Around the World

In 1963 I went around the world on a freighter. It took about six months and was terrific. I had intended to make the trip alone, but a friend of mine had a daughter who had refused to return to college and she asked me to take her along. I wasn't too fond of acquiring a young roommate, but I loved my friend very much so I agreed that her daughter could accompany me on the stipulation that if we did not get along she would fly home and return to college. We not only hit it off right away, but we had more fun than anyone on board and to this day I consider Judy one of my dearest friends.

Whenever I return nome from any of my trips, the United States seems stranger to me than any of the countries I have visited. For some reason, I don't feel at home immediately upon returning. I have never been able to understand why.

Eyes like Keyholes

Africa, 1962 Tempra on Paper, 11" x 14"

Eyes like Keyholes See Within Us, 1952 Oil on Canvas, 18" x 26"

I only began painting seriously after Arch died. As time passed, I became more comfortable with my work and my pictures became more and more abstract. To me a painting has to be a separate. Creation. When I am working in this fashing I have to listen. I never know what the canvas is going to say for it has a life of its own. If I begin pushing too hard I will completely ruin it. I have to let the canvas bloom as it wishes.

Rarely can I go back into a painting once I have left it. It has to be continuous. I may be able to leave it for a few days, although I prefer not to, but if I leave it for a longer period it becomes cold - I have lost the whole, the trend, and the motivation. Something is gone and I can never get it back.

Sunflower Dream 1

Sunflower Dream No. 1, 1962, Oil on Canvas, 34" x 38"

As I changed my style from realistic to the abstract, dreams formed a bridge between the two. The first picture that I ever remember dreaming was one of a sunflower. The image was so vivid that I had to get up immediately and paint it. Many times in the past I have dreamed complete canvases. I see, in my dreams, not only the feeling that I want to convey, but the colors that I want to use and their exact location on the canvas. Just as in the sunflower picture, I find that I must get up immediately and paint my dream - I know that this white goes here, a green streak runs across there, and so on.

I have literally dreamed many of my favorite canvases. In one New York show with the Parsons Gallery, I had at least five "dream" pictures. At this time I kept small canvases on my easel, which was close to the bed. If I had happened to dream a painting I would then be able to get up quickly and paint it, before it was lost. All dreams are the same - if not recorded immediately, they begin to fade.

Portrait of a Boy

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The Blue Face of Dreams

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