Still Life with Dripping Black Lines, 2010, oil on cotton, 11 x 14 

I filled the very tiny space they gave me in the SMFA graduate studios with a bunch of bottles and plants and things with the intention of making several Morandi-type pictures. Once Nan Freeman taught me to mix dammar varnish into my painting medium, I started kind of just letting the paint do its thing. 


I had resolved to take as many classes at once at SMFA as possible, sometimes all day long, which meant getting conflicting advice on how best to paint. The still life was/is a popular introductory art class subject, and I had one class where we were building up a painting "the old fashioned way", starting with a monochromatic underpainting and everything. In another class the instructor, Bill Flynn, had gotten me on to painting with India black ink (I think I filled five of those big drawing pads with Bill). One day Bill came into the studio kind of irritated and said something like "I've been told some of you aren't working in the same way for all your classes." I'd like to think he was talking about me.