Old school mix tape

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Takin it back to the old school

Cause I’m an old fool 

Who’s so cool

No, it’s not downtown Covington on New Year’s eve pre-covid where the Hopkins sisters, among the oldest people in the bar and tired of not knowing any of the music, have decided to request and then get on stage to sing (almost) all of the correct lyrics to “Whoomp! There it is.” 

No, no, not that at all. It’s just the refrain I keep hearing as I think about my newest collection of paintings. Back in college, when I finally, after two semesters of pre reqs got to take painting for the first time, I quite often would paint over paintings I didn’t like. Later, as my paint got thicker and my confidence rivaled that of any 90s MC, I started to purposefully layer rowdy texture over rowdy texture, unconcerned with the difficult terrains I would later have to navigate. 

A few weeks ago, we started moving into the house that has been years in the making. I’m still painting in the garage at the old place as we are working to finish out my new studio. Knowing I’ll have to clear it all out soon, I opted to take it old school (like an old fool)– there was a stack of paintings in the corner that had been sitting there way too long. Rather than introduce more canvas into the already crowded space I’m going to have to clean out soon, I decided to try to breathe some life into the waste pile, the way I so often did in my 20s. The process was nostalgic. Half comfort food– chicken noodle soup– and half exotic new cuisine. The most gratifying part was making something old, new. Something tucked away in a corner back under the light of my studio lamp. 

And I didn’t stop there. Rather than worry, as I am so prone to do, that I wouldn’t have a cohesive collection, I went full out mix tape, painting all the small canvases I had left with some of my greatest hits subject matter– birds, abstracts, flowers, figures. There’s not a whole lot of rhyme or reason, and I flit from one subject to the next with the abandon of an almost-forty-year old singing Tag Team in front of a, let’s call them, “much younger crowd.” 

I have some big plans for my new studio. I have some outlines for some deeply cohesive series and subjects. But for now, I truly hope you’ll enjoy my mix tape collection hitting the site tomorrow, April 13 at 9 am. 

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

April 12, 2021

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