At the end of 1984 I suffered a tragedy that so traumatized me I was hardly able to function. Happily I had enough wit left to realize that I needed to go somewhere so different from anything I knew or had seen before that it would stimulate me out of the terrible state I was in and might even give me inspiration to paint. No country I had ever heard people talking about with awe to amazement and unbridled enthusiasm fitted the bill more than India, and so within a few days of having the idea I was on a ‘plane to Delhi. I arrived in India for the first time at about 2am on a January morning in 1985.
Instead of the socializing and meeting beautiful girls to paint as I might have expected, within a few days I landed in the middle of nowhere. Well actually at the estate of a Maharajah whom I had befriended soon after my arrival, a two thousand acre mustard field about sixty miles outside Jaipur, in Rajasthan. There were many workers on the property and it had been arranged by the owner that I would be able to paint any one of them I wished, or any of the scenes in the villages on the estate. I was indeed inspired beyond anything I had experienced before and painted like a madman for three months, before returning to my home in New York, where I was living at that time.
This experience was so enriching, I soon returned to that extraordinary country, once again to be inspired and paint non-stop. My only regret was that my painting was so slow in relation to my visions thoughts and inspirations. And so, endlessly inspired, I kept returning until finally, in 1993 I actually moved there, to South India with my three children so that they might attend the American school in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. Living and painting in India has enabled me to paint many of the most amazing people and sights I have ever seen anywhere, and I don’t consider my various series, which have so far covered mostly Rajasthan and Chennai, complete yet.