This piece was completed over the summer of 2014, after three years of on again-off again effort. I began the project at the University of Southern Maine, in an experimental drawing class...and turned the piece into an assemblage. I started with a collaged drawing on illustration board using tissue, decorative papers and those great bags onions come in... now buried under paint...but there is still the smallest bit of texture visible. I used the red bag because of the associations it conjured, red means "net" in Spanish, the bag is a red mesh, and the Universe is an enormous network of impulse and matter...follow? Does it matter that it is covered? Maybe, but I know it's there. Also buried is an old postal map of China, only a small corner is visible in the upper right.
I mounted the work on a tray that I found in a thrift store in Altadena, California. I extended the painting out onto the tray. The wheels were removed from a broken toy train. There were many false starts and the whole thing nearly wound up in the trash bin. The Chinese characters read "10,000 Things Are as You Wish Them to Be" which is translated into "All is Well" which speaks to me of manifestation. If I wanted to finish the piece by God I could!
So... I kept at it. I am very much invested in the symbolic underpinnings of a a work, and I don't think I could cram in one more item. However, the finished product is very satisfying to me as a kind of allegorical journey through past lives, this life and that which must inevitably follow. I am aware of what might be considered a kind of loony exuberance in my work. Welcome to my world. The photo is by Jay York.