I shot this picture of my studio, a former auto repair shop, in 2004. I had just finished two large paintings—capstones for two solo shows that would take place shortly—and, still in high gear, prepared a number of smaller panels for the next body of work. As is my wont, after a period of intense activity leading up to a show, I crash for a few days and then clean up the studio. There’s something cathartic about the process. (I wrote about that interim in a post called Post-Partum Abstraction.)
So you’re seeing the space in an unnaturally pristine way. It’s the physical embodiment of a Zen moment. When I’m sitting in this ordered, empty space, I can see the next body of work. It’s not a process I can describe; I just need to start with a clean slate.
You’ll notice that the brushes are not clean, however. I work primarily in encaustic. Wax paint never polymerizes, so when it’s heated, it’s workable again. I can melt off what’s there, wipe the brush clean, and dip it into the new palette—though I keep the brushes within color families. I have hundreds more brushes now, but they all look like this.
I’m not a north light purist. I’m perfectly happy to work with incandescent illumination, but I do like the diffused southern light that comes through the translucent overheads I had installed. I call them my “Gagosian doors.” (They are the only thing Larry and I have in common.)
The studio is in