Moody, Minimalist Landscape Painting

Art and Life in the Time of Coronavirus #4

Excerpts from blog, almost caught up to date.

Thursday, March 19, 11am: A very bad piece of information came in last night from the CDC, that 40% of hospitalizations in the US have been adults 20-65 years old. This is a very scary game changer, and will likely change some folk’s game, though it is a little late. Of course, they could only come up with this bit of data after observing patients coming through the system, but it is really too bad that we didn’t have this from elsewhere earlier.

I am increasingly concerned about Tess, still in the deep woods in Northern Minnesota. She last checked in on March 6th from Minneapolis, and was headed back into the woods to finish maple sugaring with her friends. Even then, it was clear that she would not want to use her plane ticket back. Now things have progressed to where she may also not want to come back (somehow) by car. It’s really unfortunate because in her barely populated Vermont community, she could have hunkered down and perhaps even gone to work as part of a her-and-boss only crew for a fellow who grows and sells fruit trees.

She also has health care in VT, and a shoulder injury, though that will not get any medical attention anywhere now.

I am torn between being happy for her that she is where she loves and not thinking about this mess at all, and wishing that she would come out and figure out her plan before things get worse.

Tony’s current printmaking assignment is a 3-color reduction linoprint, and I am going to join him in doing one. Thinking about imagery today, I am not sure if I want to go for a landscape (this process feels a little stiff for that) or a map image (the latter could involve climate change).

I picked at the watershed Site Map and finished this 24″x24″ for the upcoming season for Louisa Gould. Also had a nice phone chat with her about survival and strategies.

 

 

Louisa  pointed out to her whole artists troupe that she stayed open after the 2008 stock market rout and following recession, and that she intends to do the same now. So very nice to hear.

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Friday March 20, evening: Very little studio today, a late sleep-in after a bad night’s sleep. Our internet went out just before I had a virtual class scheduled with Lulu, so that is on for tomorrow now—more on this amazing young artist tomorrow. It was sharply stressful having no internet or extender for phone when we are doubly relying on it for every form of connection, and you never know actually how long that will go on. But back on in about an hour.

As the afternoon presented, we had an amazingly warm day. It went from wind and rain to sun and calm, a day for some yard work and seed planting, while sunny, and back porch sitting when the rain blew up. I got my beloved screened in porch all cleared out of scattered groceries (left to clear of germs before putting them away) and straightened and swept it out. And then, a lovely yoga practice in my favorite spot, with sound of stream, birds, and wind in the trees.

 

 

Looking forward to more of this, eating, working on my laptop and doing yoga on my porch as the weather slowly warms. I savor this transition into from spring into summer every year, and with NYS and other states now in lockdown as of Sunday, this will be essential.

Niece’s boyfriend’s fever cleared and so far the rest of them are feeling fine.

I assume that the lockdowns, which include Illinois, will mean that Tessa cannot travel through to get to Vermont. And that we will not see her for the duration.

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March 21: So Jack thinks that Tessa would be allowed to come home, even traveling through lockdown states, because she is going home.

But we still haven’t heard from her.

In the studio I did a bit more work on the Site Map, coming up with a design solution for this particular map and beginning to see the shape it will take. I want the Watershed map to be different from the Atlas/Hudson River Valley version even though I am discussing the same turf. Different emphasis.

I also came up with my idea for the 3-color reduction print. I’ll do an interpretation of a topo map, final lines in black and the three colors intensifying in value as you climb in altitude. It will be either mounted on the site map or a stand-along piece in that show.

Speaking of which, is this a good time or a crazy time to apply for the regional museum shows that I have in mind for this and the Atlas/Cape and Islands exhibitions? If curators are picking up their emails–and why wouldn’t they be?—these upcoming weeks and months could be ideal for making my pitch, when the physical on-site work is halted.

This is a close-up of a free-hand, stretched out topo interpretation of the escarpment that bends around Woodstock and then runs parallel to the Hudson River, from the Atlas/Forms of Water Site Map.

 

 

Beneath it are linocut and mixed-media maps of Hurricane Irene, which devastated our upstate and Vermont communities with stream flooding in 2011; and projected sea level rise on Nantucket.

Sun today, a walk with Tony. Thinking about spring and how usually in May I do a few big, luxurious shops for annuals at my favorite nurseries, which likely will not happen this year. So I am taking cuttings and rooting various plants that I have in the house to combine with leafy perennials from the yard to fill my many pots, when the time is right. These are the kinds of creative problem-solving endeavors that sooth my mind…

 

 

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