Sometimes I enjoy the guilty pleasure of government sanctioned hibernation which we’ve had this December. No shopping in stores, which I mostly dislike. No events to get dressed up for. No house guests or bigger meals to plan for.
Our Christmas was even treeless(inside the house, that is), though colorful in other ways. . .red and white cyclamens, yellow tulips, red amaryllis, a platter full of lemons and tangerines brought by a friend from her garden, and the most delicious chocolate mousse for dessert! And we spent the day with a rowdy gift exchange attended via FaceTime by Ben in Nashville, followed by a totally engrossing afternoon of jigsaw puzzle. Yeah really.
. . .and time for a bit of sketching at the dining room table.
As well as time for meditation, naps, and sending prayers and blessings to loved ones not here, as well as prayers for all the folks suffering so grievously from this pandemic.
I couldn’t help but wonder if this isn’t a bit like “the olden days” when people had time to read books and sit in the living room together without the TV going.
It requires a sturdy imagination to soldier through these days of shelter-in-place, for those of us who have the good fortune to be able to, that is. I started out at my art table, painting water shapes of birds and adding colors to the water as I worked my way around the paper. The source material was an article in National Geographic about “Why Birds Matter” with pictures of some of the most flamboyant birdlife. By the end it seemed they was celebrating something.
Ah! Imagine . . .
The post pandemic revelry
Of pent up desires
To shake tail feathers
To sing and dance together
. . .TOGETHER! again!
To share unfiltered air
Kiss the warm cheek
Hug the big belly softness
Drink the unmasked radiance
. . .of a SMILE!
I like to imagine the freedom of being a bird right now, especially when I’m eating my lunch, sitting in their flight path next to the fountain/bird bath. (Of course they have their own avian viruses at times), but I’ll enjoy their unmasked flights, their social songs and raucous bathing.
It helps, until such time as I can hug my human friends again!
My first experience with Zoom was with the family. Our family is quite small so we could see each other well in Gallery mode (sharing equal space on the screen). Funny thing, these predictable family patterns that pop up in every interaction when you get together.
Just so you get the geography here. . .Andrew is in Princeton, I’m in my home studio in Sebastopol, California, Ben is in Nashville, and Bob is in the house.
It took a few minutes to school Mom in how to use Zoom, and then I didn’t get a word in edgewise, because it got pretty silly with typical male teasing behaviors. So I took a picture to document this jump into contemporary family communications, and later sketched it. Not surprisingly I captured everyone in their usual roles. I’ll leave it to you to guess what those are!
Would you like to join me in a month of sketching portraits? I signed up for Sktchy’s 30 Faces/ 30 Days – April 2020 It’s a class where you get a video demo/lesson with different teachers every day of the month and can draw from the models they’ve chosen. I did it in January and learned so much! It’s also a way to experience the social connection with others by posting your work and and seeing others’ portraits.
Also you might really enjoy this article in the New York Times called The Quarantine Diaries about creative ways, including sketching/journaling, that people are finding to give shape to their experience of this historic pandemic time.