Painting In Pandemic Times

“But nobody is visually naive any longer. We are cluttered with images, and only abstract art can bring us to the threshold of the divine.” 
― Dominique De Menil, The Rothko Chapel: Writings on Art and the Threshold of the Divine

Try something new, she said.

These are challenging times. Most of us remain under ‘lockdown’ due to COVID- 19. Finances can be tight. Businesses are shut. Children are home. Parents are navigating on- line learning. Sometimes, souls demand distraction.

Art saves us.

I’m not a trained artist, rather, I grew up with a creative mother. I watched and learned as she painted florals and scenes captured from photographs and memory. Through her eyes, I witnessed beauty reborn, suspended in space.

We didn’t own a large supply of materials: a paintbox, a few brushes, and paper or re cycled cardboard. Mom collected sticks, dried seaweed, and found stones to drag and press onto paper. We learned to collage, ripping pages from magazines and print material. Sometimes, we’d search for words and letters within print and used these foundlings to send a message to another.

Although Mom didn’t realize it at that time, she was developing our early literacy skills, teaching us to read, think, design. The manner in which she expressed beauty through colour and shape would follow and stay.


Technology is amazing. There are many talented on- line teachers, designers, and artists willing to share joy and craft. As a novice painter, I chose ‘abstract’ as a focus (how naive), prepared to cover and re-cover the canvas. I haven’t found the Devine. Yet.

Supplies challenge. I began with a limited palette of acrylics: Titanium White, Payne’s Grey, and Magenta, adding pop colours when they are available on- line, through a local business.

What began as curiosity within the confines of a Pandemic has become a tiny obsession. At the end of COVID- 19, I’ll have stacks of canvas to commemorate.

It will be fine.

Turn up the music. Play. Fail. It’s all beautiful.

The Roses
~in progress