Artwork During Covid-19

Overcoming Creative Block

In March, our world changed. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we quarantined. Bad news seemed to bombard us daily. Social events and art workshops were cancelled.

Featured Painting:
'He Leads Me Beside Peaceful Waters.'—acrylic on canvas by Ken Hosmer

Overcoming Creative Block
At first, having time at home, spending more time with pets, and gardening became a welcomed daily routine. However, my mental state gradually eroded as world news and the news of covid cases hit closer to home and family. Although I had more leisure time, as an artist, I felt unfocused and lost. I simply didn't feel like painting.

Then I remembered that some years ago, I had experienced a similar prolonged artistic laps after a tragic death in the family.

By July, I desperately needed a change. So I packed my gear and headed for my childhood cabin-home in New Mexico. Two big changes were in order: first, I quit watching the news on television; secondly, I set up a painting studio in the old guest house, and began a routine of painting several hours each day. Soon I felt much better and spent more time painting. Both daily walks along the river trail and artwork provided a much needed mental respite—a great escape.

I share this experience to encourage other artists. During mental distress such as the loss of a loved one or the current pandemic, artwork can provide relief. Even if you don't feel like working, try to set up a routine and force yourself to create. It's okay if you don't like the immediate results, because the artistic process itself has the power to gradually push away emotional distress—and in my opinion this is much healthier and cheaper than most of the alternatives.

Stay healthy. Stay safe.

Soon I will post an article about the resulting summer and fall paintings.

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