In early 2016, I started to pack up my (already compact) apartment into boxes to move internationally–something I never thought I would ever do. My studio was in flux. I had to time out when I’d stop painting so I could safely pack my work. Oil paint is a homebody. It wants to pool itself in oily clumps on my palette. It wants weeks to dry. It wants to hang safely on the wall, the canvas punishing you when you move it by catching the wind like a sail.
I needed my paintings to be transient like me. I needed my practice to be contained in my tiny toolbox, which took up 7 precious pounds in my 50 lb (or 22 kg) suitcase.
Many of my studio pals had already fled the San Francisco Bay Area’s insularity and high rent. How could I continue to include them in my studio life? They too were replanting themselves.
As an ongoing project, I have been making small, postcard-sized oil paintings that are stamped and mailed. For most I can only use pure oil paint with turpentine so its oily nature doesn’t impede its journey via the US Postal Service’s mail machines. Each painting is created for a specific person. They are goodbyes, hellos, and time spent together. Some inhabit the homes of friends and family. Some have been lost in transit.