Tuesday, February 21, 2006
In 1982 I made a painting called "Swept Away" and people really seemed to like it. It was a european street scene that had hearts scattered all over the street and gathered up in piles and in a cart by the street sweeper. Like the morning after the lovers had gathered in the cafes shared their love and left some hearts behind. I got this idea after spending time with this amazing artist Sid Francis. His whole life's philosophy was being a loving person. So Sid inspired this painting. I named the building in the forefront "Sid's Cafe" and a menu states: Love served Monday thru Sunday. Sid was a master printer in the art of plate lithography. Very similar to the old stone method but you use emulsified plates that get exposed with separations that you cut out of amberlith like silkscreening. Each colour is printed separately and this was a 35 colour print,so each piece of paper goes under the press 35 times! And you the artist, need to know how to make separtions that register together perfectly so it all fits together like a puzzle. I love this method of printing which is rare and hard to do and I have been a printmaker for years. I recognised very early on in my career that if you want to reach more people you need multiples and printing helps achieve that goal. My publisher paid for the printing of "Swept Away and every day I got to drive a few minutes to Sid's house on Cheney Road in Topanga where he and his family lived and for a solid month we worked on this print and it was one of the best experiences of my artistic life. We created this print together in 1984 on an old Heidelberg press and in 1985 the Los Angeles Times created a full colour supplement to feature artists from the Santa Monica area and they chose "Swept Away" for the very first cover. These pictures were taken in the studio I had in the early eighties for this article. You had to cross a wooden rope bridge and it was so high up you felt as though you were in a tree house. A wonderful couple I know bought the original 20 years ago and it makes me happy that the painting has always lived here in Topanga.
photos: courtesy Tim Boyd Smith (Forgive the hair it was the eighties!)
Cover Centerpiece Magazine LA Times "Swept Away" 1985
Press Release Luna Art copyright 1984