vita sackville-west paintings



vita and viginia woolf in the basement, a stolen half-hour

this is a show of paintings I have made of vita sackville-west [1892-1962]—british poet and novelist, noted gardener, lover of virginia woolf, arrogant aristocrat, serial seducer [mostly of women]. She made much mischief in the lives of others. A friend of her mother, the architect edwin lutyens, once said of her: the only thing is to know and realize that vita has got blanks in herself and these blanks are blank. If I find a blank, I get a plank and bridge it and I don’t look down, lest I get vertigo.”

I am hoping I have made a small biography in paint. The first painting is of Vita and Virginia in 1927, in the midst of their affair. When Vita would visit, they’d meet early, in the basement.

The small portraits are of her retinue of lovers. click to open images.

The paintings made up a show [see notice below].  I then made a book of this show and all its paintings and a short narrative on vita and those surrounding her. If you would like one of these, please contact me at I will send you a copy for $25.



  1. A painted biography, I really like that! Although my blood is thick with artistic family members, I am not up to that myself. That said, I adore this work you have done. It/they feel deep and anchored in feeling. I love them.
    Thank you,

  2. Just finished Carry the One and was drawn to look at your website. I feel lucky that you share your talents and insights.

  3. I have just this moment finished Carry the One and am stunned, dazed, amazed. You have hit all the right notes: the dark, shared hilarity between siblings, the pain of others not being who we’d like them to be, the burden of our younger, blinder selves, the uneventfullness of long love. Such moments of recognition. And so many funny ones, too, pain and humour colliding. Kind of like life I am really sorry to have come to the last page! I read the original NYT book review, knew this was a book I had to read. Word from my book club (meeting Saturday) is that Carry the One has knocked everyone out. Now on to Aquamarine! …. Thank you, thank you.

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