DRAWING 1956 -80's
When the Jose Limon Dance company finished its European Tour in 1956 Chase stayed in Europe and explored Spain. He had made his decision to become a painter and began to teach himself. He had toured almost every major museum on the continent (while dancing for Limon) and had chosen Goya and Daumier as painters to study in depth, especially to give him the ideas of form and weight that his amateur work lacked. He settled in a tiny fishing village near Malaga, Torremolinos. He found a room in a retired family's house facing the ocean, and drew and painted the simple scenes he found around him. He returned the following year for 7 months in Fuengirola, another small village down the coast.
Franco's Spain in the late 50's was an ideal place for impoverished artists. For a little less than $100 a month Chase could afford a five-room house, a maid who cooked, shopped and cleaned every day; his art supplies, travel expenses for two trips a month to Tangiers (where money could be exchanged for much better rates) and extra to explore the rest of Spain when time permitted. He made drawing trips to Salamanca, Sevilla, Burgos, Toledo and Grenada. He studied etching in Granada.
He felt drawing was the most important tool to lay a foundation for what he wished to accomplish in painting. The works he produced were his equivalent of student drawing.
TORREMOLINOS and FUENGIROLA, ESPANA 1958-1960
Chase left Spain in 1960 and when returning to Europe after a winter at The MacDowell Colony settled in small room in Florence, in Bellesguardo overlooking the city. He had begun a series of portrait drawings both at the McDowell Colony and also at Perce, Quebec where he worked in a studio next to an inn he had helped develop -- the Au Pirate. He had kept his tiny apartment in NYC in St. Mark's Place and his trips to New York had allowed him to find a small drawing gallery that began to sell his portraits.
THE McDOWELL COLONY and PERCE, QUEBEC 1961
BARRYTOWN, NEW YORK 1962 -63
For the winter Chase lived in a unusual octagonal house and continued to develop his drawing. He made his first attempts at etching on trips to New York City.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 1964 MOLIERE'S The Miser SF Mime Troupe
His first summer in San Francisco he was able to connect again with Ronald Davis, a friend he had spent time with in Paris. Davis had founded a free out-door theater company that produced an inspired version of The Miser. Chase spent hours at rehearsals drawing the cast.
GLYNEBOURNE, ENGLAND 1986
SInce begining to draw, Chase had always preferred flowers as subject matter. He used flowers throughout his beginning development. This kept up through the 1980's. At Chase's residency at the Glynebourne Opera (he was collaborating on a production of Ravel with Maurice Sendak and Frank Corsaro) he spent many hours drawing in its extensive gardens.