James Gurney asked this question in a recent blog post. He was talking to people who make a living doing art but it made me realize that COVID-19 is affecting a lot of us these days so I thought I’d talk a bit about what it’s done to my way of making art.
Quebec was very proactive in responding to the pandemic and so we got shut down pretty much the same time as the professional sports closed their doors. So we’ve been spending a lot of time at home. We did make one whirlwind trip to Montreal to retrieve our daughter because we didn’t want her to spend months living alone in a one-bedroom apartment.
Now I confess that before the virus came along I was dealing with winter and already trying to teach myself that drawing at home wasn’t a crime, though without much success. Still, I’d drawn a bunch of stuff around the house. But I started to get serious about this when I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to go out sketching when the snow melted.
Here’s me, in my studio before the pandemic:
Ah, the good old days. Will they ever return?
Here’s where I spend my time these days:
I built the little gizmo to hold my laptop above my drawing surface because I signed up for Skillshare and I’m watching some courses, mostly making different kinds of marks and color blotches in an attempt to learn how to wield a brush. Not as much fun as sketching on location but fun nevertheless.
Not wanting to do a post without some art, here’s one of a bunch of floating head sketches I’ve done from Mr. Google people. What are you doing to while away the time. Remember when we wished we had more time to draw? Maybe now is that time, though I’m distracted a lot by the news right now. Stay safe everyone.
I like your desk setup! That looks like a real studio to me! The stuff I do at home — small still lives and such, and lately my own hand — hasn’t changed much; I’m still doing that the same as ever. What I miss most, of course, is Urban Sketchers outings. I sure miss my sketch buddies. Sometimes I sneak out and make quick sketches from inside my parked car. That seems safe and certainly isolated enough, though it could be argued that I’m not going out for “essential” business. And I have some window views I’m thinking about sketching. Eventually I’ll probably resort to sketching each of my house’s rooms. Hope to put that off as long as possible. 😉 But it does look like we have a long haul ahead, so I’m pacing myself. It’ll be the hardest when the weather warms up. Stay safe, stay home and keep sketching, Larry!
I’ve noticed that your right hand is doing well. I suppose I could do the car thing but it doesn’t appeal to me very much. While locked up I’ve been dealing with a cold and that and the news have kept me from being very productive. Maybe we’ll still get in some summer sketching.
Hello Larry, At this time, the virus is making my art very very sick… I am still in Spain, starting day 13 of my confinement. Spent a lot of time trying to get a flight back home, being flopped around by informations true and false, trying not to panic and not doing a very good job at that. My brain was in such a turmoil. No concentration whatsoever… Not able to read more than 3 paragraphs at a time. Not even being able to watch all those art you-tube I receive every day. Not being able to pick up pen or brush in a while. Otherwise, I am well. Last call to come back home March 31st – being on stand-by at the airport. I am glad to see that you are reunited with your daughter. Please, please stay inside. Spain was and still is hit very hard. The measures they took 13 days ago were drastic and apparently, it’s paying off a bit. We are still in confinement until April 12th.
Oh no!!! A sketcher I know just made it back to QC from Spain. I can imagine things are pretty stressed where you are. Stay safe, get home. The sketching can wait. Good luck to you.
Hi Larry. Our New Hampshire stay at home order starts at midnight. I’m a retired extrovert who likes to be alone, so I’m in good shape so far. My daily art and writing practice is almost invigorated, as everyday things I took for granted seem more interesting, and are more appreciated. This is a time where I am grateful for the connections I have with artists around the world through online courses (Liz Steel, Jane Davies), Instagram and YouTube. Thanks for showing us your indoor studio. I like your laptop stand and taboret. Maybe you could do a blog post about some of your favorite books on those bookshelves.
I wish you well in your isolation. I fear the US is stumbling alone, quite behind the virus and its spread. We’ll have to see what happens.
Thanks for your comments on the laptop stand. I received an email asking me how I made it and I might do a blog post on it. I certainly have to time right now 🙂 As for book reviews, I’ve thought about it but the thought of choosing “important” or even favorite books eludes me. At last count I had something in excess of 250 art books and I refer to many of them regularly. How can one choose? I can’t.