The atmosphere of the Deep South in which I was raised was permeated with secrecy and illusion. Family surveillance, church hypocrisy, and a Mandarinesque social system produced a keen awareness that life was being designed behind many delicate screens. For years I’ve been living in Northern cities and the Western high country. This first group of paintings since my return to New Orleans functions as a decryption for veiled meanings, using forms that suggest the most sensual of emotions: anticipation. The work is a synesthesia of early visceral experiences: the secular sound of a screen porch door slamming; the guillotine slide of the confessional screen; the suffocating, intoxicating smells of liturgical incense; iridescent dragonflies on hidden ponds; fragrant red and pink roses in bowls of water by my bed; the disturbingly erotic and punishing presence of embellished chasubles; greenness as the color, smell, and texture of outside; holy water and lace on the heads of women and girls; red lipstick, blue TV light, red clay, black dirt, white oyster shells, white panties; whispered betrayals.