top of page

2022 - What’s Done is Done

Updated: Jan 29, 2023

Happy New Year! For the second year now, I like to commit January’s post to the review of the paintings I accomplished in the prior year. Not for nothing, I would appreciate seeing artwork you’ve done last year in the comment section. It would be nice to have a forum to share art and have conversations about the creative process outside the mainstream conduit of social media, that’s to say, minus all the white noise and advertisements as well.

So, let’s jump in. A series I started in 2020 entitled “Lyrically Painted” was finished in 2022. Actually, there may be a few additions in the future to that series. But as of now, that collection stands at 12.

The Wind is a Wheel, 2022

Mixed media and collage on canvas, 12" x 16"

The Wind is a Wheel is loosely based on the Native American tradition of a medicine shield. Traditionally, Native Americans used sacred icons and symbols to make a compass like composition that is intended to honor family and ancestors, as well as, ward off evil spirits and illness. I used earth tones and a flat split perspective. I created a “wheel” by arranging bones and tree limbs. My notion is both of those elements are foundations to our being but can be broken and are fragile, yet the force of time is never broken. The wind blows and turns the wheel, never stopping. We try to breeze along our days with light spirits until the day comes our bodies are returned to the earth. Our remains are broken down to nourish the earth, in turn giving life to start the process all over again.

The Spider Knows Why it Glows, 2022

Mixed media and collage on canvas, 12" x 16"

The Spider Knows Why It Glows, is also from the Lyrically Painted series. It’s a play on the moth and flame principle. What draws us to light may lead us astray. We see things in the light that we want to see and ignore the fact it’s dangerous or potentially harmful.

Lekontshara'hrhos, 2022

Mixed media and collage on canvas, 12" x 16"

Another piece that was directly influenced by Native American art was Lekontshera’hrhos. The idea of art as a possession and something belonging to an individual is a foreign concept in most Native cultures. While crafting or making objects is commonplace, those items have a functionality like a tool or hold sacred significance used in ceremony. The art of the craft is passed down from generation to generation. Mohawk, the tribe for which I have some personal lineage, don’t have a word for art in their language, actually most native languages don’t. The Mohawk do have a translation for the word painter though, Lekontshera’hrhos.

Brothers in Strum (Corazon), 2022

Oil and gold leaf on plywood, 16"x 20"

I’ve documented my son’s lives through painting their entire lives. In fact, even before they were born. I have allegorical paintings of my wife’s pregnancy. Every few years as my sons grew, I would develop paintings capturing a period in our lives. I did a set of paintings in 2020 during the covid lockdown of my then 21- and 18-year-old sons playing guitar together. This is the second of the set entitled Brothers in Strum.

Sad Grrl, 2022

Mixed media and collage on canvas, 12" x 16"

Sad Grrl is where the Lyrically Painted Series trails off for now. I simply wanted to address the topic of depression which has gripped our society during the pandemic. A young girl folded in on herself in a ball. Negative thoughts that race and flutter with the speed of hummingbird wings, trying desperately to silence those thoughts with a delicate touch. Since the topic was depression, it would have been an obvious choice to use dark colors like dark blues and violets, or even black and greys, however, I chose to use warm colors with accents of those blue and purples. Despite the subject matter, I tried to depict an optimism through the negative thoughts. I guess I could have used myself as the subject matter, but it’s more of a statement of our children growing up in this age of social media as a constant impulse. All leading to short attention spans, a skewed social context, and an inevitable feeling of diminished self-worth that fast tracks them to isolation. Toss in a pandemic and forced separation and it’s an emotional pit that many youths are finding hard to climb out of.

Heart tile (untitled), 2022

Acrylic and ink on masonsite, 6" x 6"

Also reaching back a couple of years, I had started a bunch of little 6” x 6” tiles on Masonite. I think the initial notion was, to auction them off at a local fundraising event. I had spearheaded an art fundraiser for the Volunteers of America in 2019 called Art with a Heart. The exhibition/sale featured Rochester artists, including myself, art donated from area businesses, and sports memorabilia too. The show also featured art from the clients the VOA, including kids from their childcare facility. The idea was to grow the event from a humble little art fundraiser to a prominent Rochester art gala, at least that was my goal! So, I started a series of heart themed tiles with the hopes to make some affordable art for anyone regardless of their budget. I had about a dozen with the plan of making about 30. Well, best laid plans…then COVID hit. So, the fundraiser got shelved, actually every fundraiser everywhere got axed. Needless to say, I will sneak in a heart tile here and there as I work on other things. Perhaps I may feature the heart tiles in a future post, like next month for Valentine’s Day…hmmm.

F8≥F8th≠Mercy, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 16.75" x 22"

I’ve always had a fascination with DaVinci’s Last Supper. From the narrative to the perspective, it’s one of the most compositionally sound paintings ever. Many artists have tackled that subject, from El Greco and Giotto to Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. I wanted to take a spin at painting my own version of the Last Supper, so last summer I took it on. I had something to say about the meaning as well. I question the role of fate in relation to faith, not just Christ or Christianity, but in the broader sense of what we hold as faith and fate. Particularly in the Last Supper, was it Christ’s fate to be betrayed or doubted? Was his divine faith greater than the resignation of his fate? Do we have faith in those we have at our supper table or was it fate that those individuals were meant to be there in our lives? We can change our destiny and actively change the trajectory of our lives. Or, do we lay back and resign ourselves to the universe’s pre-determined outcome?

FemIdilic, 2022

Mixed media and collage with found objects, 14" x 26"

Panel 1 (detail)

Panel 2 (detail)

Another one-off piece I did was combining some objects I purchased at a flee market with a collection of sketches from my sketchbook. In another words, sketches that weren’t complete thoughts or fully realized drawings. They were bits and pieces of thoughts that didn’t have a home in a painting, so I arranged them carefully into a theme and found a way to marry them to the wooden pieces from the flee. The end result was quite, um, girly. I got in touch with my feminine side, I guess.

Parcel Five, Rochester, NY, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20"

The last piece I finished in 2022 was actually something I started back 2021. It’s a cityscape of Parcel 5 in downtown Rochester. It’s the plot of land where Midtown Plaza once stood, which has been vacant since the razing of Midtown in the mid-2000s. Over the last decade many plans came and went for that space from reimagining a new plaza to luxury apartments. The Rochester International Jazz Festival with cooperation of city officials utilized the space as an outdoor venue. Then, the Rochester Fringe Festival used the space. Food truck rodeos and meeting location for BLM demonstrations followed. Thus, the city of Rochester designated Parcel 5 as an outdoor entertainment venue and it’s been just that for the last couple of years. This has been the pivot point in the downtown revitalization project that’ll include retail and mixed housing. I had taken a snapshot on my phone at a show on a night of the jazz festival back in the summer of 2019, before the world went to shit. I then referenced that image to develop a painting that I did in sporadic shifts over the last couple of years.

I’m hoping 2023 brings prosperity, productivity, and creativity for all of us! Again, feel free to share your artistic endeavors we me via the comment section of the blog or with me on social media. I look forward to seeing your art and discussing your creative process.

1,044 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

2 commenti

Bobby Padilla
Bobby Padilla
29 gen 2023

Waiting to see your art...

Mi piace
30 gen 2023
Risposta a

Let me see if I can dig something up!

Mi piace
bottom of page