Pandemic Summer

“How I spent my summer vacation or Pandemic Summer”

June Faces.

By June, I had a well established watercolor studio practice going mostly fueled by challenges of QP. The isolation and anxiety of the pandemic were adjusted to by focusing on the work more and the news less. I channeled more effort returning to my own images and subjects.

I like the classical juxtaposition with contemporary. So working from my image collection and photocollages, I played with fragments of classical statuary faces on grounds of pop, pattern and color in watercolor on paper.

I think when I step back to look at my paintings, I wanted to see them fit in with other work. I like to imagine a solo show coming up. Will this fit in? Is it part of this/a body of work? Sometimes, a whole new body of work starts this way. Between the challenges, I set my own agenda to paint faces, classical statuary faces and ancient vessel faces and muses. I experimented with figure/ground relationships and media/support.

Three of the June faces seemed to belong together and stand on their own. A trio, perhaps.

I painted “Dancing with Volcanoes” at this time so maybe four go together. Although, when I look at the back of this one I see a different title, “Life Born of Fire”, and in my sketchbook “Dancing Muses.” The other three are untitled for now.

At the beginning, shutting down, the early pandemic times, my sketchbook only has a list of things To do in Santa Fe pre pandemic. There is a list “All roads lead to Rome,” and a TO Do list with only, Learn Latin.

And this:

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world

Plays on the TV in the living room -

Beethoven’s 9th plays on the radio

In the kitchen and the bed room -

Monsoon’s afternoon rain

Beats on the roof

And rattles the dry brittle leaves

Against my studio window -

It’s a strange, strange, strange, strange world

No one watch’s the TV

And no one is living in the living room -

No one listens to the radio

And no one sleeps in the bedroom -

All the sleeping, dreaming, and living

Is in the studio


It’s a lone, lonely, alone, all alone world.

_ _ RBB

(From my summer 2020 sketchbook)

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