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

Writer and artist Edward Ficklin (he/him) focuses on illustration and visual storytelling using traditional media. He loves exploring the many facets of queer identity and representation in his stories and images. He's also written for the stage. His major works include Antinous and Hadrian (music by Clint Borzoni), an opera about the ill-fated love affair of a Roman emperor and unknown youth from the stix and The Context of Love Lives, a music-theater work based on the lives and writings of Elizabeth Bishop and Oscar Wilde.

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