John Deckert

Sally's Kitchen, 2020
Oil on Linen
24 x 18 x 0.12 in
Our community hit hard by wildfires these last few years was coming back together, and this young woman standing at Sally's table, seemed to be the thoughtful personification of resilience. "Stay," I said and took a few photographs. The painting that developed from that brief moment hung on a well-lit far wall in exhibition -- my best presentation to date. I was so pleased with it. Then we heard from the governor to wear masks, wash hands, stay in and shut down. Painters wearing masks, spaced apart by timed arrivals, retrieved their work from the walls, and the gallery quietly closed to the public.

My painting is now about friends who can't gather, and galleries that can't open, and paintings that can't be seen in person. The figure portrayed in Sally's Kitchen now waits patiently, and the hint of isolation long gone. She waits for openings, friendly gatherings, and renewed courage to go forward.

Granted, it's hardly the degree of sacrifice that has been demanded of many. It is in fact, quite small. Nonetheless, I feel it acutely, and when I looked at this painting on my studio wall, it seemed somehow appropriate for this virtual exhibition.