I think I speak for us all when I say that this was not the Spring that any of us had in mind for 2020. I mean, seriously. If I had come to you six months ago and told you that much of the world would have closed borders with their citizens practicing physical distancing, sheltering in place, wearing masks in public, and washing their groceries, you would have asked me if I was writing some sort of post apocalyptic novel. (Wait, what? you are not washing your groceries?) No, I don't think any of us were expecting a pandemic. Yet, here we are. Together apart. I hope.
The first week or so in isolation with my family, I was feeling shell-shocked; kind of in disbelief, in more-or-less survival mode. I soaked up all the news and data, day after day. My mind could not seem to rest on anything creative like making art, so I baked and cooked. A lot. I have been baking this bread for a few years now, as I can't tolerate most bread. Sometimes I make it with cinnamon and brown sugar swirl. It makes the yummiest toast. Click here for the basic recipe.
Then, soon after, I felt fully saturated with numbers, charts, and protocols for our new temporary way of living. Everything just sort of percolated until my brain made some sort of sense of it all, and I felt ready to get back to some art. With the galleries and shops either closed, or working in limited ways, I felt like I was in limbo. I wasn't ready to dive back into larger pieces, so I started small with doodles and then paintings in my sketchbook. It felt really peaceful for me to be painting again.
I felt a little sheepish about sharing these with you and posting art on social media during these trying times. I worried that you might think that oceany paintings were too trivial for me to share when people were really suffering. The response to my first few little artworks was really encouraging, however. Many of you went out of your way to tell me how nice it was to rest your eyes on a bit of calm for a moment in your day.
I decided to do a little giveaway on Instagram for one of you and one of your friends. I painted these two little works on paper that I could easily mail. It was a way for me to brighten your day, and for you to reach out to a friend and let them know that you were thinking about them.
My family had a trip planned for the end of April to Bermuda. We were booked to stay in our old neighbourhood, and we had great plans of beach time, free diving, and visiting with friends. Needless to say, it has been cancelled. So, I painted a little reminder of Bermuda in my sketchbook. This was our view when we lived there.
Michaels Stores spotted this studio scene on Instagram. I was pretty delighted when they asked if they could feature this photo on their social media. That's another little Bermuda scene in my Moleskine travel sketchbook, along with a couple of Nova Scotia Inspired paintings on paper.
These four little textural waves are part of an online show at Argyle Fine Art Gallery called ARTMAIL for SHUT-INS. You can view the show by clicking here. Each piece is just the right size to be mailed, and is only CAD$20!!! You can check out the show and email Argyle Fine Art Gallery if you want a piece at email@example.com
I have been getting back to filming some of my process. You can find some new videos on my YouTube Channel. The latest videos are kind of chatty, but still a relaxing way to paint along, work on your own project #togetherapart or just sit back and watch me paint. These little wave paintings will be featured in an upcoming video.
I have some great news for you Made in the Maritimes fans out there. They are working to move to online shopping with shipping and curbside pick up options. With Mother's Day on the horizon, you can be sure to find a beautiful and personal gift from their inventory whilst remaining safe. Also new for them; their Bedford location has moved to Bayers Lake. I wish I was walking in this painting below called "Breath of Fresh Sea Air". You can see this and more of my available artwork by clicking the link here.
I often say that art is the best therapy. It is for me. Working with color can literally change your mood. Colouring relaxes the amygdala; the fear centre of your brain. It calms you, and has been shown to bring on a meditative state leading to feelings of mindfulness and calm. We could all use a little more peace and calm in our lives right about now. So here are two free art colouring pages that I have made for you. Here's the link! Hope you like them. Print them off on any paper you have on hand. You can get fancy with thicker paper and paints or markers, or keep it simple by using printer paper, crayons, or coloured pencils. Tag me on social media. I would love to share your creations!