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Art In Quarantine

During this time of quarantine, we are most lucky as artists to be able to continue the work of making. It may be that if we are forced to stay with our work, and are less distracted by things beckoning us from the outside world, we might find that we can go deeper than we expected.This may take a variety of forms, and sometimes it involves even more innovation than we are used to. The following are a few examples from the OCAG community of work being produced in this time of quarantine.

– Shelly Hehenberger

Painting by Alissa Van Atta

Alissa Van Atta

I have been working on more small scale work than usual. For me, this time is mostly about no matter how quickly this world has been changing, I can allow myself to not feel guilty about not making big pieces at the rate I was producing before. Whatever I feel, I can express it in a visual way that hopefully I can do something with later on.

Photo by Barbara Tyroler

Barbara Tyroler

In the midst of all this, my beloved professional camera system is breaking down as well as my robust computer with all my image editing tools. I have taken to using a small sensor iPhone for inspiration until my system recovers and the national repair centers are open. Without commissioned work, I am left to create self-assignments. This is an image that I’ve been working on while roaming around trying to find meaning in what nature has to offer.

Painting by Joan VanderMeer

Joan VanderMeer

Lately my focus has been on creating some very happy paintings dominated by color and fantasy. This painting is a visit to Van Gogh’s bedroom with his bandaged-ear dog.The partial cure for the stay home blues is to paint from your heart and find joy.

Hand made books by Sandra Elliott

Sandra Elliott

I’ve been doing a daily Covid-19 journal as a warm up every morning before moving onto some commissioned work. I’m staying isolated but finding the silver linings.

Fabric pattern by Trudy Thomson

Trudy Thomson

My latest tapestry I titled “Jazz” because it has some syncopated beat to the design. This is actually just half of a long rug I finished up recently!

Painting by Irina Ushakova

Irina Ushakova

Over the duration of the unfortunate quarantine that America and the rest of the world have been facing I have continued to paint. As I have been at home with my family, I decided to make a series of portraits of them and I’m currently working on a self portrait. I hope these paintings will help us get through these tough times and that art in general will help everyone in these hard times.

Blue decorated eggs by Susan Brubaker Knapp

Susan Brubaker Knapp

I’ve found it very challenging to focus and be creative, as my mind spins with worry. But, it helps to keep my hands busy with stitching, painting and knitting. I’m getting back to work on a whole cloth painted piece. I’m also making beads from scraps of silk saris, stitched with thread and perle cotton. I’m planning to use some of them in a small stitched art quilt. And I’ve painted some paper mâché Easter eggs to decorate our table, as seen in my example.

Painting by Eduardo Lapetina

Eduardo Lapetina

This image is titled “Going Home Again” since I feel that it would be nice to be back to the tranquility that we had before this unstable period of quarantine. I use my work as a therapeutic time that takes me away to a peaceful realm. I am actually producing more work just for me, and I’ve found quite a lot of pleasure in this.

Notebook illustration by Shelly Hehenberger

Shelly Hehenberger

During this time of quarantine, I have been working in my sketchbooks more than usual. This example is a sketchbook spread: a collage painting that shows my recent obsession with shroomy-looking forms. Maybe it is the onset of glorious spring weather, but this form which has occupied my mind for years, has invaded the garden of my sketchbooks. Happily, it is a symbiotic relationship! My hope is that many will find creative benefit from these times. I would like to end with a poem by Kitty O’Meara that seems to say it all…

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

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