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How I Survived the First Two Months of Lockdown


On March 11, when I arrived home from my Art Critique Group I had no idea I would not be getting in my car again for months! The next day I took an old canvas, covered it in layers of Gesso and scraped into it, using all my fears and anxieties. I dripped layers of colors from the edges, watching them swirl and change directions in the ruts of dried Gesso. The circles represented this strange new Virus taking over our Globe. The colors soothed me.

As the days began to march forward and the news got bleaker I continued covering old canvases with layers of textured Gesso, letting paint drip into the ruts, letting images appear. I found some old boards in the back of my storage area, and painted more circles and added words around the edges. Each evening as I shut off the studio lights, I felt comforted. I had the tools and the space to express all my fears.

I felt comforted that every household around the Globe were experiencing the same sheltering-in-place. I loved thinking about the different combinations of people and animals and how they protceted themselves from this invisible enemy. This painting hangs over my fireplace and brings me great joy!

This painting, one of the last in this series, reminds me how shocking it was to begin to wear a mask, and that we could only see someone's eyes. The smiles were gone. It wasn't until 3 or 4 weeks into the Lockdown that I even had a mask. Now I wear one everyday. I have over 20 (I am an artist, I have to have colors that match my mood.) I suspect masks will become an ordinary part of being human living on this planet.


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This last year my paintings have often taken me down winding roads, leading me into totally new creative places.  Many friends and colleauges who have seen my new work have said, “What are you doing here?  What am I looking at?”  At first I tried to verbally explain what went into these paintings: the various layers of words, grids, collage, and paint...But that seemed to create more questions, “How did you do that?  Why did you do that?”  I decided to walk readers through a step by step process of several paintings.  Though I have been avoiding Facebook, I regularly post on Instagram @dotprocter.