Reluctant Changes

Most of us are hunkered down, practicing social distancing due to the recent Coronavirus pandemic.  It is no different in my household.  We are all looking for something to do to occupy ourselves and keep mentally and physically fit.  Those that work from home have a bit of an advantage since their daily routine is already in place.  My husband has always worked from home, so his office is mere steps away.  But, as a real estate broker, he has had to make changes with regard to meeting with clients, visiting sites, etc.  When he is busy, writing emails and letters is far down the list of daily things to do.  He normally keeps in contact through texting and phone calls.  Now, with social distancing, he has been given the opportunity to keep in contact by writing lengthier letters and emails.  It is also really nice to slow down and reach out to old friends, catching up when busier times prevent it.  


As an artist, I feel fortunate that I can continue to follow my passion since I have my studio at home.   I’m glad I can communicate with students and fellow artists and share ideas and projects to work on.  This downtime has given me the opportunity to explore my artistic vision and try new things.  And, what I mean by new things is that it has forced me to make some reluctant changes.  


In recent years, my inspirational source for paintings has mostly been urban and rural landscapes.  During this pandemic, I have reluctantly given up most plein air painting, only doing brief sketches and taking photographs from my car.  And, while I feel it would be relatively safe to do some “outside” plein air painting, it almost always results in an audience, curious on-lookers which in normal days, I welcome.  But, today with social distancing requirements, this would have me continually looking over my shoulder, trying to avoid close contact.  FYI, I have a daughter living at home who would be in the very high-risk category for this virus, so we need to be vigilant and not bring it home to her.


So, I’m staying indoors.  I’ve always said you don’t have to go far to find subjects to paint, just look around you, step outside your back door, look at things close-up and from afar-eventually you will find something that inspires you.  This is a good time for me to put this into practice.  I’ve gone exploring inside my home.  China cabinets to boxed up toys.  Linens to raiding the refrigerator.  I finally found a subject that I always told myself someday I would paint.  That day is now.  


Teacups and teapots have had a lot of meaning to me over the years.   My sister and I received teacups as gifts from my British-American grandmother, Mumsy.  She brought these back to us from a trip to visit family in England.  They have been stored away in my china cabinet for many years.  I’ve also collected teapots over the years and received these as gifts from loved ones.  These teapots range from a traditional look to others that depict a painting on an easel or player piano.  These would make nice painting subjects, too.  


So, I’ve started on the teacups.  I’ll move into the teapots next.  Looking at it optimistically, taking a break and finding new subjects will leave me refreshed and inspired to do some plein air landscapes when this pandemic breaks.   I think it is good to try new things, in all aspects of our lives.  Sometimes it takes a work of nature to push us in other directions and make these reluctant changes. 


I still miss my landscapes; they are my comfort zone I suppose.  But, if I feel the need to find global inspiration versus the interior of my home, there is always Google Earth!  :o)  There are art groups that paint solely from scenes found on Google Earth.  That may be a good source just to explore and see other regions, especially if I tire of looking inward and want to connect with the outside world.  In spite of the pandemic, our Earth is a beautiful place.  So, when I tire of teacups and teapot paintings, I may turn to a  more global, Google Earth view to paint. 



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