Life got real weird, real quick and I ran for the bunker. Both figuratively and literally. Inside my home, inside my head, and shut the outside world off mostly. I felt like a train derailed and questioned everything: life, art, the world, and where I was heading. My ability to concentrate took a big hit, so I puttered around doing this and that, and nothing at all.
I made masks. I learned to make vector graphics. I took photographs, which made me question am I a photographer who paints, or a painter who photographs? (On a side note: I have been criticized in the past for being all over the place artistically. I view it as a highly creative person who, rather than getting a side job to help pay the bills, diversifies her creative outlets. A side hustle if you will, or a day job and the other day job!) Photography came first, and in this time of shut down has still provided a bit of income where art sales have been zero. Ouch! Even more surprisingly, I have had income from doing something which I regarded as totally frivolous and just for fun. Illustrations, which prompted me to take that aspect of my creative self a bit more seriously.
I hit a wall with painting, and I’m still trying to push through it in little pieces. One of the amazing things to come out of this is with five months of no painting sales, I didn’t have any pressure to paint ‘saleable’ works, so could put on the mad scientist hat and create experimental works and generally go wherever the winds took me on any given day. One day I might work on digital illustrations, one day I might paint. One day I might take photos. One day I might sketch. One day I might throw caution to the wind and combine several of those things as I did with the following pieces.
This piece resulted from one of those super vivid dreams I had which I just couldn’t forget. I had dreamt that Flamingos came to our old farm (far, far from Florida!). They were so beautiful and tame. I was petting them and feeding them little morsels. But one became way too pushy and kind of ruined the party (and my dream). The piece involves graphite and coloured pencil on mylar mounted on top of a B&W pinhole photograph printed on watercolour paper.
In a way it represents me coming full circle back to where my art career began in creating photographs combined with paintings. Back then I was doing abstract watercolour paintings and then printing directly on top of that. Or doing digital compositions combining abstract paintings with my photographs.
This quarantine life has also proven an answer to a question I’ve often asked myself and others, what would you paint if no one was watching? I’m still hunkered down and trying to distance myself from the outside world, but I feel my inspiration and creativity ramping up into a higher gear than they’ve been for months. Who knows……maybe even a plein air excursion will be in the near future!