Thriving in lockdown

I admit it, there were some tense moments during the past 9 weeks and every day is imprinted with a dull anxiety of wondering what I could be doing better to prepare for an uncertain future. But today I woke up early, sat in the chilly morning air with my coffee, and went to work on a project I suddenly felt inspired to conquer, and I finally felt like myself again.

Untitled. Watercolor and gouache. 4.5” x 4.5”.

My #artalonetogether2020 project was sputtering along these last few weeks. Some of the others who participated started to submit their work to the group Instagram page. I thought I would create a sketchbook with 36 pages, each page depicting a daily element. I got about 8 pages along and didn’t know how it would translate without any ties between the elements. So I recalibrated, and started with a blue square on my 4.5” x 6” card. Then drew 4 intersecting circles in the corners, and one in the center. That became the peach. I picked a cilantro leaf (herb) and traced it. Googled waffle cone and added that in the corner, same with circus tents, lace, seeds, and so forth until I checked off all 34 items. I had to brainstorm for an item starting with the letter “j” and chose jewels (also a nod to my Granny Jewell). I started when the sun was just coming over the east fence, took a cereal break at 1pm, and finished as it set over the west fence.

I’m so grateful for the friends who invited me to be part of this group. We are all creative types with day jobs that pay the bills. In spite of the narrative we keep hearing about how hard it is to be socially distancing, we are secretly thriving. As we go through our days with fewer interactions, we find comfort and strength from looking inward for answers. Today was a huge breakthrough for me, and it gave me the confidence to begin practicing my skills with a new goal: honoring my creative decisions from the beginning to the end.

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