023 / Pandemic Artwork Stories


023 / pandemic artwork stories


Where are you painting from and what have you been doing to keep busy?

I’m painting from my home on a small farm in Middle Tennessee. I love to paint en plein air, so I have plenty of opportunity and space to do that as often as I have time or feel the urge. I’m also the caregiver for my 95-year-old mother, so I am always busy. My husband and I have three dogs, a cat, and some 65 or so chickens. So backyard chickens, pets, woods, and pastures give me all sorts of inspiration for paintings.

How did you find inspiration from your surroundings for it?

I’ve been caring for my mother since my father died four years ago. Even before then, I often drew sketches, did oil studies, and pastel paintings of both of them. I always struggle to get a good likeness of Mother—is it because I know her so well? Some works I’ve completed from life as she naps or as she sits for me, perhaps working on a quilt block while she poses. I painted this piece from life and continued to work on it during a few later sessions, correcting the likeness, the light, the values. She loves to be outdoors, so I wanted to give it an outdoor feel, especially with the light on her face.

What is one positive that has come from this experience for you?

Oh, there have been so many that it’s hard to say! I suppose the greatest positive is being inspired by all of the stories that accompany the pieces in the collection. I have been introduced to artists I didn’t know; I have been touched by their views of their world and their response to COVID-19.

What is one of your favorite pieces in the collection from a fellow artist?

Again, there are so many, choosing one is difficult! I have been stopped in my tracks by so many of the pieces that reflect the human condition. However, to choose one, I’m going to choose Elizabeth St. Hilaire’s “One for Sorrow.” Despite loving the mixed media piece, I feel sorrow for the artists who have been so impacted professionally by this pandemic. Yes, the pandemic has negatively impacted the lives of my family, but we are financially secure; I don’t have to depend on my art for financial security, so that is one aspect of my life that I didn’t have to redesign, as did so many artists.

Learn more about Carol's artwork and story