1965-66, I did nothing but draw and etch that place I called
Land. By Summer of 1966, I had worn out the imagery and my hands were cramped and my arms
stiff as sticks. What to do next?
On the long Labor Day weekend of
1966, I went to the studio and with the words from a then popular
song—“If I were a carpenter, would you follow me anywhere, would you
have my baby?”—set out to paint like a rough carpenter using his arms
to hammer together the studs and rafters of a house… and to have
whatever baby my art might give.
I made hundreds of these paintings.
The cannons of the phallus, the pyramids of Egypt as the granaries of
Joseph (an old myth I had read), and the far mountains whence spring
the four rivers of paradise (from a sixth century mosaic at Sts. Cosmas and Damiano in Rome). Those mountains and rivers have stayed
with me forever.