Mary Ann Pals

Pomegranate Galaxy, April 2020
Pastel on Paper
11 x 14 in
Once the shelter in place order came during this pandemic, I became increasingly filled with a sense of dread about the future. How long will this last? How is this going to affect my art career? As it turned into many weeks of sheltering and a new normal started to emerge, an even more poignant question arose in my mind: going forward, how am I going to recreate myself as an artist? How will I market my artwork now? How will I go about teaching my art classes and workshops? I was left with even more questions, not less. It all left me feeling very small. I sifted through my hundreds of reference photos for a possible painting to start, and one image floated to the top of the stack. It was a picture I took of my hand holding a large glass galaxy marble that I purchased last fall from a glass artist friend. I absolutely love playing with the marble, watching the shimmering stars dance in 3-D spirals of deep space. Yes, that was the painting I chose to tackle while sheltering in place. What a catharsis for me! I was able to totally immerse myself in the work and I imagined that I was in charge of a whole galaxy, turning it in my hand and exposing its beauty to changing light. The process of creating this work gave me the confidence I needed to start thinking about recreating my art career and forging ahead with some new plans. Most of the questions are still there, but my self-confidence is now gaining speed again. The process of creating a galaxy has revived me.