This series of paintings was the first collaboration Monika and I had ever done on a series. We have very different working styles, and are used to approaching our own work in specific ways. At the time, our schedules were different; while I slept Monika worked on these pieces, and while she slept, I took my turn.

At first it was very jarring for us both to wake up and see most of what you had done the night before gone over by the other person. In order to allow each other the freedom of our particular viewpoints, however, we had agreed to only discuss the over-arching idea and aesthetic behind each piece.

The longer we worked this way, the more attuned we became to the paintings themselves, and the more pleasant it became to wake up to something new each day.

in boiled low-lying times
emotional survival depends upon
an ability to find a basis for optimism
some imperfect perfect irony
an odd bird or sign of wonderment

those stark snorkel-straw dreams
seem tolerable only
when some scrap of silver lining
some small salvaged treasure
can grace and guide the day

begin again

one sublimely rendered intention
can slip its harness
a loaded brush can hit the canvas
then slide like tears down a surface
where beauty is awkward
spare and genuine
where that basis for optimism
is only partially obfuscated
by unhappy memory

-Monika Lidman