Jeff Gola

Iris Farm, South Jersey, May 2020
Egg Tempera
11 x 14 in
I went into March of 2020 with no art deadlines or commitments, and I stuck with my plan: simply spend the spring and summer painting what I wanted, using my backlog of photos I’d taken in the area over the years, and take short trips to further explore and sketch. I also looked forward to painting some springtime subjects for a change, as I had previously focused on winter scenes. So, when quarantine hit, not much had changed for my process except for putting aside thoughts of outdoor trips until later.

I started “Iris Farm” based on the sights and memories of my local farm landscape, with the garden plots and their stands of multicolored German Iris. These plants last for years, often providing a direct link to family and neighbors long gone, and for a time no farmhouse or small-town yard was without some. While I often focus on structures and sights which seem ordinary, I’m mostly attracted to those which seem to have an ephemeral nature and will be changed beyond recognition or will be completely gone soon. Egg tempera, my chosen medium, is a slow process given to introspective thoughts as one layers the paint to build the image. Lately, my thoughts while working on this and other pieces tend towards wondering how our common sights will be changing as we proceed through this, and how much more rapidly we will see the disappearance of many old remnants and businesses that have been taken for granted.