Our modern plague – Coronavirus, Covid-19 – has turned our lives on their heads. Masks, hand washing, no face touching, no hugging or hand shaking or visiting friends. And the newest spike in cases of this disease threatens to screw up the seasonal holidays. For me that’s Thanksgiving and Christmas. The virus has changed how I grocery shop. I haven’t “seen” my family for 9 months. Of course, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype – these technologies have saved me. Sort of. I do get to “see” my family on my computer.
The same goes for my cello lessons. Virtual. My son is working from home and spends a lot of time in Zoom meetings. My grandchildren are learning virtually on their computers. And we artists, we spend time on Zoom interacting with other artists. It saves us. But how does Zoom and the virus change our art?
Well, zoom meetings are a different experience. For some groups, and here I’m thinking of my Colored Pencil group, zoom meetings allow members too far away to drive to local on-site meetings, to join in with artists they don’t normally get to interact with. This is a benefit. Another benefit is you can attend meetings in your jammies and bunny slippers! Sharing your recent WIP? When you’ve got a talented guy (Ron Hammond) who can take your photographs and put them into a presentation format so everyone can see them well, that’s a great thing. It encourages discussion about the art as well as providing the artist some friendly critique.
Personally, I rather like the Zoom format. I have taken several art classes via Zoom and a workshop with a well-known Colored Pencil artist. The charge for these learning opportunities are discounted because they aren’t “live” and in person. So that’s good. It means I have more $$ to spend on art supplies!
One thing I have found, though, with all this time inside, is that I don’t produce any more art. I’m not sure what that’s all about. I’ve organized my art supplies. Sorted my colored pencils. Categorized my watercolors. Made sure my pastels are dusted. Ordered my pads of paper by size. Sharpened all my drawing pencils. But, while I have lots and lots and lots of ideas for paintings, drawings, colored pencil pieces – and time to do them! – I don’t seem to get them done. And I think I’ve sussed out the reason: too much time spent watching/listening to news programs (which I could do just as well while I’m arting!) and then being stressed about the news, the weather, the virus. And this is another benefit from having Zoom meetings. Seeing all of you and listening to your news, seeing your work, brightens my day and improves my spirit. Thank you.