I don't paint a lot of purely abstract paintings, but after studying several Joan Mitchell paintings, I was inspired to paint Fortress Against the North. I have always been drawn to the North. Perhaps it's my viking genes, or perhaps it's my childhood winters in Utah. This painting is a spin on global warming. Instead of the polar caps melting, they are invading the earth. We see the Danish flag is already obscured by the looming white. Empty circular squares act as a mosaic of building blocks, establishing a fortress that is largely transparent. The three slim horizontal shadows on the top edge of the canvas suggest fate, although in reality they are simply shadows cast by the bars of my easel.
As for the Joan Mitchell influence, I should also disclose that I have a special relationship with her. When visiting SFMOMA with my energetic five year old, I found a magnificent Joan Mitchell painting, "Bracket". It is very large, a good ten feet high and wide, and valued somewhere near $5 million. As I examined the painting from afar, my five year old fell right into the painting - because of it's size it nearly reached the floor. Luckily the canvas didn't rip and the astonished museum guard simply watched as I scolded my son and let him play with my i phone for the rest of the visit.