Sacred Space . 30x40 inches . 2011

1. natural light (bright, clean, direct daylight)
2. natural light (warmer sunset daylight)
3. interior light (direct artificial lights, warm toned)
4. mixed interior and uv black light
5. uv light only (with a blacklight)
6. no light (glow in the dark)

Ingredients: acrylic, candle wax, beach sand, phosphorescent pigments, varnish, water & light on canvas.

Perhaps you've seen this design before. (If not, you're gonna have to search it out in my portfolio.) The original, Thin Space, was my first professionally sold painting, completed in 2006, a little over 5 years ago. I've played with the design on request a little bit here and there, though this is the first time I've recreated it on the exact same size canvas. 

It's funny (to me) how people react to it. Everyone in my life seems to have a profound relationship with Thin Space, for whatever reason, probably because it was the painting I announced my career with. As an artist, my relationship with it has evolved much in the same way my techniques and inspirations have evolved. They are definitely no longer the same. It's not just that I cannot create a piece exactly as it was, although I can't. I don't even use the same materials. There's no possible way to get the paint to dry exactly as it did on a previous painting. More importantly, I wouldn't choose to. My art now is a reflection of my life now, just as it was then. Who I am, and the person I've become is reflected directly in what I create.

This painting is not in competition with Thin Space. This is who I am now. I made it to be what I see now. I reworked a few things I wanted changed, of course, but mostly it's that my exploration of the concept is fundamentally different. Today, I see Thin Space as mother-of-pearl, and almost futuristic looking. Shiny, glassy, new. I have moved beyond what I liked five years ago. They both represent different phases of me. I wouldn't expect anyone to say that I, myself, was better 5 years ago, or better now. I'm just different. (Actually, I do think I'm better today than 5 years ago, but that's another blog post.)

Either way, I think I'm going to retire this design for now. Maybe in another 5 years I'll make it again, to see how I've changed. I like using this painting as a benchmark for my progress. It seems fitting. Thin Spaces are a constant in all my paintings, though the titles may change. I paint This Spaces. That's what I do. 

As viewed from the left.

As viewed from the right. See how the color changes?

Whatever your opinions are about this piece, I see it as better, because I see myself as better. It's not about the painting. It's about who I've become. I will be different in 5 years, I promise. It's a good thing. 

"You cannot step into the same river twice." -Heraclitus