Descriptions of Art Work:

Inspired by a plumeria blossom while I lived and painted on the Big Island, near Pahoa, I came back to make this lithograph at Trillium Graphics in San Francisco in 1991. The image measures 22"x30", and is printed on Somerset paper from England. I spent many years in the Hawaiian Islands, off and on, between 1940 and the present, most of the time residing on Oahu and Hawaii. In the 1980's I created a large series of watercolors of the lush tropical plants I encountered there, and my work was added to the collection of the Honolulu Advertiser.

Lithograph, 1991. Image: 22"x30", printed on Somerset paper at Trillium Graphics in San Francisco. Arabic Edition: 100. Price: $800.

While working at Littleton Studios in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, I produced a series of vitreographs called the "Blue Ridge Series". These are prints made on glass plates, which are etched, carved, scratched, and sand blasted to create the desired effects, and are then rubbed up with ink and printed like a regular intaglio. My works there all reflected the place, which creates a strong impression on the viewer, and is endowed with a rich historical background.

Roanoke was made from two plates, and received a "rainbow roll", which is a tricky application of the inks, applied by allowing three colors to merge together, creating a graded edge. I had been working with American Indian themes, and Roanoke seemed to play an important part in my memory, since it was the town the English left to fend for itself when the ships returned to Europe, and no trace was found of the settlers when the troops returned. It is this mystery, which has never been solved, that most preoccupied my thoughts, as this work was unfolding.

Vitreograph (intaglio on glass plate), 1991. Edition of 50, printed on Somerset paper at Littleton Studios in Spruce Pine, NC. Image: 14 1/2"x11 5/8". Price: $600.

When you are working up on the Blue Ridge, you are looking down toward, and surrounded by, the ancestral home of the Cherokees, a great people who have managed to survive and persist, overcoming incredible odds and unimaginable hostility. The long death march to Oklahoma fastens on the conscience, and I knew it was time I made a statement. I often refer to native Americans in my art, since I am part Indian myself. I have a raw nerve there, which needs to be salved and examined from time to time.
That is why a great number of my works are concerned with --not just the native American plight, but their majesty, their contributions, the grandeur of their accomplishments while they were the earth's caretakers. Americans today are forever indebted.

Vitreograph (intaglio on glass plate), 1991. Edition of 30, printed on Somerset paper at Littleton Studios in Spruce Pine, NC. Image: 14 3/8"x23". Price: 400.

Every artist, under the compulsion to produce, confronts his empty canvas with an empty mind sooner or later. That is when he surges into the work on blind instinct, hoping his maturity and level of success will carry him through another crisis. Often, it solves the problem. On this particular occasion, I found myself suddenly realizing that my old friend's dreadlocks were pleading for attention. They became my subject, and I worked the rest of the composition around them, and saved the day for me and Jamaica.
Vitreograph (intaglio on glass plate), 1991. Edition of 50, printed on Somerset paper at Littleton Studios in Spruce Pine, NC. Image: 28 1/4"x23 1/2". Price: $750.

Lithograph created in Impressions Workshop while I was Visiting Professor at Harvard University, setting up their lithographic facilities. Steve Andrus invited me down to make a few prints at his first-class print consortium, and I believe this is the first print I made with a bleed--that is, with the image coming out, or going over, the edges of the paper. I spent seven years on the blue waves. I think my most vital memory of their beauty was of a morning during the war, when we were headed toward Japan from the South China Sea, and the ocean was flat as glass. I stood in the bows of our ship, and watched the cutwater sheer through the liquid cerulean, creating a splash of clean white water that outlined our forward motion. It was an incredibly beautiful day; too bad we had to be involved in a war.But those little retreats from hostility are often the only things that keep the mind together, and make us whole.

Lithograph, 1974. Edition of 60, printed on Rives BFK at Impressions Workshop in Boston. Image: 30"x17 3/4", bleed proof. Price: $1000. rare.

Shakespeare says we are born mewling and puking. And I would add grasping. We remain in that state through childhood, until somewhere in the early teens we arrive (some people do) at a social breakthrough. It is at this period that young people of the opposite sex suddenly look favorably upon one another, and may wish to share experiences and adventure. It dawns on them that there are other methods available and preferable--I call this the cycle of developing consciousness, and I believe it imperative or desirable that it be presented through the embracing mandala form.

Lithograph, 1983. Edition of 60, printed on Lana at Grass Valley Studios, Morgan Hill, CA. Image: 30"x21 1/8", bleed proof. Price: $600.

I had been working on a series depicting the development of writing, when an obsession to portray my overpowering love of landscape pervaded my mind, and I set out to make this painting. I did not know the title of the work as it progressed, but it soon made itself apparent. Simultaneous with these events, a dear friend in the Midwest had died and returned to the earth. I hope all these sentiments are revealed in this particular work. Acrylic on canvas, 1989. 68 1/2"x51 1/4". Price: $7500.

Generic Landscape,  Continuing my idea of bringing wooden elements into painting as a sculptural addition, I replaced the frame in this particular one, obviating its necessity. Many other painters had done this previously, but they only eliminated the frame. I replaced it. The title, of course, grew out of the use of generic products in our markets and households, but I feel that I also reduced the usual landscape forms to generic components. It was my first attempt to consciously get landscape out of my system as a visual absolute, and move completely into abstraction.

Acrylic and oil on canvas with hand-carved redwood frame--top and bottom, 1990. 52"x71". Price: $8000.

As we began to move toward the Gulf Oil War in our insatiable gluttony to control the world's resources, my thoughts centered on the ancient lands that now harbor Iraq and Kuwait, the Mesopotamian Peninsula. Our hatred of Saddam Husein, the man who stood in the way, clouded out memories of the Cradle of Civilization and the wonders of ancient Baghdad, the development of cuneiform writing, flying carpets and whirling scimitars and dervishes. I wanted to let these"other views" flow down from my mind and onto the canvas, preserving concepts that are often altered in the heat of controversy. Maybe there was something to Iraq's claims, in the days before the British carved out enclaves for their oil enterprises.

Acrylic on canvas, 1987. 60"x42". Price: $6000.

This painting was started when acrylic was still called polymer, and I was working outside in my garden in Los Angeles. I moved to 1963 as part of my own Westward migration, always with Paul Gauguin in mind, and earnestly seeking the pure light that golden sunshine and warmth assures. When I had attended Naval Training School in San Diego, I spent  a lot of weekends in L.A., with its streets canopied with palms, and the vivacity of perfumed blossoms so abundant at all seasons-I determined to live there some day, and as a painter, I was confident I would be back to utilize its warmth and light. This particular painting never worked out, so it just sat in a pile of unfinished works for 30 years. Then one summer day in 1997 I pulled it out, having forgotten its particular direction and concept, so that it was just raw material I could use, without concept to consider. When I saw it with this consideration, it quickly fell into place. On behalf of Los Angeles, I was able to paint outside, comfortably, every day but two that year of 1963.

Acrylic on canvas, 1995. 29"x27 1/2". Price: $4000. *