In 1983 I was visiting Kenneth Noland’s studio. He was showing us his new paintings and in good form. A bottle of champagne was opened. 30 years later, as I developed a new body of work, I fondly recalled this visit with amusement and decided to commemorate the event by incorporating a Noland motif into one of my paintings.
My life around the time of this recollection was a challenging chain of situations. There had been a family health crisis involving a long term terminal illness and I was bankrupted in the process of providing care. Concurrent to this period was a catastrophic business failure of a new venture. This was immediately followed by an additional losing business ventures, and another long term terminal illness which I needed to attend to. Next the house and studio burnt down. Finally, the remaining remnant of income soured. Down to the last of my paint supplies, forced to work on old house painter's drop cloths, and about to lose the studio before the current series could be completed, I remembered Kenneth Noland’s toast—“Here’s to not living in poverty.”
Since working with rectangles and their derivatives comes naturally to me, I chose to work with Noland’s concentric circle motif because it was radically different from my own, and would therefore be the most challenging. The exercise was enjoyable and artistically fruitful.
“To Ken, thanks for the memory and the inspiration,” Paul.
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