Heaven, 2014 Oil on linen 36 × 42 inches
Heaven, 2014
Oil on linen 36 × 42 inches

This is a painting of Andrew and I as we are luxuriating at our beautiful cabin home in Riverside California—the cabin of his grandfathers where he always wanted to live as a child growing up—in our pool that we built for ourselves for our 45th birthdays—another youthful dream come true. I love the idea of the "perfect moment" and certainly I love my husband—we’ve been together for 23 years and going strong, and sometimes I like to paint perfect moments as it’s the head space of the meditation of where I want to be at most times in my life. I think the personal is political and emulate Manet, who painted his world with a critical, smart eye and in so doing, with strategy and aplomb, was able to make painterly works that were full of feeling, but also content towards his attitudes to the politics of his society and ideology of his time. I hope the content here is of two gay men, middle aged and married, but with an energy that hopefully has been sustained from their youth and love for one another, in their little utopia of the home they cultivated out of a blighted area in the middle of a beautiful nowhere. We sometimes feel the spirit of his grandfather there, and in the blessed-out rays of the sun, and the resulting lens flare, I hope if he is around, he would approve, residing in the light that the camera was able to capture. Hopefully too this is a contemporizing gesture—I like to paint through the photos I take with high res images and printers, and really see everything there is to offer with the information, but also able, in my meditation, to be able to have my unconscious seep out into my brush in micro-managed moments where I can’t ascertain for certain elements, which then become abstract, or unconsciously surreal, in moments of water, foliage of trees and the flora or our environment, that are hopefully all brimming to life and goodness in this heavenly moment that I wish could last forever—our little heaven on Earth.