Thoughts about Guston

So why have I be thinking about Philip Guston a lot lately. The first time I ever saw his work was a retrospective at the Whitechapel in London in 1982. I knew nothing about his work previously. I remember being so startled by his large scale paintings. I had no response at all, it was like looking at something with no reference points- I was dumbstruck. Later I realized, what an impact his work had on me and how truly monumental it was.

A lot has happened for me since I moved out of my studio in Upland, California in October 2016. I have had some medical issues , a detached retina being the most serious, and we have moved to Portland Oregon after living in California for 25 years ,it has been somewhat of a culture shock. Now after all the moving ,I have a huge studio and am beginning the process of working again and finding my feet in a new place.

I have started doing work about the five senses. I have also finished a piece that I brought with me based on the "Garden of Earthly Delights: by Hieronymus Bosch. I started looking at the structure underlying Bosch's triptych. It struck me that there would not be a garden of earthly delights without the five senses to appreciate them. So my quest has been combined, how can I visually express what hearing , seeing , touching , tasting and smelling might look like?

My approach is to start with some loose, almost cartoonish drawings of the parts of the body that are the centers of the various senses, which brings me back to Philip Guston. He uses the cartoon vernacular to show a disembodied head with a cigarette and a plate of chips and calls it "Painting ,Smoking , Eating". Below is the finished triptich loosly based on the "Garden of Earthly Delights"