Sheltering in place meant watercolors, the only media other than pencils available to me at home. But I love watercolor. Deprived of my studio, other opportunities emerged. Over and over, I painted watercolors of landscapes, shelters really, that gave me a sense of peace and refuge. I'd think - rock - water - hill, sometimes trees - and find a place that gave me hope and comfort.
My place was my home, as the studio, 10 miles away, was out of bounds in the beginning of the pandemic. My home took on new meaning. What developed? Nothing at all to do with my work in the studio!
Something else. And, since it was spring, a spring unlike any other, blossoms and life
appeared. Flowers, stamen, petals, abundance, joy. At these times, abstraction was not
the right form. The psyche creates what it needs.
La Macina di San Cresci in Chianti, is a sublime residency. I was lucky to be there last November, returning to New York just before the pandemic. Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards of the famed Tuscan landscape, I lived and worked in a 10th century church complex. The old church, now an exhibition space, and its historic buildings, were lovingly restored by Duccio Trassinelli, a lighting designer and Demetria Verduci, architect, the founders of the residency.
My studio, a grotto of ancient rock and massive wood had plentiful spaces, one of which housed the former grindstone with attached yoke for a cow to turn the stone. The medieval floor of rocks under my feet had fossils, watery shapes, and hatch marks of over a thousand years, the drawings of time. The massive wood table I worked on revealed the incidents of time in little marks, perhaps the draftsmanship of ancient insects.
Outside the door, the Tuscan light! The noble olive trees! A medieval walled town across the valley! All this with a great sound system playing mostly American jazz from Swiss Radio Jazz.
Information can be found at www.chianticom.com.