Cities of the dead

I am a sucker for ruins.  The idea of cities of the dead was the inspiration for this print I did several years ago.  This most recent series was inspired by reading Jared Diamond’s Collapse last winter, especially the section about the Anasazi.  These four were painted in the opposite order but this sequence more closely matches the narrative in the book.

I painted these mostly with these silicone palette knives— since I am also a sucker for new painting tools, and always on the lookout for ways to add texture to my paintings.  I like them a lot.  I keep meaning to try to bring this kind of texture back into larger or more realistic paintings. I had the idea of trying to rework some of my earliest oil paintings, which are rather anemic, and look (accurately!) like the work of a watercolorist who is afraid to use too much paint.  I think I’m still afraid of using too much paint which is why these small paintings (each of these is about 4″ by 10″) are so useful.