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North Sutton, NH – 2011
Acrylic on paper, 12” x 18”
“The flames engulf me
I am consumed with rage;
I cannot let go,
How is the a way out?”

Consumed Sketch
I am not a big-party person – small groups where discussion is lively and meaningful, I much prefer – so over the years I have developed a technique, somewhat antisocial I suppose: I say hello to my hosts and chat for a while, then get a drink and some food, and find a corner where I can sit and people watch.
Often others will follow and a small group will form for lively discussion. It seems to work. Sometimes it doesn’t and I will find myself by myself and out will come my pen or pencil and something about the atmosphere will initiate a visual response – a drawing, a doodle.
At one such large event, after a couple of drinks, I started to draw on my napkin and this black and white sketch emerged from my psyche. I kept it and a few days later, back in my studio, I enlarged it and added some color. After a couple of tries it became evident to me that this little sketch was about passion – strong passion – both positive and negative. With the right color and emphasis this became an expression of consuming rage. Modify them slightly, invert the image and it became a love flame.
Two painting emerged, the smaller of the two I gave to my wife, the bigger speaks to a different feeling that I suspect some of you have had and wished you hadn’t. That all consuming rage to even the score – a deadly all encompassing and unhappy condition that does not bode well for one’s mental state.