The years Wilcox lived in Carpinteria, California from 1980 to 1982 we enormously focussed and productive. During this period Wilcox produced almost a canvas a month, trying to discern his identity as a painter and artist.
Throughout his career Wilcox rarely kept a notebook of thoughts or sketches about his works. He typically worked through his techniques and concepts with great care over time, but he rarely committed anything to paper. The California years were an exception. They offer a glimpse into his thoughts and musings about several of his paintings from that period. Below are several pages from his notebooks with thoughts and sketches he produced as he was working on various canvases.
Below are pages from Notebook No. 34 with sketches for Please, Do Not Worry About it!, 1981.
Another example is his preparations for Magnet Falls, 1981. The notes from Notebook No. 34 offer a glimpse of the concepts Wilcox played with that led to the final work.
Other examples include ideas and sketches for Vase Urn / Keyhole, 1981 found in Notebook No. 33.
Another example is Wilcox’s fascination with the flue handle for the fireplace in his bunkhouse that became the inspiration for Same, 1981. Below is a page from Notebook No. 33 as well as a Polaroid Wilcox took of the handle itself.