This couple modeled for me just as the country was learning that covid 19 infections were in the US. Within a few days stay at home orders were given, and schools and businesses shut down. I had the references from photos of Patti and Ron to paint from, which kept me busy for many of the isolation months. There was a sense of fear in all of their poses that day, as they seemed to need to cling to one another. The three of us are all in a high risk category because of age, so the sense of dread and uncertainty was a large part of the session. I chose an image of them in a precarious position and put them against shocking colors, as finding calm was impossible.
As a studio painter I spend much of my time alone anyway, but I am more isolated than usual now. I teach on zoom and that carries its own frustrations. Mostly, though, I'm experiencing sadness from family tragedies during this time, while taking in so much of the suffering of all those affected by the virus, along with the horrific political climate. All of it together impacts my mental state severely. However, I see some hope in the revelations of inequalities that have come to light and hope to be able to bring some of that into my work. When I read and hear that the elderly are expendable in the virus and that nature is only taking its course by removing the weak among us, I felt the need to continue in greater earnestness on my images of elders.