👋 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 – rabbits, coyotes, deer, raccoons and birds.
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 rent, which was going up, I decided to move it all back to my house. 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 good for me, and my art. And my dogs, who like having the extra company.
With my studio now in my house, “Stay at Home” is more of the same. 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 having to shop. 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 half-used open packets that were rapidly on their way to becoming fossils. Ingredients: cornmeal, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and a bag of limp, but not yet funky, salad. Sauté in olive oil and garlic, pour a glass of Meritage, and Voila! Dinner!
This challenge has also made me find new ways of using what’s on hand in the studio. I love all kinds of reds, and luckily I have a lot of them. My biggest crush is Vermillion, closely followed by Alizarin Crimson, and Cadmium Red. I also have a few greens – Cobalt, Pthalo and Sap, but I’m down to my last tube of yellow, and I’m fresh 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 one of my darker greens.
This painting, Swimming for Shore, captures my quarantine mood and gave me free rein with all of my available reds. It is 8″ x 16″ oil on wood.