As the year comes to an end, and a new one begins, I thought to share some momentous occasions, some of our toughest tribulations, and what I've accomplished, both in the studio, and in my scholarly work.
By far the best thing that happened this year: Elizabeth is due in May with our third baby. We are all excited about this new addition to the family! Griffin will turn four just a month prior, and he's definitely looking forward to having a new brother or sister. Elliot loves babies, and always wants to hold them whenever he sees one, or when we have friends over that have an infant. He got a doll for Christmas, from that new movie Moana that he takes care of as if it's his own.
**[UPDATE] I guess the word is out, via my wife on Facebook, so I can reveal it here: We are having a boy, and his name will be Theodore Francis Badillo!
Around the beginning of this year, my studio work changed quite drastically from where I was during the last three years. I've been calling this new period 'Neoclassical,' but I think that definitions of my work are always limiting. I wouldn't want to box myself in, and I think it all kind of makes sense in retrospect for some reason. Five or ten years down the line, it's all something to look back on. I think this may be particularly true for me, since so much of what I create is from memory, both in terms of the meaning of the work, as well as the technique.
Overall, it has been an incredibly productive year in the studio, especially considering that I've also been busy being the stay-at-home dad for two boys, working on my dissertation, and teaching online. As of December 28th, I am (as far as the works I've counted) I have at this point, completed my thirty-third painting. Here are a few highlights:
Many of these works take their influence from ancient Roman and Greek painting. In some of the work, I deliberately applied the paint to emulate the look of deteriorated frescoes and wall paintings from Rome and Pompeii.
This year, I also completed my first sculpture in stone. A rather stoic study of Elizabeth in limestone. I really love working in this new medium. When I can afford it, I'm going to order marble instead of limestone, and a bit bigger piece perhaps.
Something that was hard to deal with this year, was watching my mom deteriorate even further with Alzheimer's. She can't communicate verbally, she no longer walks, and she can't eat solid food. But I go visit her, and I hope she still knows me somehow. I love her, and she is my mother, and I know she still knows herself in there, and knows me and knows that people love her. The difficult part of seeing someone develop Alzheimer's, is that it's a long-term grieving process, since they live with it for so long. But it still feels good to go and touch her and hold her hand. My grandmother too, is in poor health, and may not be around too much longer either.
Overall, it's been a great year. I'm very thankful to all of my family and friends. Beyond being a productive year in the studio, I also became ABD, and I have quite a draft in progress for my dissertation.
I will also be showing two pieces in an upcoming museum exhibition at the Udinotti Museum here in Phoenix.
As I look toward 2017, I see good things coming our way. The new baby, new art to make, a dissertation to finish, and to publish as my first book. Most of all, love for one another and for family, and to cherish the brief moments that we call life.