- I briefly thought that self-isolating would mean an "at-home art retreat," but not so :(
Instead it seems to mean noticing all those to-do things that fell off the list for the past 5 years. However, persevering when the March weather is not for gardening and the floors are spotless ...
Yes, we got sideswiped by the COVID-19 issues, so all the coaching sessions and final workshop are cancelled. However, we are creative, so the course is extended to the end of April and coaching is moved online - email and a special Facebook group just for us: "Valley Visual Artists - Merritt"
- Most of the class signed up for the Facebook group and some are starting to post their homework on the page. It is amazing how much difference even a little practice makes in the watercolour skills. It really could happen that people will be able to paint independently by the end of the course.
- I painted the second gesso layer (final preparation layer before painting) on more than a dozen canvases and panels that have been waiting patiently in the basement for a couple years. Now they are ready for any acrylic painting I might feel the inspiration to tackle, instead of a task waiting to be done. No more excuses :)
- I finished the black gesso and white acrylic paint "Moonstruck" acrylic painting that I started only a couple weeks ago -record time for me! As usual, I got hung up on perfecting the final little tiny details (like the pointy moon). Enough already! See the sequence below (the colour shifts are just photographing in different light or camera settings.) So now it will be varnished (matte or satin finish) in a couple days when fully dry. Next...
- The opening instruction class and first coaching session made a great beginning for all these enthusiastic painters. Such excellent questions and care in following the instructions. They even do homework! It makes me think I should have gone into adult education much earlier.
- I have been working on the Arts Council's Public Artworks program, which buys works by local artists and displays them in various public locations. Currently, we have Cindilla Trent's "Mosaic Butterfly" in the Public Library, Bev Veale's "Hollyhocks" oil paintings at City Hall, and my "Courthouse" watercolour at the old Courthouse. The committee is now working on the details of this year's acquisition.
- My moonlight painting got a lot of snow and too much light to be from the moon last week, so I painted out a lot of that white this week. An advantage of just using black and white paint is not having to match the colours. Now it is ready to put back the pale details, like the distant shore and moonlight on the frozen lake.
- A brief self-isolation for spouse's (ordinary) flu gave me a chance to see if it could be more positively renamed "art retreat." Well, who knew there could be so many self-distractions inside one house! I never got my studio apron on once in the 48 hours. Disappointing, but note-to-self: put "painting" higher on the to-do list even when there is nothing else to do.
Valley Visual Artists
Merritt once had a local art group called "Valley Visual Artists." They painted together regularly, organized annual art shows and hosted art workshops. It faded away, but never really disappeared. Maybe the VVA will rise again...