Cheltenham Art Center had a daily Instagram prompt, this one was "post a place in nature that makes you feel at peace"
La Salle University Art Museum invited artists to choose a work from their on-line collection and duplicate it using household objects.
This is my effort (with help from my stay-at-home adult children) to recreate a portrait of the artist James Whistler near the Thames River,
completed in 1871 by the artist
Walter Greaves (1846-1930).
Oil Paintings Completed During the covid19 Shutdowns
USING ON-LINE MODELS
Our city's Animal Shelter (where I have volunteered one day/week for years) ran a Fund Raiser during the stay-at-home directive. For a donation of 20 dollars a volunteer would draw a picture of your pet from a photo that you provide. My drawing...
Some artists have been trying to create what was always normal for them, but I have found that most artists are expressing their emotions over a year that has seen the Australian Fires, the covid19 pandemic and the demonstrations for change after the death of George Floyd. The shutdowns closed Art Centers and Public Transportation, and I have spent much of that time in introspection.
This was probably the most beneficial on-line project that I came across. I have read almost half of the 300+ entries.
When the Shutdowns began there were some on-line venues for area artists to help us through the cancellation of shows and exhibits.
I have long had a love of walking, and I would carry my small sketchbook all the time to picnics and parties and malls and bus rides and...
of course, I have only added one or two drawings since the Shutdowns.
I would also carry a larger sketchbook and pastels when I could foresee having time for a more detailed drawing. Since the Shutdowns I have managed to walk a mile each way to our local park twice while wearing a mask.
When the Shutdowns began it seemed that artists sensed that they had better start using their creativity, and I saw artists produce quick paintings of unusual subjects as I began to draw household items and a time of prayer.
After the Senate Hearings on ZOOM about covid19 with Doctors in mid-May I completed this acrylic painting the following day, asking if reopening will be a sunrise or sunset for us...the response was a sunrise!
When the shutdowns began I looked "out" to on-line models, "back" to my drawings and sketches from live Studio Sessions, and "in" to self-portraiture and introspection.
FROM DRAWINGS & SKETCHES MADE DURING MY LAST LIVE STUDIO SESSION AT AN AREA ART CENTER
This time of isolation has given me a much deeper appreciation for the hard work, courage and stamina of my model friends. Since high school I have been drawing models from life, always seeing the human body as an art form - the art of our Creator - and the current deep introspection convinced me to begin posing for my own paintings. Unlike the fashion industry that prefers young and attractive models, artists need models of all ages and body types. With my wife's encouragement I began posing for some intensive self-portraiture using mirrors and technology. I quickly understood how difficult it is to hold a pose for an extended period of time, to always have a new pose, and how difficult it can be to expose oneself without reserve. I practice some poses that have now become committed to memory while I continue to exercise and invent new poses, all for the opportunity to be an art model during a Studio Session when the pandemic is over and the disease is under control.
I also participated in smaller fund raisers for animal welfare groups in my area.
It was wonderful for everyone when our city's animal shelter allowed volunteers (like me) to return in July 2020. It had been 4 months since we were allowed. I drew this downed tree limb (above) on my walk to and from the shelter.
I continue to draw all the time.
This is a drawing of the 100 year old tree across the street from our home.
From the Garden:
zucchini, 2 green peppers, 2 tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber
In July 2020 I was very fortunate to be welcomed into an art group in California that held daily online zoom Studio Sessions. Weekdays are Still Life subjects and weekends are art figure models. In August a model cancelled at the last minute and I offered to be the model. It was an exhilarating experience for 3 hours, and I was paid.
During these Sessions I greatly improved my pastel skills, and gave drawings of Still Life compositions as Christmas gifts to my family & friends. I continue to attend the zoom Studios occasionally, looking forward to the camaraderie of fellow artists.
I entered one of my drawings in Cheltenham Art Center's carefully controlled 80th Annual Members' Exhibit in January 2021.