Just finished Xmas.
We are extremely grateful to be safe with a roof over our head and with loved ones okay, although isolated. My beloved family doctor (and also the Head of Family Practice at the local Hospital) just finished up with an ugly two-week bout of Covid-19 along with 4 of his residents and half a dozen nurses. Not a pretty picture. My wife, Tricia, begins a treacherous semester in two weeks teaching face-to-face overloaded college classes in unsafe classrooms. She is as uneasy about this as I am and desperately trying to make it safe for her students and herself. Not an easy task with little help or common sense from administration. My days are much easier than hers. They mostly consist of waiting…waiting…waiting. Waiting to hear back from a new gallery. Waiting to hear about a post- poned solo show. Waiting to hear about applications for upcoming shows. And above all else waiting for the Vaccine.
For the past 10 months we have kept our bubble pretty tight. A couple trips to galleries in Florida and Hilton Head, a half dozen trips to Home Depot and a few very limited Covid-safe coffee meetings. All other necessities have been shipped to our doorstep and early Sunday morning bi-weekly trips for groceries. The plus side of all this waiting is producing. I have produced three times as much work as any other year. Some good and some questionable, but a steady flow of work.
At this moment I am working towards a proposed Museum show as well as reworking pieces that I think can be improved. Some I have scraped and painted over, others it’s a matter of reworking. It’s a healthy process. I’ve constructed four new large panels that are ready to go and have a list of ideas for the beginning of the new year. My first estimated travel plans will be to Memphis in late March or early April to deliver new work to the gallery there. This means renting a van and probably 3 or 4 nites on the road with a detour through the Mississippi Delta for a reconnaissance of locations for a new body of work. I won’t do this until I have both shots of the Vaccine and it is safe. I have a couple solo shows scheduled soon after that then leads me into summer and my long awaited Arts Residency in Ireland at Cill Rialaig in September. Most of the applications I am now working on are toward 2022 already. I am thankful and amazed that all the galleries I am dealing with are staying afloat…how I have no idea. I think it is because of good business practices and determination. I have sold five pieces during this time period which seems a miracle all things considered.
If all this sounds down and grim, let me emphasize it is not so. There is so much to look forward to this year and it will be fully packed.