Sunday, September 13, 2020

Life and the Studio

 There's so much happening, so fast, these days.  I've felt so overwhelmed with things to comment about that I haven't commented at all.  Which is probably a good thing.  Frankly, though I'm getting more and more worried about the future of our county.

A few years ago, a friend asked if I was an optimist or a pessimist.  I said that I'm a short-term optimist and a long-term pessimist.  In the short term, humanity has a remarkable ability to muddle through.  Crises come and go, things look dire, and then we move on.  But in the long term, the outlook is really grim.  We're using resources many times faster than the earth can replenish them.  Climate change is raising sea levels, reducing wildlife, reducing crop-production land, and changing weather patterns.  At a time when we need united national and international efforts, we're more polarized and divided than I can remember in my lifetime.  And all the trends are in the wrong directions.  

Until recently, I thought that the tipping point would come a few decades down the road.  Now I think we might actually be in it.  Climate change is burning down the West Coast and hitting the Gulf and East Coast with more storms than ever, one after another.  It's warming the Arctic, which is thawing the permafrost, which is releasing more methane than ever, which is significantly worse as a greenhouse gas.  The world's population is still expanding.  The World Wildlife Federation this week announced that 68% of the world's wildlife has disappeared since 1970.  And if you wear a mask in this country, you're a damned Democrat, and if you don't, you're a damned Republican.  And Trump is destroying what little unity is left.

No good news there.  And I don't know what I can do about any of it except take care of myself and Janis.

So, yeah, writing about my activities in the studio seems so out of it.  But it's my refuge of sanity.  Even when I was creating my last two paintings, Say Their Names and Portland 2020, which are both political pieces, they were still cathartic.  Now, though, I'm working on two new ones that have no politics in them at all.  Time to clear my brain.  Yes, I'll post them here when I can.  No, you can't see them now.

So stay safe, try to keep calm, and take care of yourself.

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