What happens after the fairytale is over. The happily ever after has run it’s course and now what? These paintings wonder at the next journey. Where will the path without breadcrumbs lead? The paintings are fragments of these new stories, a new kind of fairytale with a background of the West Marin’s nature.
Obsession to Meditation
“Obsession to Meditation” is a current body of work of pen on paper. It is a study of letting the mind fall into a imaginary state of being and finding where it takes you. Sandvoll would sit for hours and hours at a time and let the pen weave a story on paper by letting go of consciousness.
A group of friends and I hike on full moon nights in the wilderness. These paintings have grown out of that experience.
Through all seasons and weather conditions, the moon is our only light source. So, we are in near to complete darkness. Because of the lack of sight, different senses heighten. I feel the slightest change of temperature on my cheeks. My feet feel the soft soil path or rocky terrain and they, not my eyes, tell my body how to maneuver the trail.
At first, I felt a lot of fear of the darkness. We are, after all, in mountain lion country. In my mind, the night becomes a metaphor for facing fears, facing the unknown, facing the darkness.
Stepping into the fear, it dissipates and the nights become a beautiful, dark world. I tried to find color. I tried to name shapes. But they are all diffused by the blackness. Any normal way of defining things, had to be let go. And by letting go, I found an incredible peace there, in the dark land.
My Childhood in the Axis of Evil
The political and media focus on Iran spurred me to return to the memories of growing up in what was to me a magical place.
It saddened me when President Bush called a group of countries including Iran, “the axis of evil”. Such harsh juvenile name-calling can only perpetuate ill will. Stereotyping and depersonalizing whole populations can be partly interpreted as strategic manipulation of the American public, making it more pliable for us to accept a coming war.
As I thumbed through my school yearbooks from Tehran, I skimmed the student photos labeled by their names and country of origin. I went to an international community school. There were students from all over the world: Iran, France, India, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Israel, United States and many other countries. I was disheartened by the fact that some of these children, now grown, were relegated to the “evil side”.
I remember the celebration of United Nations day at school. I remember the high school football team with their cheerleaders. I remember the caravan of nomads passing our house on their way in and out of the city. I remember riding camels. I remember the bazaars, the piles of Persian carpets for sale, the flat bread baked in a clay oven. I remember my parents fancy parties with dignitaries. I remember the hungry children that would follow us on the streets. I remember climbing the Elburz Mountains and boating on the Caspian Sea. I remember the American movies and Frito corn chips from the American army bases. I remember my sibling’s and my dream of moving to America where there was candy.
One day, we did move here, to California. And it was a bit boring.
My parents brought a lot of things back to America, carpets, paintings and copper work. I grew up surrounded by these Persian designs. The intricate patterns have sunk in. To me, they are home.
Even though these paintings have developed from a child’s kaleidoscopic memory, I hope that they will give a little opening to a rich and wonderful culture and people. And in these times of war mongering, I hope for clear, informed, intelligent rhetoric from the American people and from our leaders.
Passion and Betrayal
These paintings are stories about relationships around love. In my real world, I have to deal, be kind, patient, understanding, practical and realistic. In my paintings, I can be me.
In a painterly place, I like to bring the work of finding the line, the color, and the composition directly to the painting. I like the viewer to be able to see the history of my search. That history, along with the loose gestured quality of the work, gives the paintings a sense of time and a sense of motion. A narrative is built, leaving a feeling of impeding action, though what will follow is unknown.
There are secrets in a disappearing line and in a figure loosely rendered that ask the viewer to complete the line or fill in a color in their own minds. I like that, you filling in the story with your own story.