Ever since my early experiments in painting, I have gravitated to painting on panels. Canvas is OK, but I just love the tactile quality of chalk gesso on panel. So I’ve always fully gessoed my panels on both sides – which is in fact how the flemish primitive painters did it too. And indeed it’s always seemed a shame to me to ignore that reverse side. (Sometimes in museums, you’ll see the back side of a painting done with a trompe l’oeil effect to depict a textured surface like, wood or marble.)
When I discovered (in 2009) how well a turtle shell trompe l’oeil effect had worked on a wide frame for a detailed cityscape I had painted, I decided to bring the abstract effect directly into the painting. So I commissioned a local carpenter to build me a wooden panel with a rotating inner core. I gessoed both sides and set to work. This is the result. It’s not really a painting to hang from a wall, since the back sides also participates. But who ever said art should be functional?