"The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea"
Oil paintings on linen. 2020-present
This series takes its name from the Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler song, "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," an American Songbook standard bemoaning an attraction that would be abandoned if it wasn’t so inescapable. Careful glances, ambiguity, voyeurism, youth, a sense of adventure and self-doubt mingle in these paintings, capturing moments before and between action - wistful daydreaming, waiting, wondering, daring.
Like the series' ironically upbeat namesake, the world of these paintings is richly colored and rendered in a playful mix of realism and the fantastic, like a memory. Water, as swimming pool, lake, or ocean, features in each work. At various times it draws, taunts, reflects, distorts, obscures or menaces the figures. In its variety of states from glassy to inky, gently rippled to frothy, water offers clues to the thoughts of the figures in and around it and what might be found, even just below the surface, by giving into its deep blues.