This is a new painting for an upcoming book from Thames and Hudson titled "Questions and Answers". It features interviews with a number of artists, their work, and a new piece based on one word. I was given the word "heaven", which gave me a lot to think about.
I had no clear direction on where to go, and just began painting and making marks on paper. Flowers started appearing and then the idea of a beaded curtain emerged as I worked. I liked the idea of a person being welcomed into heaven and walking through a curtain of lush flowers on their way in. I cut apart the various pieces and brought them together into the final painting.
As I worked on this I was reminded of the time when I was with my father in Cordoba, Spain. It was his first trip to the country and we were walking through "La Mesquita", a very large church in the center of town which at one point in history had been an important mosque. Within the Arabic architecture there are a number of highly decorated Catholic chapels, with sculptures of saints, realistic paintings of heaven, etc. I pointed out that Arabic decoration doesn't show any people, that heaven and things of that sort are usually depicted by natural elements such as flowers. He thought that was such a moving idea. Having grown up Catholic, this was like an epiphany to him. I wanted to capture some of those ideas in this painting.
Thanks to Ana Benaroya
for putting the project together and for asking me to take part.