As we look with cautious optimism toward returning to our normal lives, I asked artists what they have been doing to keep sane, busy and adjust to not having public art events to attend. I got more than 30 responses! This will be the third column in a row highlighting those responses.
Jo Edwards, a Rosenberg resident whose website is texasgalgallery.com, said she’s taken advantage of the time off from the canceled shows to hone her skills as a painter.
“I have used the time to paint subjects I might not otherwise have had the time for and to play with new techniques,” Edwards said. “I have a new appreciation for what I do and have worked daily at marketing my work online. I have stayed busy, creative and productive. I am ready to get back to normal, whatever that might be, but I really treasure this time I’ve had with me.”
Live streaming and video conferencing have become routine business activities. Artists Elena Sandovici, who I wrote about in the April 25 edition, and Lauren Luna have incorporated video for both socializing and art sales.
“The thing that makes me feel human every day is painting via Facebook Live at 5:45 p.m.,” Sandovici said. “I do this every day and a bunch of people watch each day. Others do on occasion. John (Ross Palmer) logs in and he comments a lot and we get to joke around almost like we’re at a party.”
Sandovici tells me as things return to normal, she may invite clients to her studio for a private viewing of her quarantine art. Sandovici broadcasts from her personal Facebook page. Contact her through her website, elenasandovici.com.
Luna said she is falling back on her art teaching skills and has been hosting online painting parties on Facebook Live every week on Friday evenings.
“I’ve also made it possible for folks at home to have something to do by offering painting kits for sale,” Luna said. “A person picks from the ever-growing stock of available paintings, and then they are shipped a 16-inch by 20-inch canvas, brushes, paint and step-by-step directions. Some of the painting options I’ve already done on Facebook Live, so they can paint along with me like that. Essentially, it’s a painting party at home!”
Luna was recently chosen with 22 other artists for a corporate painting party. They will all be painting together live, albeit virtually. Visit her website, artistaluna.com.
My email request reached artist and author Lorena B. Fernandez, who is now living in Amsterdam. While it sounds like a nice place to be quarantined, it can be just as stressful.
To calm her mind, Fernandez creates a daily doodle and posts it on her social media accounts for the public to follow.
“Every day I use colors and chaos and from there I shape something new. Somehow that gives me hope,” Fernandez said. “I try to listen to my feelings and express what is under the surface. I never know beforehand what I will create. I can experience surprise through the way the materials interact. That is exactly what I like. I like to follow my impulses, moment to moment.
“My doodles are to help with mental health and the need that people have for variety and the unknown,” she added. “That need can be a challenge while under quarantine.”
Follow Fernandez on Instagram @lorenafernandezarts.
Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com for additional highlights and artist’s stories.