The inspiration for this watercolor was the quote, “ The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation,” by Henry David Thoreau. I read Walden as a young man and it left a lasting impression. The contemporary interpretation of the quote appears to focus on the quality of one’s life but I believe that is superseded by an awareness of one’s mortality. The passage of time is a common theme in my work which is often layered with meaning that has different levels of accessibility. For example, the antique clock was a treasured gift from my grandmother that was permanently altered by my son when he was an infant. Perceptions of permanence, predictability and control were highlighted in an instant by a happy child that was blissfully unaware. This personal moment echoes in the painting for me but knowledge of that incident is not essential to understanding the reference to time on a universal level.
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