Art I Made in Q2–2021

Chuk Moran
4 min readDec 15, 2021

This was an amazing time of rapid transition for me, from COVID lockdown to first vaccination. I got a one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in March, so was feeling confident to play outside my “pod” by April.

The transition wasn’t instant, but outdoor playing became much more acceptable, and so I did a lot of work for this (including many smaller pieces not shown here including a new rendition of the crazy croquet game). So most of my art was for outdoor applications or was for a basically intimate audience, such as myself, housemates, or family.

I took some formulas that had been rewarding during lockdown and put them into more time intensive pieces that I expected to last.

Art for My Peeps

The Nicer Chandelier

After learning by building several cardboard chandos, I used Gene’s CNC router to cut out this nice one. Later it was painted and given silver chain. Lives by the front door and I turn it on for cozy nights in.

Spiky Thing in Tree

It’s a 2 year old hot glue piece that’s been living in the tree out front. I cleaned it up and painted it blue. I like the edgy terror aspect, for such a happy spicy little pixel.

The 76 for Mom

Pretty whimsical and off the cuff solution. Gene has this CNC Router, though, so this was good practice plus a quick win.
I like making a new one of this series every year.

Outdoor Chair Pair

Saw this in a thrift store. We were replacing the big chairs in the backyard, which had always been hard to work with. I loved this idea because it looks nice and you. can build it without any special tricks.
I like how this project required me to do the job right, not cutting any corners. Measuring precisely, sanding, using the annoying oil-based finish. However, this model was quickly cast aside as Gene pointed out I should make it a modular love seat.
Neighbor had some white outdoor cushions they didn’t need. Home Depot sold me a product called Outdoor Fabric Spray Paint. This is a pretty acceptable look and I endorse the product! Makes no sense to me, but it sure works.
In practice, it’s mostly the cat sitting on these so they get a cover. Really cute how they can be separate chairs or one love seat. Also good practice doing all that sanding and finishing.

Cloud Coffee Table One

I had cut this cloud shape with a jigsaw for an outdoor LED project a few years ago. Now that we had a roommate move out, we needed a coffee table! I put this together quickly and love that it has 3 legs, is lightweight, and is cute. Our house is called Cloud Castle.

Skull Tattoo Test

Given that I am likely to bald progressively, I wanted to explore a sick tattoo that could hide under my remaining hair in a bald spot. This is pretty excellent and while it’s a bit extreme with a shaved head, I would definitely consider doing a tattoo along these lines in the future! Great test. Sharpie work by Renee.

Art for Other People

Albany Bulb

I like the bulb because it’s lawless. It’s an exception to contemporary society but very nearby. The space doesn’t make anyone any money or help them get elected. No one is allowed to live there and no one can buy it. So no one is hired to keep it boring or make us be regular, tidy little consumers. Instead we can do whatever, build whatever, and it’s great. Also it’s a charming peninsula on the bay, with pretty good natural beauty and plenty of trash. And art.

I explored different cube-like shapes to light up during the long lockdown times. Here I got to take some of the failed experiments out and give them a home at Albany Bulb! There are 3 of these and they have done well for themselves there. Photo from the day I hung it!
Our art glade is doing so well that someone installed a bench for it!
I brought out some 1"x3" to build this simple cube on site, then we painted it.
I got it onto a tree and gave it some nice color fades. The bulb has embraced it and it made lots of friends over the summer!
Tyson built this great little bench. It’s a swing base, but attached here just to make a nice simple seat for one.

Birds for the Street

In the previous quarter, I built the big bird and redecorated it. Now I add a second bird! Jig saw and spray paint. Freehanded off a quick sketch by Dana. Lots of people like these birds and The Man can easily remove them by simply lifting them straight up.
CNC router for this quick vector art done in Figma.
Painted this bird and put it out there as bird number 3.

Entryway to Awkward Party

Very simple piece for a party thrown together very quickly. I shredded some white fabric, tied in balloons, and put googly eyes on those balloons. I think it made for a nice entrance. Better than just a door.

The Jolly Dog

The first festival after lockdown. I was definitely in, even though maybe not exactly my vibe and I hadn’t been before. We tried to build an art boat that gave out hotdogs, but instead ran a bustling beach bar. With hot dogs. The Jolly Dog.

My first art with flags! I learned about pirate flags so much that I could freestyle this nonsense.
Maybe our most “official” logo, we had three flags so got to fuck around with them. One even made it out to an island in the lake.
Classic sign. The skull is another example of the inverse piece with messy brushwork looking great.
I’m most proud of the floor. I’ve never tried to provide a floor for a project, but this won us a huge chunk of real estate at the end of the beach. We were the music, the booze, the snacks, and the theme party. Going classic pirate was a good proof of concept. It’s not a great theme, I learned. But I can certainly do it. Fun accent to learn.
Great example of getting the ball rolling in the right direction and the collaborators do their magic! We had rice krispie treats decorated as pirates (and zombie pirates) as well as special mix drinks, treasure maps, gold coins, fresh brewed ginger ale, and much more. Really a lovely summer weekend.
Nailed this simple graphic design bonus project.

So What?

This was some good art in a heady time. Vaccination was a huge transition and the main art at this time was just to have a gathering at all! I remember thinking that May was the best month of my entire life, and then realizing that June was maybe even better.

I like the work I did during this time and recognize that most of it was wood! This makes sense, because I had been working in wood before and, while wood prices were still very high (they shot up during the first year of COVID), I had plenty to reuse.

Compared to most people, I came out of lockdown strong, with better physical, mental, and financial health than most. We found people who were very excited to join up for projects and make some fun happen. I know that many people had a harder time coming back from lockdown, but I was chomping at the bit and had the free time, especially as work went slack during this period as I fell out of favor and was not included in many projects. It all turned out well and the next quarter was very good too.