Ten years ago I was caught in a snowstorm and almost didn’t make it home for the night. I worked in a department that was considered “vital”, Public Health Protection, so when the skies darkened and others worked from home my department was required to be there.
That night the roads were too dangerous to drive. I luckily caught a train to Brewster, NY and then an intrepid cab driver took me home.
This year, we have had no snow that accumulated breaking records of the least amount of snow for 50 years. I feel the change in the weather and the times and perhaps it is just the perspective you get as you age, but I feel a change. Whether it is global warming, changing El Nino or La Nina or the move out of the Holocene to the Antropocene I don’t know. But it is change that I feel a tad uneasy about. I came across a photo I took waiting and hoping for a cab at the train station and turned it into this drawing “Homeward Bound”.
I have just had two of my paintings accepted into Ridgefield Guild of Artists’ 44th annual juried exhibition.The juror was George Billis who has galleries in NY, Ct, and Los Angeles, Ca. The opening is Saturday, September 18th from 4 to 6 PM on the patio of the RGOA gallery, 34 Halpin Lane, Ridgefield Ct. https://rgoa.org/directions-and-hours/ You are all invited. I am very excited! Can’t make it? I’ll share the two paintings below, but I’d love to see you at the opening!
Between the Sea and the Sky
Usually I happiy pose with my picture in the show. But between the mask, and mask hair I decided just to take a photo of my art. I really like how they hung Between the Sea and the Sky with another artists work (the couple with the pool).
And “Intermission” was nicely color coordinated with some other work as well.
I painted this during 2020, trying to record in images what was occurring around me in the pandemic. Oil on Canvas 3 x 4 feet.
There are a lot of images. First you can see the flag is divided to represesnt the discord that we see in 2020. The red and blue stars represent the states fighting over so many things this year. Fear about election security. Protests turing to riots, political discord, and fear of the future. It’s a lot for a small blue planet.
And even though we are a small blue planet, we are even smaller in the scope of the universe. With all the energy and vastness of the universe, a tiny biological particle, a virus has brought us to our knees. People are in denial that it is as contagious as it is so we see a second wave, healthcare workers over come, and the fastest research for a vaccine this planet has seen.
The virus started in China, and China was not transparent in the early days, hoarded medical equipement and supplies and let it spread to the world without concern for the other people in the world. Here I show the angel of death, a bat (one suspected source of the virus) and a cheating pig with a ace up his sleeve outside an ICU. Yes, I see You China and Xi Jinping.
But hope is on the way with vaccines for the virus released and near release worldwide. The dove is symbol of hope and I painted the fluid in the syringes gold, as it is liquid gold.
And 2021 is near.
And you would think that would be enough for 2020. But for the first time in 800 years on December 21st 2020 Jupiter and Saturn will conjunct, appearing as a bright star. Some astronomers say this may have what was seen as the Star of Bethlehem, the first Christmas so many many years ago. A sign of hope. So the top of my painting depicts that conjunction. We end with hope.
This is how the world feels to be right now. We all exist in a form of isolation between the sea and the sky. Summer is here, but it is not bright with plans of parties and BBQs. The world is split between those who believe Covid-19 is just another flu go out and catch it and get it over with, with little regard to others. And those who know the science that it causes inflammtion in the blood vessels of the lungs and much more and is very different and much more damaging than influenza. I watched neighbors throw Memorial Day Parties (against all directives). The county I live in, in NY, #PutnamCounty had zero new cases day after day before Memorial Day. But after the parties we have had ten new cases every day. I will muse about the future between the sea and the sky.
Owl Go Shopping Now
One thing that has changed has been how we go out and what people hoarded. It turned out what we most feared was not having toiliet paper. Now I can’t find paper napkins, I assume the factories are now making masks. It is making me wonder how much I really need. Why not just use the cloth napkins and wash them, that I usually save for company.
Owl go shopping now speaks to me about how we have to mask up and worry when we go out, but also on assessing needs. It seems I can get away with not having as much convenient disposible items. And that stuff made in China.. Oh no! #JustSayNo to #MadeinChina. Not only because of Covid-19 but also because of their poor human rights record.
Milan Memories 2020
“Milan Memories” I started painting this when most of the outbreak was in Milan. About a decade ago I visited cousins there, and remember a warm night, a restaurant by a canal, people dining, walking, talking socializing. This is my wish for a return to that normal.
When I paint birds and owls, I look at how they interact with other animals and other birds. And then I think of how humans interact. Often we have modified our means of communication and travel so we communicate far beyond the local territory that constrains a bird.
Some of my paintings are meant to open the door to discussion, such as Hash-tag Hoot where the father owl is tweeting #Hoot on his cell phone. Or Odd Birds in the Family Tree, where in the same painting are found American Owls and owls found on far flung continents.
Here I have collected a few of them. Enjoy!
I admit, a few bears, and foxes and other critters snuck into the gallery as well.
My Cold Toes
Foxy Gets Married in the Enchanted Forest
The Trickster (aka Foxy) in Love.
In Your Dreams
(Painting not availble, donated for fund raising to the Ridgefield Guild of Artists)
I have to admit, I like painting and drawing owls. They will not be my finest artwork but they are the most fun!
Here is one I did while gallery sitting at Muscoot Farm, where some of my owls were in a show. I used my Derwent Inktense Water color pencils, I used a brush with water to blend them and then later when I got home, outlined bits in black ink to make it pop.
I have to admit I was a little miffed when Odd Birds in the Family Tree ended up in a dark hallway!
And poor Odd birds ended up alone!
But my Muse salved my miffedness when another art organization I belong to, asked for a donated canvas, they provided the canvas and then it was donated and sold to help support the organization. And what was the theme? BIRDS! So here is Owl Power!
I did he background in acrylic and the owl in Oil paint.
I was a a dinner party the other day. I wanted to tell them all of some cutting edge research I had read about anti-aging. I started and they rolled their eyes and changed the subject. I was also reading about variable resistance and fitness and wanted to talk about muscle activation, and they poured me some wine and said, “Are you going on any trips this year?” So I want to express my geeky sciencey side. To do so I started a You Tube Channel called Lifespan and Longevity. My video skills and video editing skills are slowly improving. I now have immense respect for those delivering snappy perfectly edited videos. But I am getting there. So if you want to follow along here are a few of my posts. Subscribe to my YouTube page and follow along. Fellow geeks…join me…I know you are out there!
In order to grow as an artist you need to learn. Sometimes you learn from classes and books and sometimes you learn by trying different things. Doing the same thing over and over, if it is not working, is not the answer.
Lately I’ve been working in oils and playing with perspective. But while I was online getting some supplies, I came across Golden Fluid Acrylics. I went on You Tube and found many artists doing some fantastic work with them. One whom I find very soothing to watch is a gal MelyD.artist. She comes out with some great work as well and it’s fun to watch it develop.
So of course I had to try it as well. I found where I wanted to take my experiments were different than the way she worked and that is how art works. Creative efforts often spark more creative efforts.
So here is some plain acrylic paint mixed with Matte Media. I call this one You Make my Heart Melt.
Of course I had to go on and play some more. This one is mostly fluid acrylics with a little painting on top. I call this one Meeting the Genius.
Conjuring the Storm
Surfing the Mindscape
I find I like to use these acrylics to make a complex background and then either enhance the elements with a little painting or paint over them. It’s always fun to try a different direction.
I was honored to be included in Collective Expressions, a juried group show of Northern Westchester Arts Guild Members at the Art and Sound Gallery in Greenwich, Ct. The show will be running for the next six weeks throughout September 2016 and I believe early October.