Red Velvet and Other New Works

Over the past 6 months, I’ve taken on some pretty hefty responsibilities that have sucked a lot out of my artmaking time. I guess I was a little spoiled during most of the pandemic since I got to stay home and paint almost every day. I ended 2020 with a whopping 83 new paintings for the year. They were not all spectacular, but they were all very good practice and experience- and it’s how most of us get better at what we do.

At the end of the year, I was elected to be President of the Board of Directors of the gallery I belong to. Believe me, it’s a mostly thankless job that nobody else wants involving waaaay too much paperwork, organizational stuff and lots of meetings. And if you think herding cats might be difficult, try getting artists to march in the same parade, and forget about the drums entirely.

My goal is to bring this set of 25 artists, average age 70, into the current century. To that end, I designed a whole new user-friendly website, and have marshalled some of our younger and hipper artists to increase our social media presence and our community presence. It seems to be working so far.

I’m still teaching for the college but have cut back to two courses a year. One in the spring and one in the fall.

Painting time has been quartered and that’s okay. When I do get into my studio, it feels wonderful. I’m experimenting with new materials and new ideas.  Two of the paintings below- Fire on the River and Don’t Be Koi–  were done in acrylic inks on an ultra-smooth surface called Yupo (c), which is made of polypropylene. The koi painting used no brushes at all.  Most of the fire painting didn’t use brushes either, until I realized the image wanted trees.  Both started as drips of ink that I manipulated across the surface with a straw, a sponge, my fingers…  I seem to be heading a ways toward abstract images sometimes but I haven’t abandoned my passion for landscape or flower portraits.

Here are a few of the paintings I’ve made this year so far.