Making Art During Quarantine

Like many artists, I work alone. And when I paint or draw, I’m in my own world – or the world of the painting anyway. So being in lockdown at home during the first days of the pandemic was not hugely different. I moved my essentials from the studio I had been using in a commercial building to the living room of the small house I share with my husband and the two dogs -and just kept on working in this new “studio.” It’s what I do everyday and the routine helped me cope.

I discovered how much I love drawing with silverpoint. Often my drawings are studies or references for a painting. But the silverpoints are just sweet little drawings: ghostly, intimate, emotional. They are less physical than a big painting. I treasure the slowness of the process and the quiet beauty of the medium. Working on the silverpoint drawings definitely helped with the initial part of the lockdown.

Silverpoint on toned paper

I like the fine metal tools and handling them. The way the deposited metal changes color over time feels very magical.

My joy with silverpoint has prompted me to research the history of the medium. Many of my favorite artists have used it.

My painting process lately has involved more planning and studies before I start a big painting. That structured approach is comforting also.

The pandemic has naturally brought a desire in me to incorporate more magic, escape and even defense in the work. I’m adding some animals to the figure in the current painting (more on that later). The special animals always bring a power into the piece and change how the figure is perceived.

I’m grateful to have art as a calling and can continue to work during these challenging times.