A friend recently wondered what two words I'd use to describe the past year. My answer–complicated and precarious. I'm sure you can do better. But more specifically, when it comes to my own work in the studio, upside down and backwards come to mind. When the pandemic began, I thought to myself, "Isolation? No problem. That's my game. That's what I do every day in my studio."
I'd been expecting a relatively unchanged routine as a highly self-motivated artist, who loved nothing better than spending hours alone in her studio or out exploring the wild countryside. The gut punch was that instead I felt as disengaged from myself and my work as I've ever been. While many of my artist friends were sharing mounds of new work and creative inspiration, I felt oddly thick and stuck. It took a couple of months for me to gain some footing in the new normal. That footing is still precarious, as most of us understand by now.
Yet, pandemic and political mayhem somehow provoked a new level of focus, determination, and inexplicably, joy, in my art practice and small business, as well as my spirit.
I'm working to amplify the impact of gratefulness as changing norms disrupt my comfort zone. Or in everyday English–being able to say thank you is more important to me than ever. So thank you. You've reached out with words of encouragement and support. You've looked, shared, purchased my work, read this blog, and so much more. I sincerely appreciate every gesture, however small.
Too gushy? With so many people unnecessarily silenced forever, I think not. It's no time to be lax, numb, or indifferent. We just passed the one year anniversary of the first diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the US. In memory of the silenced, to avoid ending on a down note, and for curiosity's sake, what are your two words to describe this year, and what have you come to appreciate more?
Hey! You can see the above finished painting here.
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Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her abstract landscape paintings cultivate connection to the lands she explores.
©2021 Michelle Louis All rights reserved. Content and images are property of the artist.