After January I never made it back to my studio. I left for major back surgery, barely in time to beat the first reports of COVID. I returned to my apartment in mid-Cambridge and settled in for an extended recovery.

Unable to pick up on last year’s artwork – which were the acrylic transfer collages that remained on the walls of my studio – my hands itched for something to do. Tearing up paper wasn’t it, at least not without getting wet with gel all over my apartment. Physically, baking was too soon. I started to write. A journal, first. More recently, the start of a novel – well, maybe.

But then, there was this tree out my living room window on the sixth floor. Suddenly calling. An elm, I wondered? Only partially visible behind the three-story homes across the street. When I looked at it furthest back from my kitchen table, its branches filled the window. It was huge. But when I got up close to the window itself, the surrounding buildings swallowed it up. Odd.

Curious. I picked up my camera, the tiny digital Canon 110 which I had used to take pictures of the collages in my studio. For those, however, I relied on the automatic setting to guide me. These, I would try manual. Teach myself. What started then in winter, before we really knew from COVID, spread through June. More than 650 shots later, I stopped. Then I edited down to a final thirty, which is what you see on my website today.

Bobby Vilinsky

Bobby Vilinsky, Self Portrait, at Waltham Open Studios 2020

Fall 2020