022 / Pandemic Artwork Stories


022 / pandemic artwork stories


Where are you painting from and what have you been doing to keep busy?

I live and work in Arizona. When I created “Harmony” I was living in Scottsdale but moved to Phoenix in the past two weeks. Despite the lockdown, I have been very busy. My studio is located in an old “retired” school but it was locked anyway per the governor’s orders. I had to quickly carve a small space at home to continue working. I was working on a portrait commission at that time and did not feel any difference in my work routine - apart from having my supplies in bags and boxes. At that time I also started a new series in mixed media. I am still incredibly busy. In addition to preparing for a major studio tour in November I have been awarded a grant by the Arizona Commission on the Arts to teach three virtual classes and my art keeps me busy, no matter what.

How did you find inspiration from your surroundings for it?

Having a much reduced work space and worrying about the length of the lockdown (which seriously affected my teaching and my income), I felt I needed to root myself in something stable and peaceful. “Harmony” was the result. Although I never used purple in this quantity, I felt that a spiritual color was needed. The texture of this piece belies the apparent simplicity. There are many layers of Venetian plaster and a great deal of acrylic color but the face of the piece is calm, stable, serene.

What is one positive that has come from this experience for you?

The one most significant positive that came from this experience for me was the beginning of a new series that came about totally by happenstance. I am very excited about it and am looking forward to adding to the series. I called this series, “The Light” series for two reasons: 1. It brought me joy when fear and worries were the daily portion; 2. The colors change depending on where the painting is hung and where the light hits.

What is one of your favorite pieces in the collection from a fellow artist?

One of my favorite pieces in The Great American Painting is by Trish Coonrod. It is a skilled painting and close to an abstraction. The delicate positioning of the tomatoes, almost falling off the brick, tickles my sense of humor. The colors are rich and the daring composition denotes a sophisticated mind.

Learn more about Bela's artwork and story