I don’t believe in consistency other than habitual procrastination and the willingness to do things over and over again expecting something new out of it. I know both are discouraged by motivated, organized people. Despite trying now and again to change my process I simply don’t stick to it and end up going back to what I was doing before. This state of being is why I’m posting this work after my two year hiatus from oil painting now. Most of it has sold at Alden Gallery in Provincetown already and a few from my micro-gallery, Sea Hag, in Maine.
Over the last two years I started creating NFTs. When I got into it the medium it was fairly nascent, at least buying and selling digital art on the blockchain, to most. I got collected in that space originally for my take on appropriated master works, especially florals from the Dutch Golden Age, of artists Jan Brueghel the Elder, Ambrosius Bosschaert, Jan Davidsz de Heem, Jan van Huysum, and Rachel Ruysch.
So after missing a summer of art galleries openings, travel, seeing friends in person and everything else that ceased during 2020, I began thinking what I would do as a body of work after the fifty or so MacMillan Wharf studies I did from 2016 – 2019.
During that “lost year” I had gone through an enormous life change and enjoyed the craziest success of my career this far. When I started to look at the juxtaposition of those two emotional states I thought cut flowers were appropriate in both representing the end of a huge chapter of my life and as an homage to the digital medium that was a career breakthrough.
So, with that, I painted flowers — and it was joyous. I imagined all the scenarios of the arrangements and titled them to try and capture that narrative. Trip-to-Ikea vase, roadside honor payment stands, formal living rooms, celebrations, and condolences all fit the criteria of giving or buying flowers. They were loose and colorful and everything COVID wasn’t.
Lastly, as I was finishing the work, I realized these year-round painted arrangements changed the energy of a room just because they are flowers. A bit of floral cheer after such a grueling emotional struggle we all faced. That was a surprise to me since I hadn’t had a visceral feeling from painting for a while. Flowers are pretty powerful and strong for something that’s supposed to be so delicate. A fitting representation for many of us during exhausting times.