“Self Portrait: The Cheatin’ Kind”
collage, watercolor and pastel on paper, 18″ x 24″
Resurrected objects, collage, wood and oils on Canvas, 30″ x 40″
“Dagger through My Heart”
Wood, 6″ x 30″
“Boy with the Golden Hair”
Oils on linen, 24″ x 30″
“The Stream of Life”
Resurrected Objects, 50″ x 8″
Made from recovered junk found in Turtle Creek, Dallas, Texas.
Once upon a time not so many years ago I was homeless and living under the trees and shrubs along a beautiful creek which runs through the center of one of the most exclusive areas of Dallas. I was not alone, as there were many others who had found themselves in the shadow and humiliation of homelessness.
During that time the city planners decided to drain the creek in order to clean out all the rubbish which people had lost or thrown into the water over the past 60 years, as well as rebuild all the docks, pathways and patios along the water’s banks. Once the water was drained one could see bed frames, typewriters and even cars which were partially covered with sludge and vines. It became an adventure for all of us living in the shadows to look for treasure which might be recovered such as diamond rings thrown into the water when an engagement or marriage had ended.
I never found valuable treasure, but I did find an array of curious objects – a book which was covered in a crust colorful marbleized mold, a part of a tennis court net entwined with algae and remnant of a shoe, a partially rusted fender of an old Cadillac. I dug these out with a long walking stick and let dry in the sun in the dry grass. Once they were dry I could clean each piece with water or an old shoe shine brush exposing the array of discoloration and texture. I kept these objects in a black garbage bag which I carried with me from camp to camp and even to the halfway house where I lived for almost a year. During that time I was meditating and the words “Stream of Life” came into my thoughts. I wrote these words down in my journal wondering what these words meant. It was soon after that while I was reading in the Alcoholic Anonymous “Big Book” that the words “stream of life” appeared on my page.
Big Book p.86, Into Action: “Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?”
Of course I was amazed and excited. This will become the title of my sculpture which depicts my journey from homelessness to recovery and uses the junk I kept in my black plastic bag. I didn’t get the chance to make this work until after I arrived in Jefferson City. I did not use any paint on any object but rather allow the actual colors to show. I did use a clear polyurethane spray to bring out the natural colors. “The Stream of Life” is a testament how discarded junk can become a work of art through the process of recovery and reclaiming the beauty of creation and resurrection.
“Torn” (diptych) Oils and collage on canvas, each panel is 18″ x 24″