Friday, July 25, 2014

Elstir's Harbor at Carquethuit

    "...the eclipses of perspective."

On the beach in the foreground the painter had contrived that the eye should discover no fixed boundary, no absolute line of demarcation between land and sea. The men who were pushing down their boats into the sea were running as much through the waves as along the sand, which, being wet, reflected the hulls as if they were already in the water. The sea itself did not come up in an even line but followed the irregularities of the shore, which the perspective of the picture increased still further, so that a ship actually at sea, half-hidden by the projecting works of the arsenal, seemed to be sailing through the middle of the town; women gathering shrimps among the rocks had the appearance, because they were surrounded by water and because of the depression which, beyond the circular barrier of rocks, brought the beach (on the two sides nearest the land) down to sea-level, of being in a marine grotto overhung by ships and waves, open yet protected in the midst of miraculously parted waters. If the whole picture gave this impression of harbours in which the sea penetrated the land, in which the land was subaqueous and the population amphibian, the strength of the marine element was everywhere apparent; and round about the rocks, at the mouth of the harbour where the sea was rough, one sensed, from the muscular efforts of the fishermen and the slant of the boats leaning over at an acute angle, compared with the calm erectness of the warehouse, the church, the houses in the town to which some of the figures were returning and from which others were setting out to fish, that they were riding bareback on the water as though on a swift and fiery animal whose rearing, but for their skill, must have unseated them.

Excerpt From: Marcel Proust, Terence Kilmartin, C.K. Scott Moncrieff, Andreas Mayor & D.J. Enright. “In Search of Lost Time.” The Modern Library.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Resemblance the book is no longer available. My thanks to all who bought it. I hope it has given you pleasure and I hope it will continue to do so.

Making the book was an experience like no other. A great deal of time elapsed between starting to paint the characters of À la recherche du temps perdu and eventually watching others look at them in a finished book, but the span is bridged by all that occurred from start to finish, including personal loss and artistic redemption: the book came from the heart, the mind, and the hand, it was good work to do. For this I thank Marcel Proust.

The experience became elaborate in New York. Missing the curb and the hand of the doorman at an apartment on Central Park West as I got out of a cab and broke my left femur at the knee seems full of hubris, but I will never again enjoy the pleasure I felt, unconcerned with pain for half a block, flying down the side walk three days after the fall, my arms in the air, my book in my lap, as I was pushed, and then released, freed, by a friend who rolled me along in a wheelchair and let go and ran beside me. We were laughing, on our way to a party...

Five months later, after physical therapy and acupuncture and the ice-packs and crutches, and the walker the leg is healed but still cranky, and my cane, left hanging and forgotten on shopping cart handles is repeatedly returned in parking lots outside stores by considerate clerks who call me sir.

I have left the hospitality and comforts of the Casa Eureka and have moved back to Carmel Valley after an absence of forty-two years. The return makes me very happy. It is quite beautiful here. I am very lucky.

The house, 50 yards from the river, is on the border where the coastal fog melts into the warmer open sky of the interior. The river, narrowing where the hills gather is mostly dry stone-bed and leaks along slowly through low pools. Wind blows up and down the stream, cottonwood flowers sail over and around leafed out willow, poplar and blooming Scotch broom, a laurel or two flash silver between
pines, and across the draw, where the pleat of the ravine climbs a rise, a stand of 24 eucalyptus bend to the west inhaling sea air, then let go and bend to the east exhaling the scent of crisp honey.

There are birds, frogs, deer. Two rabbits live in the vegetable garden, old friends live minutes away. Gone eighteen months from Redondo, rested in France, exhilarated by Cabourg, encouraged by New York and Berkeley, I am setting up a studio again, in the place where, as a young man, I first tried to make a home of my own away from my parents.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Resemblance: The Book is Published

Ordering information can be found here:

It can also be purchased in Los Angeles at

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art Store

and in Berkeley at

Mrs Dalloway's Bookstore

Friday, September 20, 2013

Resemblance: The Book

I am very pleased to announce that Resemblance: Portraits of Characters from Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time is now being printed at Edition One Books in Berkeley. 

There will soon be 100 numbered copies, hard linen cover with dust jacket, 9.75 x 6.75 inches, 178 pages with 78 full color illustrations. The book was designed by Nina Zurier.

This is the dust jacket proof...

This is the proof of the title page...

 This is the proof of Odette de Crécy''s page...

Limited edition prints of Oriane de Guermantes, Charles Swann, Odette de Crécy, Gilberte Swann, Robert de Saint-Loup, Baron de Charlus and Albertine Simonet will also be available. They are being printed by Nicholas Price at Magnolia Editions on Hahnemuhle smooth rag, paper size 14×11 inches, image size 10×6 inches.

George Kanakos is framing the same seven original paintings.

A website for the book and my artwork is being constructed by Lorene Anderson.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mme de Saint-Euverte's Soirée

Acrylic on panel, unframed 9x12 inches, (22.9x30.5 cm), 2012

Framed, 17.5x14.5 inches, (36.8x44.5 cm)

Charles Swann is on the left, Mmes de Cambremer, de Francquetot and de Gallardon are at center. Oriane de Guermantes in her Princesse des Laumes incarnation is at the right.
The painting will be exhibited in a show curated by Sarah Archer at Viktor Wynd Fine Arts in London. It opens October 12 at a celebration of Suzette Field's "A Curious Invitation - The 40 Greatest Parties in Literature", published by Picador.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Three Orianes

James Everett of Proust Reader wrote in an email conversation that time creates new versions of the characters of In Search for Lost Time and led me to this question:

Supposing the duchess of Guermantes could be reduced in the manner of classical painting to The Three Ages of Man, might the first age be she at the wedding of Dr. Percepied's daughter where young Marcel spies her with a pimple on her nose in Gilbert the Bad's Chapel and a wash of red light from the window depicting her ancestor Geneviève de Brabant fills the church, might the second age show her later, flashing her dazzling smile to Marcel at the opera at the height of her power, and might the third show her near the end of the trail at the matinée Guermantes where she surprises Marcel by exclaiming it wonderful to see "her oldest friend"?

A similar format could be given to all the major characters of course, most of the minor as well. Where and how does Proust show us changes in character, how does he lead the us through lives that are physically and emotionally redefined by incident, experience and time? At what point for instance does Charles Morel change his evil way to those of a family man, when does Miss Sacripant become Mme Swann and Mme Swann Mme de Forcheville, what changes come over Saint-Loup's face between his table jumping at Doncieres, his coming out at the brothels and his hero's death in the trenches? And could we look each in the face and tell them, "Oh, I know who you are" at each point along the path?

Here is Oriane at the wedding...
At the Opera...
At the matinée...

Each panel is acrylic on masonite, 5x7 inches.
Each image expands when clicked.
Here they are as a tryptych...

As well as James Everett I'm grateful to Patrick Alexander and Dr. William C. Carter for their contributions to my attempt with the subject.