May 16, 2020

Time and Art During Covid-19

Staying Safe at Home

I appreciate, even adore, a quiet day where naps are there for the taking, books fingered and page marked, design shows on the DVR, a fresh journal begging for my attention. A quiet day is a gift to cherish. But (always a but in there somewhere) with "enforced" quietude - these "free" days seem different, perhaps more of a challenge, but also magical. COVID-19 quarantine and its horrid and lasting effects acknowledged, we are staying safe at home, Zoom and FaceTime visiting, and distancing ourselves on walking trails or engaged in other outdoor activities. I'm seeing more families walking together, dogs are getting good workouts and trot by with their tails curled up in happiness.

Quiet and inaction are not words in my vocabulary. I'm more of a go-go person. Always doing suits me fine and is more to my liking. When we were given the mandate to stay-safe-at-home, my heart literally skipped some beats - what, no coffeeshop writing, bookstore haunting, family gatherings? I wondered how to meet this challenge with grace. 

Reaching Out

I began posting on FB what we were doing and our challenges, and asked my FB friends how things were going and could they share ideas for activities within the state guidelines. Responses poured in - lot going on with these friends - but over time, felt a staleness in my posts, so am on a break. 

Thinking -- how can I/we reach out? I began sending cards, some homemade, to family and friends; dropped a meal or two off at a neighbor's house; supported mask-makers, one of whom was a daughter; and began buying lunch once a month for the ICU staff at a local hospital. My husband and daughter planned their gardens and spent hours preparing, digging in the earth - the smells musty and full - now are planting.

Art Journaling -- why not?

I am not classically artistic, but found my art journaling project not only challenging but strangely liberating. Taking a poem I wrote a couple years ago, I pasted, wrote, painted, cried, smiled, and drank coffee as I worked the art journal around its theme.

This project totally absorbed me, made me think, took my mind off the world pandemic, and allowed me to reflect on what is important inn my life and why do I gravitate toward the urgent. I've discovered a volunteer opportunity which I think will speak to my spirit and talents - all from quieting my busy, busy brain.

Start to Finish, my process

My art journal is not professional, nor do I expect it to be -- I rather like its many flaws as each one is now a part of the final project, a warm memory. The journal is an accomplishment and has kick started me on other "artistic" endeavors. 

What I did was--
  • Pulled an old, unused multi-media notebook from my um, craft closet.
  • Gathered my rubber glue, Elmer's glue, Gesso, colored pens and pencils, and old coffee cards to use in smoothing glued pictures to the page.
  • Cut pictures, quotes and words from old magazines and added them to my collection (of hundreds of previously clipped pictures). 
  • Scoured my poems and chose which poem spoke the loudest to me. 
  • Painted some pages with water color, acrylic streaks, chalk or added a full page graphics to the page and worked pictures and quotes and my poem around the page.
  • Wrote, pasted, created, listened to music, and found my missing MOJO.
Art Journaling is relatively cheap. You can use tea bags, coffee or berries to stain pages, old pens and pencils to draw, and pieces of literally anything to adhere to your artful expression,

Everyone has a story to tell, a poem penned on a slip of paper – do you have one you might want to work into an Art Journal? 

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Hardwood Walking Stick

All through my 30s onward, I’ve walked woods from the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains, along with the mountains, hills and valleys of Michig...