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It was the dead of winter; I had never had cable before. I was watching that channel TV Land—this was back in 2000—and every afternoon at 5pm they'd show two episodes of My Three Sons
. I'd watch that every day, and I started to notice that all the action took place either by the staircase or in the kitchen, so over time I just kept drawing and drawing and drawing it. They never gave you much more—every now and again you'd go over to the fireplace, but you never got the whole thing. So that got me curious. At that time I was working on these collage-like ball-point pen drawings, just every day doing these overlapping drawings of the Douglas family's staircase and kitchen, over and over again, trying to find the connectors. And meanwhile I was also doing my first panoramic drawing of the apartment I was staying in. That turned out to be the biggest drawing I've ever made—it was 75 feet long. I was there for four months and it was Sumi ink, so I had time to do the entire two-bedroom apartment.
Once I did that drawing of the apartment at Middlebury, and I was doing the Douglas family house, I started to notice the backgrounds of the movies more and not so much the figures, and I was curious about how space told a kind of story, or had a presence that was always there but people didn't notice. I started to get interested in the things that are acting on us that we don't notice.
I was so interested in melodrama, for instance the way Lana Turner looked, and the hairdo and the outfit, and the crazy things they'd say, I loved all that. And for years I drew the figures, lots and lots of drawings of Joan Crawford and Lana Turner, all those women and their crises, but at a certain moment I started to realize that almost everything in melodrama is happening indoors. They're these crazy places that are often beautiful homes, well-appointed, everybody's miserable, nobody can leave, the door is wide open, but they can't get out. So I thought, what is it about always being inside? I've got to address that.
I think my drawings are kind of slow reads. I don't know that this is true, certainly you can read them as fast as you want. I don't know if there is necessarily a starting place or a finish. I'm curious about that. A big part of my education involved looking at movies, and I know that that cinematic view is definitely a big part of the way I create images.