“A Stranger In this Place” is the first project that I undertook that attempts to synthesize into a body of work the approach first explored in the "Studies for Colorful Paintings". I was committed to using a full spectrum, embracing using yellow, and to abandoning stencils. One change from the previous suite that I put aside for this one is the use of unstretched linen: these works are all on panel. 
A Stranger In this Place is a project focusing on wildflower gardens. These works afford me both the opportunity to paint visually pleasing paintings, and to ponder the relationship between people and nature that gardens, particularly flower gardens, suggest. The impulse towards pleasing paintings is an indulgence that I had until now avoided. Here, I’ve embraced it: bursting with color and contrast, wildflowers are joyous to look at, be around, and to paint. They suggest plenty of associations but for me, first among them is my favorite season, summer. Any opportunity to revel in the ease and agreeability of the long days of those months is too tempting for me to pass up.
But with these works, I am also interested in the antagonisms and competitions that are conditions of nature, even the idealized, humanized spaces of flower gardens. Included in this series of flower paintings is an idealized image of two cabbage moths, picturesque in flight but actually destructive pests to gardens. Also included are paintings of blighted leaves, and a spider web with a hole in it, representing both a gossamer beauty as well as a site of savagery, where the spider has cut its cocooned prey from its web. Completing this circle of nature is a songbird with a beak full of spider, the predator become the prey during an otherwise leisurely, languid summer afternoon.
A Stranger In this Place is a series of paintings that asks, ultimately, who is the stranger, and what is this place? A manicured wildflower garden, and perhaps any flower garden, is a fruitful contradiction for a painter interested in both beauty and ferocity. Gardens reflect both nature and artifice, liberation and restrictive order. A Stranger In this Place affords an opportunity to more fully investigate color and paint handling; as well as philosophical explorations of nature and order, artifice and chaos. 

A Stranger In This Place (2019-2021)