I have been continuing to make pandemic art. I am finding that most of these paintings require a lot more preparation than my usual paintings do. I’ll give a couple of examples as I post them here.
“Pandemic 6” Much of this one was developed while I was painting it. I knew the general concept and feeling that I wanted, but chose colors as I went along, changing and refining them until The result was what I wanted to convey.
“Pandemic 7” This continues the theme of the prior two paintings. For this painting, I looked at many, many images of rocks online, then chose three or four to print out. The rock I painted is a combination of the images as well as my own invention. I learned quite a lot about painting rocks doing this!
“Pandemic 8: Choose” Perhaps really fantastic artists can paint anything from their mind, but I am not among those! I looked and lots of images of birds as well as plenty of photos of rope knots. I had an image in my mind, and of course nothing I found online was a match. But I printed out enough close ones to give myself something to look at for the particulars. I tried a couple of ways of conveying the balancing of the two images, before settling in the narrow pointed shape with the line across the top.
“Pandemic 9” This was relatively straightforward. I gave some thought to the colors I wanted and sketched out the design. I did look at photos of people expressing horror: all were similar, so I had a good idea of how to proceed. I wanted it fast and rough, so focus on detail was not necessary.
“Pandemic 10” I did not need reference photos for this one, but it took quite a long time to sketch. Precision mattered here. I also reworked the color a number of times until I felt that it suggested depth, circularity, and perhaps a spinning. I used acrylic paint for the tiny white spatters.
Every time I finish one of these I think, well, perhaps that’s all. And then I imagine another image, or part of one, and apparently that is not all. I wonder how this series will develop. After all, we are only a couple of months into the pandemic. I got my hair cut in early March, and I remember thinking, “I hope this is safe,” but avoiding that kind of contact was not quite on anyone’s radar at that point. Within a week, everything was feeling potentially dangerous. Within a week, we had an official national emergency. By the end of the month, there had been hundreds of deaths in the United States. Now, only six weeks after that, life seems irrevocably changed.
Be well, stay safe, and take care of one another.