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During the early seventies, Chase was active in new productions in Opera yearly, and was traveling extensively between Europe and San Francisco. His interest in collage began to influence his use of paper in his painting, and by the middle seventies, the work had become abstract and more decorative. More constraints from film and theater were drawing him away from studio work, and his growing disatisfaction with his painting meant long stretches of time between shows.
During this time he moved from the Embarcadero to a new five story studio in the Moore Plastic Bag building at 11th and Folsom. With three friends, he occupied five stories of a spectacular studio, but his painting and scultpture made little progress as his energies were demanded elsewhere.
In 1977, Chase became extremely unhappy with the direction his painting was taking. When asked in a 1985 interview what had happened, his reply was, "I simply hated everything I was doing. I loathed it. If I didn't care about my own work, why should anyone else care? I spent weeks destroying work. I was fed up, and decided it was better to call it quits."
Ronald stoped painting altogether with little hope he would find incentive to begin again.