ultimate implications for our well-being.  And - last but not least - I think they are beautiful!