Jack (Steady at Sea)
April 2021. Acrylic on canvas. 18 x 18 in.
The local galleries continue to reopen (with social distancing protocols still in place, of course)! Gallery 62 in Joshua Tree presents Creativity During Quarantine: “Our first members’ exhibition in 2021 is a large group show themed around how our artist members used this time at home to traverse new roads in their artistic output. Some artists were more creative, tried new techniques and/or shifted their subject matter as a result of the stay-at-home order. Instead of focusing on the year lost to Covid-19 let’s celebrate the new work created during this time.”
I think artists are very interested in showing or talking about that new work; I certainly am. I had two recent pieces accepted in the show, Bell Poems No. 7 and No. 11, and when the gallery requested a few lines on how we experimented with our art practice during quarantine, I submitted the following:
The pandemic year has shaped both the content and the process of my work. It coincided with a move from the pastel medium to acrylics, a plunge which was accelerated with the increased studio time. Uninterrupted focus allowed me to explore further, deeper, broader – for better or for worse. I was able, in the absence of external judgments and demands, to pursue each thread of inquiry fully, and multiple threads at a time. All the while, an engagement with larger questions of human existence, tragedy, and hope was unavoidable. Increasingly I found the work revealing a meditative space, a grounding place, a respite for the viewer from a world roiling with fear, chaos, and illusion.
The show also features Jen Shakti’s work in the Signature Room and will be on view May 8th through 30th, Saturdays 9-3:00 and Sundays 9 to noon. At Gallery 62’s sister gallery, JTAG, venerable Wonder Valley artist and curator Suzanne Ross presents REGROUP: Wide and Narrow spaces, a group exhibition of large and small works. A big thank you to the staff and volunteers at these galleries for keeping them alive through these challenging times, and a resounding Congratulations! at reopening to the live public.
The work above – Jack (Steady at Sea) – was finished last month after the prepped canvas had sat around quite a while. Sometimes one gets anxious at the prospect of committing. But ultimately I did set upon it with brush in hand, and I was not disappointed. Again a little larger, like Genie. For my father.