How was your week everybody?
I certainly had an interesting one, full of ups and downs, spending time enjoying the beautiful fall scenery while coming to terms that we are now in a Red Zone and must self-isolate again, cannot visit restaurants or gyms anymore… I am also deep into Inktober right now and will post about this later.
But this 35th week of daily drawings was still about the neighbourhood. And although some of the paintings are depicting things I have not personally seen lately with the Covid crisis, the sidewalk café shows things as they are here: Empty and quiet. This is the only digital painting of the lot, all others being watercolours.
I wrote a piece for my writing group this week about how our neighbourhoods have changed since the pandemic arrived. Now that we are in the midst of the second wave, it has become more difficult to keep our spirits up.
I see people putting their dreams and goals on hold or just plain giving up on them. Uncertainty is all around. It was there before but not in such a dramatic way. Climate change has reached a level that people are finally taking notice. I say finally because nothing is happening now that hasn’t been predicted for over 30 years, including scenarios of out of control fires, melting of glaciers, rising of sea levels, death of wildlife and pandemics, yet governments are still not taking steps to reverse the trend. Is it even possible at this point? The world’s unrest and the upsetting increase in violence and hate in the US fuelled by their own elected officials, is terrifying to say the least. If you are being affected negatively by all that is going on, take heart, things will change, they always do. Life is all about challenges and impermanence but 2020 is becoming something to remember to say the least.
Despite all this, perhaps because of it, we need art more than every before. I admit that it has been difficult at times to pick up a paint brush and create. How can we find motivation to create when the world is falling apart? For me, one of the ways is to continue my project of a drawing a day, although I find myself hardly working on large paintings these days.
As artists, we need to make art, it is part of our DNA and in this environment of stress, uncertainty and anxiety, art becomes a safe place to be, hopefully where the inner critic is kept at bay. This time spent with ourselves, enjoying playing and being ourselves is so important right now. Learning to know ourselves again, to accept who we are with our limitations and failings but also with all our qualities and personality makes us better people. When I can spend some time in my bubble, alone with my brush, canvas or paper and my thoughts, this is a special moment that grounds me.
I sometimes wonder if it is the responsible thing to do, to just be me, alone in my studio, trying to ignore the world for a few hours. I feel I should contribute more even if there is little I can influence or control at this point. All the intrusions into my peace affect me in a scary way. I worry about my children’s future, the fate of the abused and discriminated, about what is becoming of the world.
In stepping away from the noise, I believe I am able to live my life with intention and integrity, to be truer to myself. It allows me to help and participate in my family, friends and acquaintances’ lives in a way I would not be able to, if I didn’t have that space and time to paint, draw or write. I become a better person each time I create and I hope this helps me to produce true and lasting change for the ones I love and those I come in contact with.
It is not an easy time right now but as the saying goes “This too shall pass”. When we emerge on the other side, we’ll be grateful for our creative moments and that we continued to build our skills. Remember that Albert Einstein famously said: “Creativity is contagious, pass it on!”. We are all artists, we are all creative beings and we deserve to enjoy art.
Have a great week and Stay Safe everyone!
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