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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Do Nothing...?

I miss everyone. My family, my friends and plein air buddies. Especially the creative banter we shared, the energy that bubbles up from being side by side painting, expressing views, joking, group critiques… Social media can fill a void but it’s emotionally short lasting.
I miss the art community, teaching and art friends. I was geared up and ready to roll. My workshop schedule was in full swing (years in planning). Eleven workshops across the US and overseas. Art projects in the works: videos, articles, exhibitions…now canceled. Shows I judged…canceled. The abrupt halt...knocked the wind out of me

My emotions fluctuate between feeling energetic and wanting to crawl back in bed. I’m not alone here. Don’t take me wrong…I’m grateful to be healthy, and have food in the fridge and (so far) my family is healthy, too. I live in California and we are told to “Shelter in Place”. Authorities say the best thing we can do to help is… DO NOTHING. I get the message STAY HOME and it will help to slow down the spread of COVID-19. 
I can be of more use than...DO NOTHING
Some people are sewing masks, calling people at home (shut-in, friends and family). What can I offer of my gifts? What can I do? And then it came to me! Letter writing. I'm not talking about emails. I'm talking about good old-fashioned snail mail. Everyone love something in the mailbox. Something to look forward to. Every morning while I sip my coffee I can write three people. Just simple notes to say hi and I'm thinking of them: Friends, family, elderly, shut-ins… Words are not my strength but art is. What is a better use of my gift than sharing it through a note of friendship and compassion? I’m using my home printer to print copies of my sketches. I’ll include a short letter along side my sketch to say hi and let them know I’m thinking of them. 
More than ever people feel isolated and lonely.  What can YOU do to make a difference? If you have an idea please share.
Stay well my friends,
Brenda

10 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree, Brenda. I am catching up on a lot of art-related practice and on-line instruction and I thought rather than just keep the practice pieces in a notebook or journal, I would make cards with them and send them out with hand-written notes. Stay well, my friend and thanks for the inspiration always.

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    1. Barbara, That’s wonderful!! You’ll brighten the lives of many❤️

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  2. We also have a lockdown going on but can work -- it is the two of us at home and in studio, so we are working. My emotions run the gamut in a day also, from sad to resolved to angry to terrified. And i am also writing letters.... Handmade postcards and notes on the back.

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    1. Kate,
      The feelings are so similar... Keep the faith and lifting others up with your art!
      ❤️

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  3. I am sewing masks using colorful scraps and fat quarters. I had a piece of white fabric, so today I painted it with bright watercolors, set it in the sun to dry, then heat-set the color. Not a great design -- just abstract, but at least it has happy colors. There is a great need for these masks. They are not as good as the medical-grade masks, but I think they will take anything they can get at the moment. If you can sew and want to contribute, just search "make a mask" on YouTube and you will find several good tutorials.

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  4. Stevie,
    Great use of time and very needed. Thank you❤️

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  5. We are about to go in lockdown for 21 days at midnight on Thursday! I am anxious, I worry most about my teenage daughter, and I don't know how I will survive without being able to go for a run! But that is all minor compared to what is really happening, and I feel selfish for even thinking those thoughts. I love what you are doing Brenda, if only our postal system worked, but it just doesn't. I'm going to see how I can help in our community, there are many elderly people, I worry about them. Keep doing what you are doing, I think it's wonderful!

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  6. We all feel anxious to a degree. Even though the mail system may not work you can still send sketches within a email. I have found thinking about others has helped relieve my anxiety and lifted my spirits.

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  7. Here in Seattle, Gage Academy has started an online "365" program that is free in small bits - 2 hour watercolor class. MANY people signed up for the class which was held through Zoom. We had fun! We are midway through week four of staying home, social distancing.

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