This piece was entitled “Half Life” because the start of this piece coincided with my 50th birthday. The piece is a highly personal piece for me – the subject matter and also returning to the large formats. For the previous few years, I had been working almost exclusively in smaller formats due to travel and lack of studio space. Once I had the luxury of proper-sized work space, it seemed natural to return to parge format work. This painting started in early 2018 in my first studio in Seattle and was not completed until March 2020 at my second studio in the same city.
The canvas had previously been a piece entitled “Don’t Tread on Me” from 2008 and was selected to be reworked. Portions of the original painting can be seen in the top left corner of the composition. In the past, I reworked very few completed works on canvas, but now the works ( with rare exception ) have become part of the process of creation again, rather than a static momentary representation of that process locked in time.
The main image in the composition is a cutout into the ground of a human figure. The cutout is filled with some kind of liquid, is it half empty or half full. That depends on the viewer’s outlook.