Last year was a tough one for everyone and this year hasn't really been a picnic either for a lot of people. Although we certainly do have a lot to be thankful for, on January 4th my mom fell and broke her hip and everything in our world just stopped. We didn't think it was possible to stop any further than it had at that point but it did.
I've actually laughed with some of my artist friends that artists are made for quarantine. It doesn't bother us to get locked away in our studios and just paint all day unmolested by our responsibilities. Yes, I missed my students terribly and my friends but I was getting so much work done and we did zoom calls and were getting by okay and we were all safe thank god.
And then mom fell - and they were telling us that all of the facilities were just full of covid and at that time people were dying there left and right and we supposed it was true because when we dropped her off someone was being taken out by two people with an ambulance wearing hazmat gear. It was honestly terrifying.
My mom made it through the ordeal and she's fine now. My brother came from Alaska to help. None of us could go near her for weeks but everyone banded together to do basically nothing that she actually needed but it made us feel better. We ran around like crazed lunatics, I broke my foot running into a door for no reason at all. My brother organized the shed and I organized her entire bathroom and bedroom and now she can't find anything. Maybe we were thinking she might fall over something out there or maybe one day trip over any of her cosmetics. Note that she is a meticulous organizer herself so none of this needed to be done. We know now that we did it for us. We had to keep moving.
For once though painting didn't help. I couldn't paint during any of this time while we waited weeks on end for her to learn to walk again. While we waited for them to call and tell us she made it through the covid maze, my heart goes out to so many others that didn't.
My mom's doing well, walking around, almost walker-free now. Organizing things herself and occasionally muttering under her breath as she searches for the things we "re-located".
This little tiny color study of a night heron was the first painting I was able to do after the whole thing.
I used it to paint a "larger" 6 x 6" painting a few days later. You can see I thought I'd like the cooler morning pinky-lavender toned but ultimately judged them too cool and in the final painting went with an earthy gold in his chest to warm him up. Color studies are fun that way. I do the same thing live on the canvas but there's something therapeutic about them just the same.
The earth yellow also gives the impression of that river color reflecting back up onto him a bit.
Night Heron 6x6" oil on Gessobord panel