The series are based on a gouache of a Daphnis and Chloe backdrop by an obscure Russian painter from the 1930’s that I saved from my mother’s paintings for many years, not knowing whether I would keep it or not.. It lived in my studio storage and one day it came to life and tantalized me; I couldn’t discover who the painter was, but felt it was a pastoral scene for the ballet, music by Debussy, and began to appreciate its delicacy and charm. I was able to copy the image because it was unframed and decided to tear it up at first randomly and apply it to works on paper I had already been exploring, quite abstract and gestural, to enliven them. Sheep, rocky landscape, trees, a huddle of Muses, and the God Pan took their places. Then I read the famous pastoral novel by Longus, from the second century BC, about two star-crossed lovers who finally are united, with the help of Pan and the Muses, and I wanted to give the story a more pictorial layer. So I relied on my photographs of Palmer Park, my personal pastoral place, and later, from mythical Messenia, Greece. which I had recently visited. And elements of the story informed my paintings more closely, until the final celebration in the olive grove from Greece. The process involved my own discoveries and need for a layered imagining, as well as my
enjoyment of the playful and fantastic story of Daphnis and Chloe, orphan shepherds of noble birth. I think collage is my favorite medium.