The Year That Was

Hi everyone, I wanted to give you an update on what I have been up to the last year, and what a year it was! Things were made much less difficult with the help and support of our wonderful friends, neighbors, and family. Lots of shared meals, baked goods, boxes of fresh fruit and veggies, and bottles of wine provided much warmth and happiness! Masked and social distanced visits, texts, emails, and phone calls allowed us to share our concerns, happy moments and hopes for the future. I spent a lot of time in our hillside garden (rain or shine) planting veggies and flowers, attending to the fruit trees and grape vines and working on my Bonsai collection. I have around 40 trees in pots now, down from over 100 a few years ago. I deeply appreciate having our outdoor space here, it has been a real sanctuary in these trying times. Keeping busy with my hands in the soil seemed to help keep me calmer and more focused. Of course, I was still thinking about what was happening outside the garden, kept up on the news reports and stayed in touch with family and friends but the fact that this is a global pandemic is an overwhelming reality. At first, I found it difficult to concentrate on my artwork, the inward focus of creating kept bringing up thoughts of fear and despair. I made a few “dark” pieces, photo collages of images relating to the Black Lives Matter Movement, vaccine production plants and a rather ominous figure made from a dried grape vine root covered in mud that looks like it has deep set eyes, a crown of thorns and multiple arms!  An image of nature crucified. My recent work has been more lighthearted! I completed two fantasy landscape pieces using acrylic paint on stone patterned ceramic tiles, a snow and glacier covered mountain scene in acrylic paint on hand engraved slate and started a series of paintings of apple blossoms in acrylic paint on marble. With the lack of gallery sales I was so appreciative to receive several framing and art restoration jobs, many thanks to Allied arts for their referrals and all my friends and collectors. I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me in so many ways over the past year, especially my partner of 40 years, Jim, who is always there to keep the business and household running smoothly!