It has been a year since I last posted an article to my site. That is the longest time between articles since I began posting. What a year.
We finished our beach house after nearly 2 years. The constraints on labor and materials severely impacted our budget and timeline. However, we are very pleased with the work and are especially grateful to Jason Frick and Nick Fletcher at Right Arm Construction. They went above and beyond the call of duty—and they regularly made the long journey from Portland to our site near Gearhart. We are starting to settle into a routine now that most of the work is complete (some landscaping remains.)
2021 was both exasperating and rewarding. Lea and I settled into a normal pattern of accepting that things would not be normal. We did not get too upset that seeing family, friends and others was out-of-the-question. We accepted the rhythm of absence—replacing these voids with time in our studios. Lea has assembled a loom for projects in both studios. I was able to split my supplies and set up painting in both studios.
The Surf Pines Studio—in particular the location—has sparked a new direction. Formerly I have focused on figurative work based on my year-long training in Florence Italy in 2017. While I still am still drawn to the figure, I have found that the power of the dunes and the tightly intertwined shore pine forests near our house has sparked a new direction. I have begun two new series called “Into the Woods” and “Into the Dunes.” Interestingly, these paintings, based on real locations (not some imagined place) have resonated with followers of my work. They have struck a chord. The first five paintings in these series were spoken for within a day of posting them. I have two additional commissions based on “Into the Woods” and one for “Into the Dunes.” It seems that the intimacy of nature is fulfilling an inner need with my followers. I am pleased that I have found a subject that resonates with people—and within my own corpus.
This image is of the painting “Into the Woods 1.” I was contacted by a lady in California who saw the image on my FaceBook page. She said that she and her two children (single mom) loved the art but could not afford to buy the work. After I told her that I give away my art in exchange for a charitable donation to a charity of the person’s choice, she said that it would still be difficult—since she is not working full-time. I know from her emails that she and her children wanted this work. So, I simply told her that I would send it to her and sometime in the future when she could make a charitable donation, she could let me know for my records. She and the children were thrilled. Some weeks later, she wrote to say that the children had decided they would use their allowance to make a donation to the St Jude Children’s Cancer Center in San Francisco. They made the donation before the end of 2021—since their gift would be matched. I love these stories and the connections that arise from my art giveaway. Through 2021 I have given away 100 paintings or drawings. These kind of stories and interactions tickle my heart. You can see my work here.
Besides our work, Lea and I are beginning to learn to live with physical limitations. We both love to walk. It is a centering part of our day. It clears the mind and produces a good feeling in our bodies. About eight weeks ago I began to have a pain in my right heel. It turns out I have inflamed my Achille’s tendon—it is rubbing against an old bone spur. So, for nearly 8 weeks my doctor is not allowing me to do my daily walks. I can feel the negative energy pulsing through my body. Hopefully at my next appointment I will be “released” to start walking again. I sure hope so.
Besides reading and creating, Lea and I have also learned how to enjoy aloneness. She is more introverted—while I have not always been able to “be alone” in the same way. Yet the past two years has helped me recalibrate. I now am comfortable with aloneness in new ways. I am discovering the art of introspection. I am jettisoning years of “on the go” activity. While we are sad that travel plans will likely be stalled for at least another year (maybe even two) we are sliding into our 70’s with some confidence that we just might make it to our 80s while creating some nice art. At 73, I know procrastination is not an option!
I hope you, my readers, have a safe, healthy and happy 2022. I will be sending out good karma waves your way. PEACE to all of you.