Studio time is LIFE. It is connectional, unrelenting, seeks order out of chaos and, in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it stacks up against the unexpected and unpredictable future.  Art IS long and demands to be made and put out in the universe.  But meanwhile, galleries, art fairs, and museums are closed down.  How many will re-open when it is safe to gather again?  The online marketplaces try to keep up, bringing in a trickle of income. What is it like for artists in the COVID-19 quarantine?

Artists In The COVID-19 Quarantine

People are hunkering down.

With plenty of distractions (Zoom meetings and Facetime phone calls so we can feel less separated from one another), I continue working in the studio without my usual assistant. I’m building boxes, finishing unresolved artworks, doing photo shoots.

Suddenly,  SOME museums and art centers are in touch…hoping they can “go public” sometime.  Case in point:

Green Non-Tessellates will be sent out sometime in the future for an exhibition at the Yellowstone Art Museum, in Billings, MT.  The museum, like most if not all of them, is closed right now.  With a great sense of hope and trust in the future, the exhibition North x Northwest Exhibition: Women’s Work will open… they know not when! But they are pretty sure it will close October 4, 2020.  Surely by then, they will be able to re-open to the public?

What I find interesting about this piece at this time is that it is not exactly what it appears to be.  It was even unpredictable to create.  Like so much of my work, it is digital embroidery.  I designed it on the computer and output it to the computer-aided embroidery machine.  Several things happened along the way.

  • First, I installed the “wrong” green thread about halfway through the run! What a great mistake!  It is so much better with the subtle color variation.
  • Another surprise was this: I thought I had designed it to be an interlocking design, a tessellating design.  Wrong!  And, again, so much better.  It would have looked like a bathroom tile!  Not exactly what I was going for.
  • It quietly expresses all the unexpected we live with all the time, especially now!  We do like to live our lives as though they are predictable.  But, truly, they are not. Green Non-Tessellates perfectly expresses both the order and the disorder, predictable and unpredictable, while remaining radically beautiful!

Be grateful for the surprises life brings you.  The good and the bad will change you, teach you and make you who you are or will be!

Blessings, y’all! (And wash your hands!)