I find I need the escape that creating brings more and more often as this crazy year continues.
I participated in another “paint along” online session. This time with a talented artist and teacher Julie Wurtele of “Artfully You” (visit her on You-Tube!), initially put on through the Oakville Art Society.
We started by painting our canvas all black and cutting in the colour to create the scene. It was fun and I was very impressed how Julie navigated the various ages and abilities online while juggling any intermittent internet access challenges. She is very supportive and relaxed and held everyone’s attention. You would never know that online group classes were new for her too! Here are my efforts with her produced this waterfall scene (don’t get splashed!):
Back to the “day to day”
Weeks have passed by, filled in with gardening, organizing online grocery lists, sorting files and piles throughout our home (which seems to have resulted in more piles of stuff to do!), cleaning, watching TV (but avoiding the news), and “repeat”. A bit like “Groundhog Day”. Keeping disciplined is a challenge as the days blur together! ZOOM meetings and FaceTime get togethers with family and friends help us to socialize and catch up with everyone safely.
A commitment I made gives me some much needed discipline
I’ve been a member of Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan Cancer Support Service since 2014. In 2010, as a way to “give back” I painted a watercolour of the rear view of the house with its picturesque pond to commemorate their 10th anniversary.
It seemed only fitting that a couple of years ago I made a commitment to paint a rendition of their expanded house for their 20th Anniversary. Needless to say, all of their services have moved online during the pandemic but in the spirit that “this can’t last forever”, I completed the painting for them and dropped it off last month (safely social distancing). This time I used acrylics and painted the front view of the house -which has expanded since 2010. My goal was to project some of the strength and light that this amazing place gives to people, especially during challenging times!
Grounding myself with art!
Time marched on and I found myself really needing another paint day! So I browsed through my “muse” file that I’ve collected over the years. I thought I should try out some of Julie’s techniques from the waterfall online exercise we did and so I came up with this: (photo reference credit to Mark A. Hunter of Newcastle UK: markahunter.com).
There’s something solid and sustaining about old bridges and when you add in the cooling moss and soothing water, you can only win! I’m not sure what is next. I have a very large canvas sitting on my easel that I’ve been working on occasionally: truly a “work in progress”! We’ll see how it goes. I enjoy painting the smaller snapshots or postcards in between. One silver lining to all this social isolation is that I have picked up my paints again. There’s been lots of time for reflecting upon where we’ve been, where we are and honestly not much of the “where are we going” as at the moment this is it: here and now, “just being”! Isn’t that all we really have anyway? Enjoy today (every day) and stay safe everyone!