Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Work: Close The Distance

Close The Distance
image size 11" x 14" acrylic on wc paper-available
Not everything I have painted lately has been of an exact scene somewhere. Several of the pieces have come together from various ideas and sources. The above piece is based on a scene that I see each time I cross the city of Stockton on the Crosstown Freeway. I pulled together several of the elements from that scene in order to come up with this idea. 

As I sit in traffic waiting to transition from one highway to the next, I can see down below the freeway to a homeless encampment. This section of town where the tents and makeshift homes are is sort of an industrial area. I often wonder where the people who live there came from, what their circumstances might be and how on earth they get along each day living outdoors. I think about all of the things that I have each day that make my own life comfortable-running water, access to the bathroom, food, a kitchen, a bed, etc. While I believe that people should be able to choose for themselves how they want to live I also recognize that not everyone can choose in the same way(they may not even have a choice) or that they have access to the same resources as I do. Everyone's set of circumstances is different and unique and I want to respect that without judging.

In any case, I thought about the tops of the tents that I could see, the pavement and greenery surrounding the cluster of homes, and the water nearby. Part of a creek runs right next to the camp. I wasn't sure about that blue strip and so hoped to soften it with the more curvilinear "tent" forms. I hope the design is good-it isn't necessary for me that people know about the encampment. Incidentally, the title for the piece is based on a line from a Jackson Browne song that was playing when I thought up the idea. World in Motion is the piece and "close your distances" is part of a line in the song. 

Hope everyone is having a good week. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  1. Such an interesting painting and even more so when I read your story of how it came about. And I really like your new abstracted landscapes from your last wrap-up post!

  2. I definitely have the feel and visual impression of a crossroads or intersection as you see when one freeway crosses another and traffic and signage and whatever else all meet in this huddle of motion.

  3. Ah Libby- love this. I almost can picture being on a freeway and getting the view below. Very wise thoughts in regards of respecting others choices. Unfortunately for some certain circumstances lead to a way of life that we who are so blessed have difficulty understanding. Perhaps "love and sincere compassion" is the path each of us needs to take in helping those who are less fortunate. Have a wonderful day friend.


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