The new normal? Two months ago I, much like the rest of the world, was planning life. It seems strange to write, just the thought of planning anything was recently a possibility. I was busy organizing art shows for the summer. I had found a new quieter studio space I was excited to move into; and I was looking forward to moving back into our house which we have been renovating for months. Then the shutdown. At first creating art seemed unimportant, never mind anxiety that crippled my ability to focus and create mindfully.
Forced into this new normal, along with everyone else, it took a few weeks to adjust and calm down. My son, (14) started to work independently at home, thank goodness, because I was never cut out to be a Middle School teacher. It was time for me to get back to work when we started bickering more than having any pleasant conversations. I felt the need to start with something transportable and immediate instead of oils or cold wax.
Many years ago I used to sketch foals in water-soluble graphite which I sold at horse shows. The spontaneous mix of lines and unpredictability when I added water made them exciting to create. Each one was unique. Now, they were something I could easily produce from the porch of the rental house or pack up quickly to take back to the studio.
So, with my pad of watercolor paper, graphite pencils and a library of inspiration photos I began drawing from my makeshift front porch studio. All of a sudden I was on a roll, the wonderful feeling of productivity and personal satisfaction returned. Collectors returned the excitement and much to my surprise I was sold out of the first 5 sketches within a few hours. A week later, I created 6 more. Five sold right away and I donated the sale of the last one to “For the Herd”, a fundraiser benefitting riding school horses affected by closures back in my home province of Ontario.
I find myself to be living each day being present, probably because the future of next week, let alone next month seems so unpredictable. Therefore, I am choosing to create what makes me happy right now and each and every day. It is wonderfully reassuring that what is making me happy creating, is making others happy too. I will continue with the sketches as long as the want to keeps me inspired to produce more. Keep an eye on my FB page or my IG page for updates on new releases.
A few tidbits before I sign off. I received news that my Oil and Cold Wax work was accepted into the now cancelled Calgary Stampede art show. Yay….😐…I had to make the terribly adult decision to decline the opportunity to move my studio 😢. The rent was higher and combined with our house renovation, cutbacks from my husband’s work due to the pandemic, it didn’t seem responsible to be signing a new lease at a greater amount. I struggle with hoping I made the right decision, but as a good friend said to me, “Every decision we make right now is tinged with sadness because of the uncertainty, you want to be certain, but you can’t.” It is so true.
It is quieter in my current studio at this moment because of the shutdown, so I will try and be as productive as possible there as long as it continues. I hope that when it isn’t quiet any longer another opportunity will present itself to me. An even greater wish is that the landlord will do something about the sound insulation so I don’t have to consider moving again. 😢
Lastly, our house is almost done, we will be moving back in at the end of May. It’s been a long road and finally bonding with our home is important to us happily living in Portland. It’s been almost 7 years since we were transplanted here, and we can look forward to spending much more time at home in the upcoming days and months. I will post some before and after pics soon. You won’t believe the transformation!
Stay safe and healthy friends, thank you for reading, comments and replies are always welcome.