A Year None Of Us Could Have Imagined
Original Story: Portland Press Herald – Dec 27th 2020
Written By: Bob Keyes
Photo: Brianna Soukup
‘I felt so safe in a world that was telling me I was unsafe’
Artist Eva Rose Goetz, 68, converted an upstairs room at her South Portland home into a studio and painted her way through the pandemic, Black Lives Matter and the turbulent presidential election. Beginning Jan. 5, she will show her paintings at Elizabeth Moss Galleries in Falmouth.
“When I heard that we were going to be asked not to leave our houses,” Goetz said, “I gathered up paints and supplies and all the canvases I hadn’t used yet, packed them in my car and brought them home. I was working in this teeny little room upstairs. It’s amazing what you can do in a little room. I felt so safe here. I felt so safe in a world that was telling me I was unsafe. At first, did we all know how airborne it was? I don’t think we did. Remember, we were all washing our groceries?
“Do you remember, pretty soon after that, planes had stopped? Cars had stopped. Do you remember we were seeing these satellite photos of how the air was clearing all over the world? And many of us who are concerned about the environment and climate change, we said, ‘Holy – whatever!’ Look what we could do if we wanted to, if we could just stop, and start looking at things differently and re-examining our actions. For many of us, it opened our eyes in a whole different way.
“My paintings have followed the year chronologically, as current events, but they have also followed it emotionally. The tenor and mood of what has been going on in the nation are reflected in my paintings. I have worked harder this year than I ever have, following my own rhythm, my own whims.
“One of the positive things that came out of this year, my kids, who are adult children, came home. One came home from Mexico. I think she got the last plane out before Mexico closed down. And my other daughter, who was in Boston, also felt it was best to come home. So everyone was here. It is a gift to have our adult children around us, and my relationship has deepened with both of them, which has been so wonderful.
“I am feeling positive. I think many of us realize we have a lot work to do. I am hoping. But it is going to be a lonely winter. I will be moving in with some friends in Duluth, Minnesota, who have invited me to come, and I am excited about that. I am ready to be in a cozy, familiar, inter-generational situation, and I think it will be fun. I have never spent a winter in Minnesota. I did buy some nice warm boots. I have my cross-country skis. I am ready to go.”
– Bob Keyes