Since we had to postpone our first art show—The Union—we’ve decided to turn this into an opportunity to digitally showcase all the artists who’d submitted to the show.
Carol and I have been retired since 2016. During that time, we have spent our days doing projects around the house, venturing out for trips to various wine regions here in California, hitting our favorite restaurants, breweries, and bars, visiting friends, making art, and all the things that being social people involves.
The Pandemic hit and everything came to a grinding halt. Well, just everything that involved going out. Those cherished interactions with people in person. Eating out and having a beer or two at places we would frequent. Seeing art in person. Heck, even the Union show for Art Clout was put on the back burner. Thought it would be okay, thought things would not change much around the house – we still did various projects – but I found an emptiness to make art. Just no reason. I was like, “Why do anything?” “For what purpose?” Depression? No doubt, though I tend to be more or less, an opportunistic sort of person – though for sure my philosophy is what happens is what happens, this is what it is.
But still… my desire to keep the house and myself tidy and clean pretty much vanished. Our daily walks stopped. We pretty much sat and did zero for a while til we each realized that we needed to do something. Something positive. So the house is cleaner, Carol has been making bands to wear with masks so one’s ears don’t give out after hours of wear (Memorial Hospital has close to 100 she has made and are very happy), we are walking 2 miles a day, we are listening to music and talking to people as they walk by in the evening with their dogs, the yards look great, and projects around the house are completed. I wash the cars now and then even though we have only used them four times in the past 5 months… and things are better.
Our son does our shopping, which makes being safer at home way easier. Sadly, we are unable to visit Carol’s dad who is in a memory care facility, but we call him every week and stay in touch. We do the occasional Zoom happy hour with friends and try to be active in LB though social media groups.
But my art? Where does that fit in? Well through all of this I was asked to be a part of the Durden and Ray show We Are Here/Here We Are that spanned LA County with over 100 artists showing their art in outside locations. Mine was placed in our front yard, and all those who I was able to talk to, loved the idea of the show – its scope and diversity – as well as what I was showing. Of course, I feared that mine would either be stolen or vandalized over the 60-day show period (the show closed on 6/20), but it made it through unscathed. Unfortunately, many others did not fare as well. But then, that is the world we live in.
I was also invited to be a part of the Visions of Shape and Form show by the Long Beach Creative Group. A wonderful show of local sculptures from LB artists. This show is currently running, and is open on weekends without an appointment.
Both of these events pretty much re-lit a desire to do something, something new and with the world we now currently live in, something different.
I made a collection of little guys to jump-start things. These were either revisits to previous materials or just playing around with something new. In both cases: color and technique. Sold a few to people here in LB and the remainder have either been given away or re-purposed.
With the current situation, my focus is to use what I have here. Not going out to source materials, but what can I re-purpose? Of course, one runs out of things, of materials… so I have been ordering what is needed, and either having our son picking it up curbside, or they are delivered. I have made perhaps six pieces since the pandemic. While my art is pretty much all over the map, the following pieces took a turn to something perhaps different. Something darker… I guess, though some with color and some not.
These three are more or less functional pieces being tables – color and yet, different materials reflecting something, well different.
The next three are pretty much sculptural pieces reflecting something darker. I am liking this approach using new materials and the outcome of darkness. No doubt an emotional response to the current pandemic and all the heartache it has brought to the world. Combine that of the BLM movement and the hopeful change it brings to society.
I also have a collaboration in the work with Lance Morris. This will be a more “colorful” piece reflecting what Lance does – laser and acrylics – combined with what I have done with the last three pieces.