As Artists, we are highly sensitive and intuitive people. Although, these feelings and senses are so important to have, it also makes us vulnerable to mood swings, depression and anxiety. Our emotions may go up and down like a roller coaster, as well. This artistic nature allows us to see and feel what others may not, especially during these difficult times of Covid it may feel overwhelming.
Creating takes an enormous amount of energy. As we are overcome by the tremendous amount of negative stimulations from the news and social media, we might discover that there isn’t enough energy left for ourselves and left for our imagination to create.
There is a fine balance between too much and too little, which we all must control, in order to stay healthy and productive. We thrive on stimulation, but paradoxically we need a lot of alone time to recalibrate our nervous system and refuel.
I have found that being isolated has created a need for me to revaluate my art. My environment during COVID has affected my art deeply, making me aware that I need to do what I love, without asking for permission. So many rules during Covid has made me want to break the rules that I have enforced upon myself. Isolation has made me aware of my demons along with the constant reminder that I am aging. Time is not to be wasted or to be creating without joy.
Monotony from the lack of the ability to be with others, visiting far off places and having new experiences, in a strange way has been a force in discovering my creative needs. I needed to find stimulation and joy in my art as a substitute. I no longer wanted to make going into the studio drudgery. My studio now had to be a place of boundless freedom, wellbeing, pleasure and most of all joy.
The above painting was a turning point for me, when showing it to a friend. I could feel her tension and how uncomfortable it made her feel. She almost appeared either frustrated or angry that I was creating in this way. Perhaps, because of Covid, she needed art that was more soothing and blended. She started showing the signs of agitation by asking, “Why is it so active? Not quite sure about this painting. Is it in process? What are you doing with these yellows and reds? Are you experimenting? You’ve got a wild streak going on there!” It was odd, purposely exposing my truth and obviously being rejected.
The painting previously was very dull and lacked intensity. At the last stage of the painting, I released myself and began to overlay transparent bright colors. It felt so good, in fact, I felt chills. I knew then I had to always be myself and not paint for others, no matter what, even if it wasn’t appreciated. This experience was definitely a turning point. Oddly, now I feel that my work is more honest and most people appreciate it and are more affirming.
Covid has created chaos, and out of chaos there can also be growth for the positive. The feedback of Covid has created big changes and small changes, but Covid has also forced us to be more aware, resilient and thrive. What fills you and what sustains you? It is for each artist to discover what that is. I found mine and so grateful.