Adapting to New Ways of Life in the Studio

Do You Feel Like You’re Living in a Sci-Fi Movie? None of us imagined that we’d be living through these unusual times, isolating ourselves from others, from the environment we live and work in. Times have changed and we can’t predict what the future will look like. But because of all the challenges we’ve faced, we have adapted and learned new ways to live, some of them might even last for a very long time. 

I’ve started gardening. I’m looking forward to those sprouts becoming something I can actually eat, excited about picking fresh greens out of the garden instead of cracking open a plastic container of already slimy arugula. There is joy in the immediacy of that. 

Another first: Teaching Online! I’ve just finished giving my first Online Art Workshop. I was asked to share some of my techniques in a few one-on-one sessions with an artist thousands of miles away. 

​From her studio to mine, the connection was also immediate. It also involved some adapting and learning. First off, I had to overcome the temptation to point to places on the screen as though she could see that I was pointing to a place in her painting as she was holding it to the screen to showing me her progress. Go ahead, try it…hilarious…poke that screen to your heart’s content. We did have a few chuckles as I demonstrated my techniques and she followed through on her end of the screen over the next few days. Finally, the ‘Ah-ha Moment’ arrived when her artwork was transformed into a gorgeous painting.

It’s not the same as being there in person, of course. In some ways it’s more difficult to explain and demonstrate a technique, a brushstroke, the consistency of the paint, but in other ways, it is so much better. There’s no need to travel far and wide and schedules can be easily adjusted to suit us both. As they say, Necessity is the Mother of Invention, and in this case a great way to adapt to changing circumstances.

I also had to figure out a way to transport the entire exhibition for Our Water, Our World to Gallery 78 in Fredericton, New Brunswick at a time when the inter-provincial border is closed to non-essential travel. Apparently, artists are not essential. Go figure! 🙂 The exhibition will be up in the Gallery and Online as of June 16th. I’ll post an update when it’s ready. Thanks to Maritime Bus, I was able to ship all the paintings safely and securely for a fraction, (a tiny fraction) of what it would have cost by courier. Check them out, especially if you’re shipping something big.

What changes have you made in your life? What lessons have you learned and what accommodations will you stick with? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you, and what hasn’t, because we can surely learn from both experiences, can’t we?

Wishing you all a peaceful, healthy and hopeful transition into Summer. Please feel free to Share your thoughts with me, Share this Blog with others, and check out my newest paintings on my website, some of which are available at galleries and some in my studio.  Creating the Exhibition: “Our Water, Our World”

I live on a beautiful lake and minutes from the ocean where the views change daily. When I go rock hopping along the ocean’s edge, the waves crash and roll, the light reflects on colours that vary from brilliant aqua to deepest grey. The energy and atmosphere from those ocean images and from the lake outside my door splashes onto the canvas in my studio. During Hurricane Dorian, I painted the dark and wild “The End of Chaos”. These are paintings of the power of water, paintings that interpret emotions and visceral reactions to life. I hope they stir your emotions and inspire you. 

Water is the Life Force without which we cannot exist, and yet we have taken it for granted. We have come to see the harm that we’ve inflicted and how it affects the quality of life at all levels. It goes beyond the plastic bits that unfurl in the ocean or wash up on the beach. The connections between the scarcity of access to clean water and the impact on global health, energy and food shortages, economics, and of course climate change exists for everyone on this planet. Solutions are in the making, but they must be available to everyone, not only the wealthy, not only the privileged. 

Let us be as water itself in our determination for change, strong enough to carve great canyons out of rocks, strong enough to change the tide of ignorance and apathy. Let us take care and take action for a world where we honour Water for the power it has to transform and sustain us. 

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