Light Space & Time Online Gallery ran a competition last month asking artists to share the art they had created while in self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. Since painting has been one of the things keeping me sane in a time when I can only see my children and grandchildren on a screen, I was happy to share the two large canvases I had worked on and finished in the last two months: Hair Love and Splash. A few days ago, I was delighted to be notified that one of my pieces had won an award and would be included in the Created in Isolation Exhibit on lightspacetime.art for the next month (until June 15th). The gallery received 1,189 entries from 30 different countries around the world, as well as from 35 states and the District of Columbia; 215 winning artists are now featured in Painting and Other Media. Speculating that Splash seemed more in keeping with the theme of isolation, I was surprised and delighted to wake up today to the email telling me that it was Hair Love that won Special Recognition. While many of the winners used the pandemic as subject, most of the works were just about creating art in this strange time in our lives. Hair Love sits on the floor in my front hall waiting to be shipped to Town Stages in Tribeca, once it opens for business again.
I love movies. I’ve been a big fan since I was eleven, watching Million Dollar Movie almost every day of the six weeks I was home with whooping cough (though not socially isolated) and, until the last few years, going to the movies almost every weekend with my husband. And I’ve always watched the Oscars—no matter how long and boring the telecast might be. One of the highlights of this year’s Oscar’s was the winner for Best Animated Short Film: Hair Love. While you may not have had a chance to see the long features, animated or not, so many people were taken with Hair Love that you can find a link to it and watch it at home—even now. Since I was in the process of painting another version of Diva in a much larger format (4 feet x 3 feet) at the time I watched Hair Love, I couldn’t help but borrow the title for my painting.
This Hair Love is going to hang on a black wall in the bar and lounge at Town Stages in Tribeca, the women-centric, all-inclusive, fabulous event space for the arts that’s owned by our niece, Robin Sokoloff. Seize the Day…Rose and Seize the Day…Violet are already there and waiting for Hair Love to arrive, which won’t be until this pandemic is done with us and it’s safe to reopen all the wonderful event spaces and venues for the arts in New York and elsewhere. Ever the optimist and lucky to be able to paint at home in these unsettling times, Hair Love is finally finished and ready for hanging. Here’s to better days for us all!
Seize the Day…Rose
Once again I’ve been inspired by the work of photographer Whitney Brown, who often photographs dancers and uses all sorts of techniques like image on image or double and triple exposures to make me want to crop and flip and paint her subjects in my own fashion.
Seize the Day…Violet
Our niece, Robin Sokoloff, owns and runs a fabulous event space in Tribeca called Town Stages—a women-centric business with an emphasis on the arts and diversity and acceptance. The first time I was there, as we sat in the cocktail bar, I knew I wanted to paint something for her to hang on those black walls that at that moment displayed some graphic images supplied by a sponsor of an upcoming event. It’s taken me some time, but I’ve finally finished a diptych for her, called Seize the Day, that I think will suit. I used paints that have women’s names and meaning for me…Rose was my grandmother and Violet is another niece’s new baby girl…and tried to capture the sense of strength and aspiration that has taken Robin from her small Loft 227 in Chelsea to this amazing 10,000 square foot space that provides a venue for theater, concerts, lectures, promotions, parties and more. Robin has surely seized the day.