Covid Years 1 & 2 (2020-21)
The Covid-19 Pandemic, beginning in January 2020, affected everyone on our planet. Kamla and I did not return to India for the first time in 17 years for our annual six-month sojourn. Traveling and getting to BehtaPani was too unsafe especially as we age and with our health issues. We had to postpone our return in 2021 as well with the Delta Variant dangers.
My Del Mar studio was in cluttered disarray after many years of not working in it. So unfortunately, only a few paintings were done the whole year.Paintings and drawings were primarily done in the mountains of Idyllwild, two hours from Del Mar—a place we both love for its dense forests. The town of Idyllwild is at 5200 feet elevation. The surrounding San Bernardino Forest is filled with wonderful granite peaks including Mt. San Jancinto(the highest elevation 10,860 ft in Southern California. Expansive views to the west reveal the Pacific Ocean and to the east the Soronan Desert. We spent a week in March to celebrate my 75th birthday.
A second year of self-isolation in Del Mar with two trips to Idyllwild. New friends, Dan and Babli, were incredibly generous and made their spectacular mountain cabin available to us. I set up a small workspace on the lower level and also did many drawings enpleineaire. Works on Paper were my sole output using graphite sticks, pencil, and pastels. The K-Energy Series were done weekly completing175 drawings. Out of this series, I pushed to evolve my compositional themes and expression resulting in the Bindu Series, a Zen mixture of rough textural effects and lyrical minimalist.
Photography, during these two years, was an almost daily practicewith a mix of representational, nature, abstract, and conceptual themes. A few limited-edition book/albums were created along with prints of varying sizes.