This series was sparked by a visit to a small shoemaking factory in Warren, R.I. Something about the heavy, oily, cast-iron machines standing like totems around the perimeter of the room fascinated me.
In casting about for an explanation of what drew me to use the shoemaking imagery, I came upon the story, written in 1597 by Thomas Deloney, of shoemaker St. Hugh, who was hung in 300AD for his Christian beliefs. I realized I was a journeyman like the others, taking the "bones" of the shoemaker and repurposing them as my own tools.
I investigated the machines in dozens of studies in charcoal, oil pastel, crayon, collage and acrylic. I arranged some as triptychs. Others machines I approached singly as icons or portraits. Medieval religious paintings influenced the composition and color.
Paintings from this series will be exhibited at the Bert Gallery in Providence, RI in January 13 to February 12, 2010. A 40 page, full color catalog of the paintings with text of the legend of St. Hugh's Bones available to order online.