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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

New Possibilities in Unexpected Times

There is a difference between solitude and isolation. One is connected, and one isn't. Solitude replenishes, and isolation diminishes. The quarantine of Covid19 had an unimaginable unexpected impact on millions of lives worldwide. One Cave Creek, Arizona resident describes it as, "My wife and I were grounded, we ate out of the freezer, couldn't go anywhere or do anything outside the boundaries of our compressed world." In Reg Monachino’s mind, this was the ultimate in isolation. Then one day, while watching YouTube videos, he came across an acrylic painting demonstration, and the rest, as we say, "is history." The diminishment of isolation evolved into the replenishment of solitude.

To a guy born and brought up in the Bronx, New York, isolation was not even in his vocabulary. As a kid in the city, the opportunity to play stickball in the street with the neighborhood kids was Reg's early introduction to negotiation and cooperation skills he would need later in life. After high school, Reg headed north to Ontario, Canada, to complete his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the Universite D’Ottawa. With a degree in hand, Reg completed his active duty in the US Army Infantry as a 1st Lieutenant before heading off to seek his fortune on Wall Street. Reg says, "I was discharged on a Monday, and the next Monday, I was on the subway down to Wall Street looking for a job. I always knew that I would someday work on Wall Street." He recalls, "I stopped at the first building I came to and was there for 20 years." His endurance paid off. Over the next thirty-five years, Reg moved from hundred dollars a week operations job to Vice President of the company before retiring and moving to the Valley of the Sun.

Eventually, intending to live in the open space of the Sonoran Desert, he built a home in Cave Creek, Arizona. He went about the task of getting involved in the community. "In my former life, I enjoyed the politics of the job; I enjoyed the game." Knowing he could make a difference set to work as Treasurer of a local private school and was appointed to several town committees and commissions, which eventually earned him election to a seat on the Cave Creek Town Council. In March 2020, the whole structure of volunteer work and community involvement came crashing down with the Covid19 quarantine.

As the weeks dragged on and commercial programming became stale, Reg's wife, Silver, suggested he might check out some art classes on YouTube. The seed planted, Reg found his love for cooking could be adapted, "I quickly saw the benefits of adopting 'mis en place,' a culinary process in which ingredients are assembled before cooking could be applied to art." Now he applied this philosophy to acrylic painting; a star was born! Just as any star is formed, the process is natural, developing over time and constantly growing into brilliance.

"I quickly saw the benefits of adopting 'mis en place,' a culinary process in which ingredients are assembled before cooking could be applied to art."

Today, artist Reg Monachino works from his home studio; blank canvases stacked against the wall represent what is to come, and paints and palettes cover the surface of his workspace, all awaiting the magic of the master's energy to create their form. The adventure in creative expression has taken hold of the form Wall Street mind moving the processes from left brain structure to right brain imagination and fun, with no end in sight. Reg's knowledge of his medium is expanded through his membership with the Sonoran Arts League and Arizona Art Alliance. Reg exhibits with both organizations and the Camelback Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona. Suppose there is anything positive emerging from the Covid19 epidemic of 2020. In that case, the creative force in all spectrums of life has grown in geometric proportions ushering in a level of creation we all need to develop a sustainable future.

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