You may recognize the hill on the right from Ms. Moments of Clarity's post. She's very prolific, so it was a long time ago that she put it up.
This continues my series on marks and signs found in my environment. In this case, an ominous [literal] sign—courtesy of the Parks Department— completely transformed my sense of the landscape in front of me that day. The innocent landscape was instantly a place of unease. And yet, the sign was also intrinsically ridiculous.
In preparing for the painting, I was stitching images in Photoshop, and realized that each layer I added obscured something below in the previous. So, my obscured images might include armies of "illegals," and you would never know. Just as I couldn't know, as I stood there painting plein air, if there was a band of drug smugglers camped on the back side of that hill in front of me. And I realized that the stitched image had become a metaphor for my experience of the altered landscape: it became disjointed, a landscape reframed as something else, something alien.
It is a part of this series that I reproduce something in the landscape that is already a man-made mark. These marks are art in its most basic form: artifice, for the purpose of expressing communication. So, the series is about making a mark about an encounter with another mark. But, the medium (pretty traditional watercolor) is used to signify the traditions of fine art and the art industry: my expressions of other's signs, images and scribbles found in passing through the world, becomes—not without irony—art "for the gallery."