👋 I hope you are doing well wherever you are spending your quarantine time. I am spending mine in a small canyon at the northwest edge of LA known as Box Canyon. The spring rains and warm temps have made all of the trees and flowers grow like crazy, which has brought a lot of wildlife and birds to our area. (And pollen!)
A few years ago I had an art studio at a complex in Downtown LA. But after commuting 35 miles each way for many months, and paying the additional rent, which was going up, I decided to move it all back to my house a couple of years ago. For a while, I felt remote and isolated from the LA art community. But with greater freedom to work my own hours, no commute, and no additional rent, the change has ultimately been a win in all directions.
With my studio now in my house, “Stay at Home” has been more of the same, for me. Just, MUCH MORE.
To make the day to day routines more interesting, I’ve given myself the challenge to use what I have on hand, and see how far I can get before requiring a shopping trip (or online order.) In the kitchen, this has inspired some interesting recipes. One recent experiment was “Goat Cheese and Tomato Polenta with Wilted Field Greens,” using up several seemingly mismatched ingredients: cornmeal, an open package of goat cheese, a half-used jar of sun-dried tomatoes, and a bag of limp salad. Saute in olive oil and garlic, pour a glass of wine, add a posh name and Voila! Dinner!
This challenge has also made me find new ways of using what’s on hand in the studio. I’m really a sucker for reds, and luckily I have a lot of them. My biggest crush is Vermillion, closely followed by Alizarin Crimson. I also have a few greens – Cobalt, Pthalo and Sap, but I’m down to my last tube of Cadmium yellow, and I’m clean out of black. Well, I’ve been told it’s a lazy painter who relies on out-of-the tube black, so I’m making my own using alizarin and various greens.
This painting, Swimming for Shore, met my challenge, captured my quarantine mood and allowed me to enjoy some blended reds, which I feel enhance both the kitchen and the studio. It is 8″ x 16″ oil on wood.