What a long strange year its been. As the pandemic raged across the planet, and everything shut down I found myself surrounded by paint, canvas, and quarantine. I can’t say I’m complaining, in fact I have been very prolific. Tell an artist to stay at home? Sure!
What a hot topic the pandemic is, and plague doctors in general. Perpetual Virgin Mary’s of the Pandemic became my first direction as we stepped into uncharted territory. Then I went into Love in the time of Coronavirus portraits and then some. I couldn’t paint fast enough.
I show work at Surrey’s on magazine, both locations. When they had to shut down, I was very sad. I took that sadness and created new works for New Venues as opportunities crossed my path. Little Miss Muffin and I became good friends, and I am currently in all their stores. I did two shows at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen uptown as they remained open. I am currently showing there right now. When Surrey’s locations reopened, I brought in all new work and my friend Will Smith joined in the rebirth of the two locations. Currently showing at both locations as well.
In December I organized a fundraiser for Skinz N Bonez (mardigras krewe), and we did an art market at the Artisan Cafe. We created 20 booths of art prior to the holiday, and was successful in providing live music at a time when there was none, since they had outdoor opportunity. I also unveiled a special portrait of a very special Babydoll. I felt a sense of normalcy even though we were masked and trying to social distance.
It has been a year of working at home, and enjoying it. Finding new inspirations and putting it on canvas, sometimes angry things, and sometimes sad things, but mostly colorful statements of history, corona beer, face masks, vaccination stations, mask it or caskets and beyond. All of it right up my alley of dark and colorful images. Right along with houses, and my usual animals, and roosters. When Hurricane Zeta hit us and we lost power, I sat in my studio with a battery operated light around my neck and painted swamps. I have fallen in love with swamps, but taking them to a loud and louder colorful joy that I see when I’m in one. Its a time to respect nature, a time to paint nature, and a time to BE in Nature, even though she seems to be trying to kill us with a virus. I used day glo paint mixed into my acrylics and in the darkness and howling winds I produced two very psychedelic swamp scenes that both had great “creep” factor in them. I kept going in this direction.
In times of stress I find humor and joy even when times are down. I suppose I learned this from going thru Hurricane Katrina. You learn this skill living here, to re imagine, rebirth, restart, resort, redefine the situation and move forward. I keep telling myself what follows will be a renaissance, and I still believe that is on the horizon. No matter what, we will come out of this. I look forward to the day when we can find the peace of gathering safely again.
I really wanted to be involved in giving back during the pandemic, so I found a way through Green Light New Orleans. I have put a group of artists together and we go every wednesday and paint rain barrels for them. Rain Barrels hold about 50 gallons of water, and by collecting rain water, you save on your water bill, and also are removing that amount of water from your yard. I can attest that they are great for your gardens and flowers. I have found that rain water is superior to watering from the faucet. Your food actually tastes better. You can find myself and a few others in this link, which also takes you to green light new orleans. GREAT PROGRAM.