The very first “Kitchen Lady” was a 4′ x 4″ x 1.5 deep canvas that I started and finished in Feb. of 2011 while spending a week at Ossabaw Island with my friend Donna McBride from Pittsburgh, PA. Titled, Pleased With Myself, she mirrored my own state of mind.
What a wonderful, magical week. Tabby slave cabins, wild hogs, a tame one, Paul Mitchell, may he rest in peace… and this incredibly delightful man who was the resident expert on absolutely everything – that had anything – to do with Ossabaw Island, Jim Bitler. (1955-2011). I bet Paul Mitchell went looking for Jim and just didn’t come back. They are both somewhere else and I haven’t been back to Ossabaw. It still lives and breathes life into some parts of my work even now.
Ossabaw influenced me tremendously from the “boneyard” of dead trees, stripped and silvered by salt, sand and wind to the Torrey-West mansion (the big house) home of the kitchen and spirits from my 5ft x 6ft painting “In the Kitchen”. Donna and I sat in an attic widow and drew and painted all one rainy, windy day.
The canvasses were all small as everything comes by boat, so no large anythings came with us. I brought one kind of paints and Donna another and we just mixed them up and used both.