Melinda K. Hall
"So, Whatcha Been Up To?"  (2020)  

Giacobbe Fritz Fine Art
702 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Friday, July 10, 2020
5-7 pm

"So, what was I up to in the fall of 2019? A whole lot. For one thing, that's when I began painting this show; the happenings of hectic daily life were working their way to canvas. I was training a puppy, an energetic Australian Shepherd named Piper, who was discovering her world through tiny, razor-sharp teeth. Believe me, it was a constant challenge to save my shoes and furniture from total destruction.

Planning a 4000 mile winter road trip with my husband, Gary, was also becoming an almost full-time job, an adventure built around bonding with this new dog and seeing different parts of the country. The logistics of organizing such an excursion brought to light that it takes a whole lot of effort to prepare to relax! Forethought also included drafting copious lists and amassing necessary provisions for our sweet cat, Skauti, who would be left behind with her sitter. My show reflected what was going on, but there was no definite theme to adhere to, simply a running narrative.

Returning back home in late January, I was again in the studio. I remember looking at one of my large canvases leaning against the wall: two classic woven beach chairs, sit empty, surrounded by timeless paraphernalia for relaxing by the ocean. I had the thought: will viewers think it strange the beach is there without the human trace? No bodies, no footprints? In retrospect, this painting is eerily prescient.

When Covid-19 invaded our world in early 2020, I simply could not ignore it in my work. The virus is unspeakably deadly and devastating. However, I also find that our shared, life- changing experiences during this epidemic merits investigation and documentation. I can't help myself from trying to find a little humor, some joy, a bit of bright light, even in the most serious of subjects."