Returnings of the year

Life outside the studio may be on hold, but the art-making continues. I’m grateful for the manifold privileges of health, safety, and security that allow this. The last year held challenges for all of us, but it would be the height of ignorance and arrogance for me to complain without at least some acknowledgement of wide range of impacts the events of the year had.

Curtailing outside activity means more time in the studio which means more exploration. Currently on tap: further study of human anatomy and deepening my painting skills. I will continue to experiment with transparency vs. opacity through the less prominent medium of gouache. It’s got a lot going for it, despite being somewhat overlooked by artists. I find myself drawn to its protean nature, living in a liminal space between oils and watercolor.

While I play with light, I’ll await returns. The return of spring’s light and warmth, of course. I also hope gentler temperatures and longer days in the Northern hemisphere will co-arise with fandom gatherings, selling in person, browsing by touch, and all the surprise discoveries of the bazaar. Whether by karma or disposition, it is in these contexts that I feel I do best–not the rapidly swirling and chaotic kaleidoscope of the digital realm.

Alas, also visible on the horizon are looming economic storms. Those storms tend to bring serious cultural fallout. The first and favorite target of the austerity champions is always the artists–not the arts, mind you, but the artists themselves. How will queer expression, particularly of a sexual nature fare? I don’t know and I vacillate between hope and despair. The despair of yet another round of the same tired arguments. But hope, yes hope, because we saw this last year a dramatic awakening, of renewed calls for true, and long overdue, social justice. I hope deeply this year sees the return of the tide of justice, too long out, that truly lifts all boats.

Published by eddy

Shyly courting the limelight, composer and librettist Edward Ficklin has found his way in the new music world -- and discovered his voice as an artist -- working with collectives like the New York Composers Circle and the South Oxford Six. Trained in classical composition and English literature at the University of Denver, he finds inspiration in the small details and sounds of everyday life. Passionately pursuing operatic ambitions, he has realized his works in a number of unusual venues, like a store window near Grand Central Station, a disused (and abused) bank lobby near the World Trade Center, lofts,a former movie theater, and a number of churches of various denominations. Edward hopes someday to find his way to the Metropolitan Opera. In 2003 he formed the Voyeur Theater Ensemble, an ensemble dedicated to his work for the stage (any stage, that is) and is actively involved in the composers collective The South Oxford Six. Edward also serves on the Artists Advisory Council of Fractured Atlas, a national service organization for independent and self-producing artists. Visit his relentless audio blog at www.soundbiting.org.

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