Time on the island is quiet and peaceful. Methodically working in the forest and garden is a satisfying change from the grind of LA- though when I’m away from my studio for long spells, I become slightly anxious about losing the painter’s touch. However, this time here is invaluable and I soak up every opportunity to fill my camera with images I can refer to later. In the meantime, I was delighted to have my work written about in the article below. https://artandcakela.com/2020/11/23/brewery-artwalk-goes-virtual/ And if you missed the virtual tour of the Brewery Artwalk, you can see me talk about my work in my studio here: 3pm Tour B. I start at 1:55:22 and end at 2:04:50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh60K3r1syo&feature=youtu.be
After a two-week quarantine, I’m back home taking a break from multiple dramas unfolding in the States. It’s been healing to decompress in the verdant, wet and mossy forests of a rainy island. My days have been quiet as I pitch in, providing manual labor on the wooded land and in the house. I’m getting reacquainted with the calls of eagles and grunts of sea lions, playing with the family animals and doing lots of “forest bathing” on mountain hikes. The internet here is head-bangingly slow, so I’m not glued to updates of the latest news. To keep my artist’s eye alive, I’m taking lots of pictures on my walks. I don’t know if I’ll use any of them as resource material for paintings, but I enjoy observing and documenting. I keep waiting for “Mr. and Mrs. Ruckus”, two ravens I’ve heard about, to appear, but so far, they’ve been shy. Today there’s supposed to be heavy rain in the afternoon. I’m going to take my breakfast at the beach, then work out and see how my help is needed. I’ve been unloading and hauling gravel the past couple days. The crunch of shovel into gravel is satisfying, meditative work and my spirit has appreciated the calmness of these days.
This painting looks like how I feel right now: trepidation waiting for the election tomorrow. This is “Nostromos”, oil paint on upholstery fabric. The scene takes place in a dark, windy and wild seascape. Toy-like boats, and ruined houses -perhaps off their foundations, bounce around on waves. Even pre-Covid, I had a penchant for depicting disasters of various sorts. The thing that makes this piece different is that there’s a secret in it. I painted it on expensive embroidered fabric. I had intended to incorporate the lovely embroidered birds on the fabric but the design was ultimately painted over. (I find it almost impossible to stick to a plan when I paint). The birds are perceptible on the front if you know what you’re looking for. On the backside of the piece however, the birds are unharmed. Perhaps not just one, but a flock of birds will come to inspire hope- much like the dove to Noah on the Arc- to rescue us from this current state of affairs. We shall see…
The virtual Brewery Artwalk is this weekend. One more zoom presentation to go and then I can put my studio back together. We've gotten some positive feedback. Maybe they'll keep doing this even after Covid. We'll see. I hope you were able to join us. :)
This weekend our usually festive and crowded artwalk will be online. Join us for a live virtual tour of the world's largest artist colony brought to you by LA Art Tours. This event is free and open to all. SEE HOW ARTISTS LIVE AND WORKThe Brewery Arts Complex is a live/work artist colony located in downtown Los Angeles. Explore the 12 acre complex from the comfort of your home. Discover new original artwork, talk directly to the artists and view historic architecture as dozens of resident artists (virtually) open their studios during this unique online event brought to you by LA Art Tours. HOW TO PARTICIPATELA Art Tours will host 2 virtual tours per day (Sat Oct 24 & Sun Oct 25) via zoom webinar. Sign up today! Registration and scheduling info is on our website. www.breweryartwalk.com/virtual-artwalk For those unable to participate via zoom, we will also be live streaming the tours on the Brewery Artwalk website, Facebook live and Youtube live. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:www.breweryartwalk.comwww.laarttours.com I will be both days 11:50 am- noon and 5:10-5:20 pm.
Tomorrow through Friday will be what I call a "UHaul Adventure". I have to go collect my work from shows. I had two paintings at Calabasas City Hall Council Chambers which were rented and I had hoped they would buy them. They did like them... but they wanted me to donate them. Sigh. So...off I go with my buddy Theo to pick them up and then I'm off to San Diego to pick up another batch of paintings. I like to paint large- and that can be a problem as I need to rent massive trucks to haul them to and fro. The trucks aren't that comfy and have no leg room Winge winge. It'll be okay, I'm just disappointed that they didn't buy them as it would've been a good placement. However, they are quite wacky pieces. I actually like the big red horse, "Patronus", because it is so strange. The horse's ass is smack dab in the middle, crazy colors... Odd- but it works. Maybe I'll keep that one. I'm pretty sure it was meant to stay with me. :)
Escape from 2020, oil paint on canvas, 46" x 12'2", October 2020 I'm finally done this one- very hard to get a good image of it as it's so long and the lighting in my studio isn't ideal- however, I'm happy it's done. It took awhile for me to figure out the narrative of this one but it finally makes sense. At the moment I don't really want to describe my idea of what it's about- but will let people decide themselves. I was having some issues with it formally but my bestie Theo came over and helped troubleshoot some issues I was having. I'm so glad there's someone I can bounce my thoughts off. :)
My piece, "End Times" has been on display at the Huntington Beach Art Center for their show, "Covid-19 Creativity". It's been on display since August 28th and ends today. I'm a little late to the party- but nice to know it was received. I've also applied to be in a book with this painting along with a story about what was happening when I painted it. I hope someone buys this piece. It's my first return to figuration. When I went to school at Pratt, they kind of beat the desire to do figuration out of us- so I feel a bit sneaky doing anything with the figure or that is narrative. (Because when AbEx came along, the Greenbergian philosophy at the time was that all of that was in the past. Total BS but that's how it was until people like Grace Hartigan and Phillip Guston dared flout the art critic.) Anyway, last day for the show is today. Bummer I didn't know about it.
I’m happy that some of my Covid work is getting some exposure. My painting, “Bridge to Nowhere” is in UCSB’s show “Living Democracy”. I did this painting at the beginning of Covid on upholstery fabric. The scene hints at San Francisco. A car with a siren sits perched atop a rickety bridge that stops in the middle of nowhere. Below detritus in being tossed about in the water. The hill behind is being torn up by machinery while garbage spills down the hill. Red crane-like forms are a hint to Christo’s Central Park installation- since he also passed at the time- but also to man-made destruction. Meanwhile, as a large wave looms towards SF, Covid swirls about in the air. https://www.ihc.ucsb.edu/platform gallery/2020-21-platform-gallery-exhibition-living-democracy/
I’m in another show! My assemblage piece "Pride" has been accepted into the "Political Discord" show at Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach. This piece is part of a body of work I did for my “Sins and Sorrows” series. The work in this show and much of my work seems timely, because there’s always a lot of disaster in the world generally, and in the United States specifically. This piece has flies behind the pane of glass and cigarette butts with lipstick stains on the ledge. My housekeeper (back in the day when it was safe to have people around), kept picking the flies and cigarettes off and I’d have to explain that “no, no- the flies are part of the art”! Then I had to search for new flies to replace the old ones with. None of my neighbors wanted to admit that they had dead flies around. So now I have a tin with supplemental dead flies in case any deteriorate or are stolen.... When I was designing this piece, I realized that some might feel triggered by the upside-down flag (a distress signal) and could vandalize the work so the bullwhip and laundry soap are nailed to the ledge. When it was shown at the Brand Library, people indeed tried to mess with it and pull off the whip. Luckily my friends Jisel and Mark, who fabricated the piece, are real whiz’s and we foiled the thieves. The piece lives on, flies and all. It's a virtual show so kindly consider attending at: www.laslagunagallery.com.