This painting is from my Yosemite in Winter series, which concentrates on iconic aspects of this great park (from my own photographs from a recent Christmas trip to Yosemite with my family) and, by extension, nature in general, speaking through the narrative allegory presented by the seasons to bring symbolic meaning to the works in our perilous times. Like Thomas Cole’s famous narrative The Voyage of Life, the panorama of same-size horizontal landscapes that comprise Yosemite in Winter is a story of nature at its end, perhaps, if we continue the environmental, spiritual, cultural and political path of our present Nation. Symbolically, Winter in Japanese screens and more represent death, or an end of a cycle, and here bespeak for the life of the parks and their heritage, but along with this, a better regard for environmental concerns to protect our future of our Earth and its people, environment, flora and fauna, air and water. This particular image was the climax of the series, and on our trip, where we were astounded by the true sublime view that made us feel so wonderfully and ineffably small in the context of the beauty of our world and history.
I love James Ensor, the Brueghel’s and Bosch, but I also love Gorky and Dekooning and Pollock too. How to realize the aspects of your unconscious, and bring them to life without illustrating them like Dali is a slippery slope, and I think regarding nature, where forms are much more complex than anything we can imagine, and projecting your unconscious onto those forms, like Cézanne did when painting his Mont Sainte-Victoire can be an answer. I had fun with this painting, and ending this to Dylan’s Gates of Eden, thinking of the complicated times we live in, wanted it to be reflective of the surreal, seemingly apocalyptic sometimes days we live in as Americans. I would thing that even the most conservative people would want Yosemite and the other National parks around for their children and their children’s grandchildren, and to do this, we need to care for not only the parks, but the environment that helps to support the National Parks, to be for clean energy, water, and the environment. If we can agree on this, perhaps we can agree on other things, the protection of people, their civil rights, empathy and compassion for all people, animals, and our Earth, so we can continue to prosper as a nation, culture, and world.