HOW WE SPENT OUR TIME AT HOME
DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC OF 2020
by Sandra Oliver
It has been over a year since the pandemic began, and most of us have spent our days in our homes with little face-to-face contact with our friends. I have been fortunate to be part of a group of seven artists and friends, all of whom have studied watercolor under Anna Kay Singley and who got together frequently to paint. At the time, all were CCAL members and included Maureen Carter, Linda Claytor, Cathy Dubiel, Miriam Liner, Dee Dee Ruth, Anna Kay, and me. Anna Kay knows us well and wanted us to continue to paint but was worried that we wouldn’t. She sensed that we are a competitive group and that we would respond to a challenge, therefore requiring us to paint something, anything! So, she presented us with the challenge – do a weekly painting on a subject that she proposed and that she would also paint.
The challenge the first week of March was simple, paint a flower from our yard. As the weeks went on, the challenges became more difficult and creative. Sometimes she gave us parameters such as the size of paper, the medium, or the color(s) we should use. Sometimes we had to do research on a specific artist and present a painting in that artist’s style. Each week, we would text a photo of our completed painting to the entire group. Sometimes we asked for a critique or advice on what should be done to make a particular painting better. Some challenges were fun; some were interesting; some were difficult. Regardless of the topic, we continued to paint weekly through October.
As our portfolio of paintings grew, I decided that I would prepare a notebook, The Pandemic Scrapbook, for each member of the group to document our work. During the months that followed, we were able to get together twice on Dee Dee’s large patio wearing our masks and practicing social distancing. The first time, we showed off the paintings we had completed up to that point. The second time, I gave everyone their Pandemic Scrapbook, and we exchanged our artist’s trading cards.
Most challenges were one week long, except the artist’s trading cards as we each had to paint seven cards. We painted anything and everything...
flowers and vegetables
inside our home and outside our home
light and shadows and reflections
landscapes and seascapes
one dominant color
CBS Sunday Morning suns
people and structures
interpretation of a particular painting
a cookbook cover or divider sheet along with the recipe
seven artist’s trading cards
something we were comfortable painting and something we were uncomfortable painting
study and painting in the style of Helen Frankenthaler