Peanuts: Pictures to Color (homage to Alicia), 2005 Oil on linen 38 × 28 inches
Peanuts: Pictures to Color (homage to Alicia), 2005
Oil on linen 38 × 28 inches

This was a very special painting, as it was for my husband Andrew in memory of his best friend Alicia, who had died due to HIV related causes. Like us, she loved all things Snoopy, and had given me this coloring book (the painting was an appropriation of the cover) the last time I had seen her, and I painted this just after she died.

When I make works, like a method actor, I really try to get into the "head" of the person and/or scene that I’m painting, to try bring emotion and life to the work—I listen to relevant music and audiobooks about the scene I’m depicting, and very much meditative on my thoughts while working. For this, of course I was thinking of our great friend Alicia, and was mournful of her passing, and really was thinking of her, and our relationship to her, and having these emotions and feelings suture into the iconography of the characters in the painting.

The artist Joe Bradley curated me into a show at Gavin Brown’s in 2012 and I recreated the work, as we really didn’t want to sell this one. I like the new version as much as the first, ultimately they are still about Alicia, but also our relationship not just with her, but evolving after her passing both emotionally and for me, as an artist since that time. Like how early Snoopy looked a lot different from later renditions of Snoopy, my work had grown as I had, the images look different, but hopefully both are good.