This is 7th in an ongoing series of Lockdown watercolors. I saw this bird at a rest area where we stopped to have a picnic on my 2013 trip to Tanzania. We had lunch near the lake, watching the hippos peek above the surface of the water and listening to the ranger tell us about a lion that he encountered in the women's restroom one morning the week prior.
I am a Chicago artist, working as a Program Developer in Denver. I have a background in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a M.S. in 3D Animation from DePaul University, and I worked as a graphic artist for 6 years.
I have my favorite media, but I typically alternate what I am using at the moment and have left and returned to drawing, painting, animation, ceramics, and knitting many times over the last 25 years.
Prior to the quarantine, I had just begun throwing pottery again after a 7 year hiatus. I had also recently started guitar, ukulele, and dance classes. This was the creative void that the Coronavirus Stay At Home order created for me.
So as the pottery studio, the music center, and the dance studio closed, I did a few small paintings which has turned into a series of Lockdown Watercolors. I have been painting approximately one a day since April 15, 2020. Thus far, as of May 12, 2020, there are 28 in the series. Currently, the paintings are all 4" or 4.5" x 6" because I had 3 sheets left in a 9" x 12" watercolor pad, and I didn't know if the art stores would be open, and it had been about 5 years since I had last painted so I didn't want to use the good paper.
I started thinking about the good paper. Big sheets. The good paint. Different materials. Different subjects. Different styles. I delved into my closet and pulled out the old Sennelier set and Artistico sheets. I went to the art store. It was open.
Coronavirus has made me think about painting again for the first time in a long time. I wake up thinking about color, composition, and light, while my mind is still light. In the waking hours, bombarded by the news and anxiety about furloughs at work, I think about longevity, leaving a mark, and the bigger picture. I think about trying new things, in art, in life. I wonder if this hole that has been created by the Coronavirus is the space for the culmination of dreams to begin or begin again.