Best of Times, Worst of Times, 2020

2020 was a time of absurd contradictions and daily chaos. We were told that what we saw and heard was not actually happening. When I finished my paintings for the show there were over 445,000 deaths from COVID, racial unrest and division across the country, and the ravages of climate change were upon us.


As I scrolled through my social media, in between the chaos, I saw joy. I saw photos of my friends and their weddings, new babies, first days of school and summer vacations.


It reminded me of a quote from Albert Camus:


"In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that…In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back."


 It reminded me that even though it looks dark, good is also right here. Within me, there is the ability to see and be the good, that “invincible summer.”

Wedding Day, 2020, watercolor, ink, charcoal, triptych.

First Catch, 2020, watercolor, ink, charcoal, triptych.

Baby Girl, 2020, watercolor, ink, charcoal, triptych.

First Day of School, 2020, watercolor, ink, charcoal, triptych.

Good Kids, Bad Apples, 2020, watercolor, charcoal, triptych.

Mama, I Can’t Breathe, 2020, watercolor, charcoal, triptych.

 “Mama I Can’t Breathe” is a little different from the rest of the pieces in this series. This piece is bigger than the rest because this matter needs more attention right now. I see generations of mothers that worry about their vulnerable, innocent kids. I see George Floyd, as he leaves us, holding the hand of his young daughter that may be another generation of mother. In this painting they are at the beach, a place where I have always felt safe. They should feel safe. But the sky is grey and they are not safe yet.

500 people, 11 x 14

500 people (Dots are not People), 2020, Pen and Ink. At the time of hanging the show, if you made 1040 copies of this poster it would show the number of people that have died of COVID in the United States.

* The top piece on each triptych shows dots that represent how many people had died from COVID at the time I finished each piece. It started with 16 deaths and ended with 445,000, not more than 10 months later. As I was finishing up, the average deaths from COVID were 3000 a day. My daughter’s grandpa, David Mitchell died of COVID on 6/22/2020. My friend Leslie Perlis died from COVID on 2/24/21.

Twenty Women Artists, NOW exhibition at Oceanside Museum of Art